The president of Lehigh Carbon Community College will retire at the end of the year, about eight months earlier than planned, due to health concerns.
Dr. Donald Snyder announced his plans to the board Thursday night.
Snyder, 61, learned last week that he has cancer, LCCC reported. This follows health battles he has already dealt with this year. In May Snyder underwent quadruple bypass surgery.
“I faced open heart surgery and related health issues during the past eight months but looked forward to accomplishing my remaining goals over the next year. Last week, however, I was advised that I face yet another health challenge – this one with cancer. Unfortunately, this diagnosis will require another medical leave for surgery,” Snyder told the trustees.
Snyder took the reins at LCCC in September of 2000.
Prior to his time at LCCC he spent 20 years as a state representative for the 134th District of Pennsylvania. He served as the House Republican Policy Chairman from 1995-1996 and as House Majority Whip from 1997-2000.
Among many other accomplishments under Snyder's leadership, LCCC added a state-of-the-art campus in Tamaqua and expanded the college’s presence at LCCC Allentown at the Donley Center. The school also implemented a distance learning program and expanded its dual enrollment with sponsoring school districts. The dual enrollment program allows students to earn college credit while still in high school.
The school has constructed the Student Union and Technology Center, the Community Services Center conference and academic facility, the Wellness Center, the Educational Support Services wing, and renovation of the college’s former library building to include a Business Enterprise Center, expanded bookstore and food services area. State-of-the-art technology was added throughout the college and all existing main campus facilities were upgraded and refurbished.
“Serving LCCC has been a privilege and an honor,” Snyder said. “I’m proud to have been a part of LCCC’s focus on bringing to our students the very best in academics and a rich, rewarding jump-start on their careers."
The Board of Trustees knew of Snyder’s original retirement date of August 2014 and planned to conduct a search for a new leader for LCCC to take over on Sept. 1, 2014, said Chair of the LCCC Board of Trustees Ken Mohr.
“We will continue with that plan and conduct a search,” Mohr said.
Mohr also announced that the Trustees plan to take action to appoint senior vice president, Dr. Ann Bieber, to serve as interim president from Jan. 1, 2014 through Aug. 31, 2014, and that Bieber has agreed to serve as acting president while Snyder is on medical leave this fall.