An announcement from Johnson University president Tommy Smith:

When I accepted the board’s offer to serve as president of Johnson University in the summer of 2017, I said: “There are many who love Johnson University as much as I do, but no one loves Johnson any more than me.” It has been a great honor to serve as president of Johnson for the past five years.

It is because of that love for Johnson that I am announcing my retirement, effective June 30, 2024. I want what is best for the mission of this University, and my health situation prevents me from providing the long-term leadership this great work requires. I have polycystic kidney disease, a genetic and incurable disease that gradually reduces my kidney function. Currently my kidney function is under 20%; dialysis is required when it reaches 10%. In addition, I have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood that can affect kidney function. I am being evaluated for a potential kidney transplant, but it is unclear at this point whether that will be a possibility. Above all, I don’t want my health to affect the health of the University, so with much prayer and with the support of our Board of Trustees I have decided it’s time to announce a retirement date. There is much work to do in the coming year and I plan to be fully engaged as my health situation permits.

Of course, Debbie and I welcome your prayers, and we appreciate your friendship and support during this time. Please join us in praying for our Board, our staff, our faculty, and our students as together we prepare for this upcoming school year. Please also pray for our Board as they begin the process of choosing Johnson’s eighth president. Any inquiries regarding the presidential search may be directed to the Board Chair, . I am confident that God will continue to bless Johnson University as together we seek to honor him in these days.

Grace and peace,
Tommy Smith