Students and faculty at Palo Alto's Sofia University are asking questions following the surprise resignation Saturday of Neal King, president since 2011.
Seven out of ten members of the school's board of trustees also have resigned, a Sofia staff member said.
The 38-year-old university, previously known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and offers on-campus as well as online degrees in psychology, with a bent toward the discipline's spiritual, emotional and creative aspects.
Robert Frager, who founded the university in 1975 and continues as a professor, said faculty members would rally to restructure the institution.
"Going forward, Sofia needs true leadership and stability," Frager said. "We will do everything we can to restructure the leadership to ensure the continued success of Sofia University for years to come."
Sofia has 526 full-time-equivalent students, according to its Statement of Accreditation Status with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Shortly before his abrupt resignation, King had signed a five-year contract extension.
King had led the institution, housed in former office buildings on East Meadow Circle, in its 2012 rebranding from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology to Sofia University. The restructuring was based on research on social and economic trends in higher education, according to a statement from the university at the time of the name change.
With its new name, Sofia broadened from a graduate institute to a university offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, dividing itself into three schools, the Graduate School of Transpersonal Studies, the Graduate School of Clinical & Spiritual Psychology and the School of Undergraduate Studies.
Just last month King hosted California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, former Stanford University President Donald Kennedy and former UCLA chancellor Charles Young at an event at Sofia celebrating the 25th anniversary of the California Campus Compact, a university consortium for service learning and civic engagement now housed at Sofia.