Cornerstone University's president will step down in 2019

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Cornerstone University officials say longtime President Joseph Stowell will step down from the Christian university in 2019.

School officials announced Wednesday that Stowell, who's led the Grand Rapids school since 2008, informed its trustees of his plans earlier this fall. He'll step down when his contract expires in May 2019.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that after failing to persuade Stowell to remain as president, the trustees voted unanimously for him to serve in the role of chancellor once his successor is chosen.

Stowell says that role will allow him to serve the school's next president by representing the university in various venues and helping with fundraising activities.

The university has about 1,200 undergraduates and a total population of about 2,500 students that includes graduate and seminary students.