Yale University President Peter Salovey presided over expansions, scandals, and a multi-billion dollar fundraising campaign. Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Yale University President Peter Salovey will step down after more than a decade at the helm of the storied Ivy League institution, the university announced Thursday.

Salovey, who will return to teaching full time in Yale’s psychology department after the 2023-24 academic year, presided over expansions and redevelopment on the New Haven campus; the addition of new academic centers and professional schools; increased financial assistance for undergraduate students; and a multibillion-dollar fundraising effort.

During his tenure, Yale’s endowment roughly doubled, topping $41 billion last year.

In a video message posted online Thursday, Salovey said, “There really is no perfect time” for a leadership transition, “but right now, we are a strong university, and we’ve built momentum for even greater achievement in the years ahead.”

The outgoing president also led the university through several recent high-profile challenges, from the so-called “Varsity Blues” admissions scandal to allegations of inappropriate conduct by law school faculty, alleged mistreatment of patients at the Yale Fertility Center, claims of discrimination against students with mental health disabilities, and the global COVID-19 pandemic.

But for the city of New Haven, Salovey’s term marked a “historic moment” — as Mayor Justin Elicker has described it — in the university’s engagement with its urban surroundings. 

As a nonprofit institution, Yale holds tax-exempt status on the property it occupies in New Haven, which covers roughly a third of the city’s footprint. By some estimates, the city loses over $140 million a year in tax dollars from Yale properties.

But the school has made voluntary annual payments to the city to partially cover that disparity. And under Salovey, the school doubled that contribution, committing to pay the city a total of roughly $135 million through 2027 and agreeing to offset losses the city might incur from additional properties Yale acquires during that period.

Yale, the largest employer in New Haven and an economic engine for the region, also established a “Center for Inclusive Growth” and committed $5 million for the center to develop economic strategies for the city with the input of university and community leaders.

In a statement Thursday, Elicker called Salovey “a strong and committed partner” to the city.

“The history and future of New Haven and Yale University are inextricably linked, and it is a link that has been strengthened and a future that is brighter thanks to President Salovey’s partnership and leadership,” Elicker said.

A search committee is being formed “most immediately,” according to Senior Trustee Josh Bekenstein, who said he will lead the search.

Erica covers economic development for CT Mirror. Before moving to Connecticut to join the staff she worked in Los Angeles for public radio’s Marketplace and, before that, for the Wall Street Journal's L.A. bureau. She grew up in Minneapolis, MN, graduated from Haverford College and earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California.