LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock announced his resignation Thursday.

Dr. Roderick Smothers, the current president of Philander Smith College, announced his resignation in a letter sent to faculty and staff.

In the letter, Smothers said he was resigning to pursue a new opportunity.

“For the past nine years, it has been an honor to lead this esteemed institution through unprecedented progress,” Smothers said in the letter. “Indeed, the time we have shared as a community of faculty, staff, students and alumni working in partnership with the Board of Trustees to Move Philander Forward has yielded many triumphs of which we can be proud.”

Smothers started as the 14th president of the college in January 2015.

“The College’s commitment to excellence will continue and I thank you for being a part of it,” Smothers said.