Grand Valley State University's president, Thomas J. Haas, announced his plan to retire from the position this morning.

He made the announcement at a special address on GVSU's Allendale campus Wednesday, Feb. 28. He will retire June 30, 2019.

President Haas is the university's fourth president. Within the last 35 years, Haas has served as a tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, vice president and president. Under Haas, the university has added 20 undergraduate programs and 16 graduate programs. GVSU also opened the Detroit Center and added 2.5 million square feet in buildings. Haas position the university as a leader in sustainability with 21 LEED silver, gold or platinum buildings.

Prior to his appointment at GVSU in 2006, Haas was president of State University of New York Cobleskill.

Haas is a 1973 honors graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He earned a Maser of Science (MS) in chemistry, one in environmental health science from the University of Michigan. Haas also holds an MS in human resources management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut. He has also received numerous honorary degrees and is a retired Captain after 23 years of commissioned service in the USCG.

He is an active member of the Grand Rapids and West Michigan community, serving on a number of different boards. He is marriage to Marcia (Knapp) Haas, who is a native of Union City and graduate of Albion College. The two have three children and four grandchildren.

After a break following his retirement, Haas will return to the classroom as a professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The university's Board of Trustees will serve as the search committee for GVSU's fifth president. An executive search firm will assist as well. The search committee will solicit comments from the university community and consistencies outside the university to chose a qualified fifth president.

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.