Lehigh Carbon Community College president Don Snyder announced Thursday he will retire by the end of the year because he is battling cancer.
Snyder, 61, of South Whitehall, said he had planned to retire next summer but told the community college's Board of Trustees that he reconsidered because of the new health challenge, according to a release.
Snyder had taken leave from the college earlier this year to undergo open heart surgery. He said he faces more surgery with the cancer diagnosis.
"Unfortunately, this diagnosis will require another medical leave for surgery,” Snyder told the trustees, according to the release. “Much of the past week has been spent reviewing options and talking with my family. In reaching a decision, there was a need to take into consideration what is necessary for a full recovery of my health as well as what is in the best interest of the future of the college.”
Snyder has been LCCC’s president since September 2000. Prior to that, he spent 20 years as a state representative for the 134th District, including leadership positions as the House Republican Policy Chairman from 1995-1996 and as House Majority Whip from 1997-2000.
“Serving LCCC has been a privilege and an honor,” Snyder said.
Ken Mohr, chair of the LCCC Board of Trustees, said the trustees had planned to conduct a search for a new leader to take over on Sept. 1, 2014, because of Snyder's initial retirement date. He said the board will continue with that plan.
He said the trustees plan to appoint senior vice president, Ann Bieber, as interim president from Jan. 1 through Aug. 21. She also will serve as acting president while Snyder is on medical leave.