St. John’s President Retires After Scandal

Lauren Williams's picture

St. John’s University President Rev. Donald Harrington announced his retirement on Friday in the midst of enduring accusations of corruption.

The 67-year-old, who previously acknowledged that he accepted sumptuous gifts from crooked former Dean Cecilia Chang before she committed suicide, sent an email to students and faculty declaring that he will step down effective July 31. Harrington served as president of the University for 24 years.

“The difficulties for everyone during the past year have convinced me, after much prayer and reflection, that the time to leave the presidency has now come,” Harrington said. “The urgings of many members of the Board of Trustees and others persuaded me to remain longer than I had originally planned.”

Robert Wile, Harrington’s chief of staff, who was granted interest-free business loans from the University with the president’s endorsement, also announced that he will step down from his position effective June 30, according to the university’s spokesperson.