University of Chicago president Robert J. Zimmer will step down from the presidency in June 2021, at the end of the next academic year, and assume a new position as chancellor.
Zimmer previously agreed to serve as president through at least 2022 but decided to move up his timeline, according to an announcement from the university. He had surgery in May to remove a malignant brain tumor but has since returned to work and is responding well to treatment.
Zimmer, a scholar of mathematics, has been president at Chicago since 2006. Before that he was provost at Brown University.
Joseph Neubauer, the chair of Chicago’s Board of Trustees, credited Zimmer with leading a $5.43 billion fundraising campaign that closed in 2019, overseeing a 24 percent growth in nonclinical tenured and tenure-track faculty, and expanding student aid, among other accomplishments.
Neubauer also wrote of Zimmer's tenure, "The eminence of the college has demonstrably increased, with more than 34,000 applications in 2020, an increase of nearly 300 percent since 2005; improvements in selectivity, currently at 7 percent; and admission yield rates of 80 percent, contributing to a student body that is even more intellectually ambitious."