Swarthmore College president Rebecca Chopp is stepping down after five years and will become chancellor at the University of Denver.
The college announced Thursday that former provost Constance Hungerford has been named interim president.
Chopp cited both personal and professional reasons for her departure, saying she and her husband had long wanted to be closer to family.
Gil Kemp, chair of the board of managers, credited Chopp's leadership with helping the college through the recession without staff or financial aid reductions.
He also cited her role in establishment of a foundation for advancement of liberal arts, Swarthmore's diversity efforts and some large financial commitments.
The school saw controversy during her tenure over the handling of sexual assault accusations as well as a commencement speaker's withdrawal last year after student protests.