NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher announced his retirement from the university Tuesday.
President Fisher will retire in May 2021 after two decades of service to the university. He will continue to serve while the board of trustees search for his successor.
He described his tenure at Belmont as “the greatest privilege in life, serving someone else.”
“In my inauguration speech in 2000, I remarked that Belmont was a really good university, but then went on rather boldly to quote Bachman-Turner Overdrive to say ‘but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,’” Fisher recalled. “What has been accomplished by our leadership team, our staff, our faculty and especially our students has exceeded anything we could have imagined. My overwhelming response to all that’s been accomplished is a deep sense of gratitude. I’m thankful for the incredibly smart and talented people on this campus who approach their work with great enthusiasm, effort and dedication, as well as for the tremendously supportive Board of Trustees who have stood with me all these years. Without a doubt, my wife Judy and I have been so blessed to be a part of Belmont—we are Bruins for life.”
Upon the conclusion of his contract in May, Dr. Fisher plans to take a year-long sabbatical to enjoy time with his family as well as to spend time on his Arkansas farm, according to a release. The Board has invited Fisher to consider a position as Chancellor of Belmont following his sabbatical.
Belmont’s Board of Trustees, under the direction of Chairman Marty Dickens, will immediately begin the process of seeking the University’s next president, anticipating a summer 2021 start date. Details on the search team and timeline will be announced at a future time.
Dr. Fisher was appointed as president of Belmont in April of 2000, before which he was vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas State University and dean of the school of business at Henderson State University, according to his university biography.
President Fisher has served the community of Nashville in various roles including chair of the Greater Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, chair of the board of the Pencil Foundation, co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Public Education and as a member of the board for nonprofits such as the Nashville Public Education Foundation, Alignment Nashville, Cumberland Region Tomorrow, United Way, Nashville Symphony, Country Music Hall of Fame, among others.
Belmont reports under President Fisher’s leadership, the school’s enrollment has more than doubled from 2,970 to over 8,400 for the fall of 2019.
He was named “Tennessean of the Year” in 2008 following Belmont’s hosting of the Town Hall Presidential Debate, and in 2010, he was named “Nashvillian of the Year.”