Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly says she'll step down in July 2016

Wellesley College's president says she will step down in July 2016 after nearly nine years at the helm of the all-women's Massachusetts liberal arts school.

The college says H. Kim Bottomly informed the board of trustees Friday of her decision to leave Wellesley. In a letter to the college community, Bottomly said the school is "strongly positioned to move forward" and it's the right time for her to leave.

Bottomly became Wellesley's 13th president in August 2007. The college says a search for a successor will begin immediately.

Trustees credited Bottomly with restructuring the school's finances after the crippling 2008 recession and helping its endowment recover and exceed $1.8 billion.

Bottomly also formed a partnership with Olin College of Engineering and Babson College and led campus preservation and renovation efforts.