NORTH CANTON — Long-tenured Walsh University President Richard Jusseaume has announced his retirement, “ending 18 years of monumental growth under his leadership,” according to the university.

Jusseaume will continue to lead Walsh through the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2019, by which time the university’s board of directors plan to have a new president in place. Jusseaume then will remain in a consultant position for the final year of his contract, which ends in 2020.

A national search for Walsh’s next president will begin immediately.

“What better time than when there isn’t a crisis?” Jusseaume told The Canton Repository. “This way there will be a smooth transition.”

A statement from Walsh noted Jusseaume, who became president in 2001, is leaving Walsh as the second longest-serving president of a four-year private university and at a time of unprecedented growth for the school.

“Under his guidance, Walsh has experienced phenomenal growth in almost every facet of its operations including enrollment, academic programming, faculty and staff, financial resources and physical facilities,” the school’s statement said.

Total enrollment at Walsh has grown from 1,684 to 2,782 during his tenure and the number of buildings on campus has increased from 11 to 27.

In addition, undergraduate majors have grown from 32 to 70 and graduate/certificate programs have increased from four to 20 while Jusseaume has been president, the statement said. The endowment fund has mushroomed from $2 million to more than $27 million, as of June 2018.

The statement said Jusseaume has spent five decades at Walsh in various roles, including student, dean of students, board of directors member and president. He began his career as an educator for 17 years before moving into corporate leadership at Graphic Enterprises. He led Graphic Enterprises for another 17 years before returning to Walsh as president.

“A man of deep Catholic faith with an acute business sense, his knowledge and understanding of Walsh’s mission was built upon a lifelong personal relationship with the University’s founders, the Brothers of Christian Instruction,” said the statement.

Educated by the Brothers from the age of 11, a Walsh graduate in the class of 1967, a student Brother of Christian Instruction, a two-time dean of students, and a member of the board of directors, “President Jusseaume had been a part of Walsh’s history and mission almost from the school’s founding in 1960,” notes the Walsh statement.

Jusseaume’s lengthy relationship with Walsh and the Brothers has kept firm his commitment to providing an authentic Catholic education while strengthening Walsh’s mission of developing leaders in service to others, according to a statement by Sara Lioi, chair of the Walsh University Board of Directors.

“His love for Walsh University inspired others to embrace its values and contribute to its success,” Lioi said. “The Walsh community owes President Jusseaume a debt of gratitude for the indelible mark his legacy will leave on this university.”