"Today I am announcing that I have decided to transition out of the presidency of Millsaps College," Lucas said in a statement. "My final day as president will be June 30, 2010, which will mark the conclusion of my tenth year. This decision, which I have been considering for approximately a year, is mine alone.
"Recent disagreements with a portion of our faculty have made me more fully confident that my transition will be the best thing for the faculty and for me and will avoid the possibility of distracting our campus community from the important work of the college.
"While I do not agree with a portion of the faculty, I still believe they are among the finest faculty members in the nation. The quality of the academic experience at Millsaps College is second to none.
"During my final year at Millsaps College while the trustees search for my successor, I will do everything in my power to ensure a seamless transition, and a continuation of the progress made in the last nine years."
Maurice Hall, chairman of the Millsaps College board of trustees, also made a statement, in which he praised Lucas' tenure with the school.
"Throughout Millsaps College's distinguished history, outstanding leaders have led us through remarkable times. Our 10th President, Dr. Frances Lucas, is no different," Hall wrote. "It has been my pleasure to work with her in my role as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. I have personally witnessed how she has developed a group of Trustees who are devoted to the college and willing to share their expertise, wisdom and gifts.
"Today, I regret that it is my duty to announce that Dr. Frances Lucas has chosen to transition from her role as President of Millsaps College at the conclusion of her 10th year as President – which will be in the summer of 2010. I want to make it clear that this is Dr. Lucas' choice, and not mine.
"I am saddened for our loss as Frances plans her departure after 10 wonderful years, having earned the love and respect of thousands of Millsaps alumni, students, and friends. We are all blessed that she has given us this opportunity to find her successor while she still leads us forward.
"We look forward to a wonderful concluding year of the Presidency of Frances Lucas and the continuation of Millsaps College's traditions of academic excellence, open and free inquiry and expression, the exploration of faith to inform vocation, and the innovative shaping of the social, economic and cultural progress of our region.
"We express our gratitude to Frances Lucas and wish her Godspeed as she concludes her Presidency and Millsaps College continues to move toward a destiny of greatness."