MIAMI (CBSMiami) – University of Miami President Donna Shalala is stepping down.

In a letter published on the university’s website, Shalala writes that she is proud of what they’ve accomplished.

“,,,secure the University of Miami’s place as the next great American research university. The senior team I have had the opportunity to lead is remarkable in their skill and brilliance. The trustees have my deepest gratitude for their courage in letting me take the University on a journey of excellence that was promising, but risky.”

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Along with the good times, Shalala also endured some of the university’s darkest days. She’s was at the center of the university’s defense during the more than two year investigation of the school by the NCAA. In addition to the NCAA sanctions, the school self-imposed severe sanctions including a two-year postseason ban which cost the Hurricanes a trip to the ACC Championship game and a bowl game.

Shalala said that the school learned a lot from the charges and the investigation.

Donna Shalala Announces Her Departure

In announcing her resignation, Shalala said was thankful for the professionalism of faculty, staff and students.

“It is so easy to stand still. Pursuing greatness is not for the meek or cautious. Our faculty is as gifted as any I have worked with in higher education. Their passion for discovery, great teaching, and patient care is extraordinary. Our staff is committed, skilled, loyal, and take great pride in their work. Our students…they have energized us and give us hope for our country and the world’s future. Our alumni, supporters, and donors have made us stronger and stuck with us through thick and thin.”

“President Shalala’s tenure as the University of Miami’s fifth president has been a fortuitous and celebrated circumstance of the right leader at the right place at the right time,” noted Stuart A. Miller, Chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees.

Shalala concludes here letter by saying that one of the best aspects of her job was living in Miami.

“This great community is maddening, delightful, and limitless in its vitality and promise. We have worked hard to be good neighbors and civic leaders. I am personally delighted to continue to be part of its extraordinary future. Like the University, it needs to always pursue excellence with a razor-sharp focus that only great communities deserve.”

Shalala served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001.

Taking over the reigns of UM in 2001, Shalala is the fifth president in the history of the institution. Her presidency has been marked by accelerated progress in all key areas—teaching and learning, the discovery of new knowledge, the delivery of cutting-edge medical care, service to the region and beyond and fundraising.

In 2003 the University launch Momentum: The Campaign. The historic fundraising drive surpassed its $1 billion goal in January 2006, a year and a half ahead of schedule, and ended December 31, 2007, having raised $1.4 billion, the first university in Florida to successfully mount a billion-dollar campaign.

In 2012 the University launched Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign which to date has raised $1.3 billion. When completed the Momentum campaigns will represent an extraordinary $3 billion philanthropic legacy that has transformed the University and the South Florida community.

“Donna could have gone anywhere and been successful, but she came here to Miami-Dade.  She took an already successful institution and gave it the “Momentum” it needed to make it one of the top universities in the nation,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.  “What’s best about Donna is that she never turned down an opportunity to work cooperatively.  All anyone ever had to do was pick up the phone with an idea and Donna would be the first one to join.  She always understood the power of service, and she made Miami-Dade County a better place because of it.”

Shalala will step down at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

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