Elizabeth Rogers, Elon University’s dean of the School of Health Sciences, announced Monday she would retire at the end of May 2016, ending a 20-year career at the university. 

“There are tremendous faculty, staff and students here and the way the place keeps reinventing itself makes Elon a fun place the work,” Rogers said. 

Provost Steven House, who has worked with Rogers in different capacities, recognizes some of the greatest achievements Rogers has had during her time at Elon. 

“We work to enhance Elon’s position in Alamance County and Dr. Rogers has been such a strong advocate for graduate programs," House said. "She’s been a good friend to me as a member of the dean’s team and is a wise individual who asks the right questions. I love her passion for students.”

House also noted the Elon Physician Assistant Program Rogers has helped develop receives more than 1,000 applications for just 38 spots.

While Rogers is pleased with her accomplishments, she said she would like to see further progress before she leaves. 

“We’ve done a feasibility study with regard to an anatomical gift program that supports our students in PA and PT (physical therapy) programs,” Rogers said. “I’m hoping that the program will be launched before I leave. We’ve got one more step in approval and are just waiting for approval from President [Leo] Lambert.” 

Before coming to Elon in 1996 to become the founding leader for the physical therapy program, Rogers lived in California and worked at Loma Linda University and Western University of Health Sciences.

She plans on returning to California after retiring and spending more time with her wife and 22-year-old daughter. While the university has been supportive of her being involved in a lesbian relationship, Rogers said moving to a more accepting part of the country played a role in her decision to leave.

“The university is great and they’ve been supportive, but we’re looking forward to being fully accepted as a family in California,” she said.

House said he will work with Lambert to name a search committee for the next dean during the spring semester. Since a national search will begin in August, there will be an interim leader for the school following Rogers’ departure.