Washington College President Sheila Bair resigns

Washington College President Sheila Bair is resigning after two years, ending her five-year term early at the Chestertown school, school officials announced Thursday.

Appointed in May 2015, Bair was the first female president in the Eastern Shore school’s 234-year history. She helped institute several student debt reduction programs aimed at making a degree more accessible.

“Her work on behalf of both this institution, and the nation’s undergraduate population as a whole, to diminish our national student debt crisis has been remarkable, and we both thank and commend President Bair for her dedication to improving access to high-quality education for all students,” said Washington’s Board of Visitors and Governors Chair H. Lawrence Culp Jr. in a statement.

Bair served from 2006 to 2011 at the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, where she helped manage the U.S. government’s response to the recent financial crisis. She served as a senior adviser to the Pew Charitable Trusts before coming to Washington College, where she worked to make college more accessible.

“Our generation has had the responsibility in government and business, and I don’t think we’ve done a great job with the financial system,” Bair told The Baltimore Sun in a 2015 interview. “We’ve given our young people an economy that presents challenges for them. I want to make sure they don’t suffer undue financial burdens when they enter the financial world.”