updated 6/20/2005 1:28:00 AM ET 2005-06-20T05:28:00

Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. John Rosa, who took over the school following a sex assault scandal and acknowledged problems of religious intolerance, is leaving to become president of his alma mater, The Citadel.

Rosa, a 1973 Citadel graduate, will replace John Grinalds, who leaves Aug. 1 after eight years running the state military college in Charleston, S.C., to become headmaster at a private prep school there.

Rosa, 53, became superintendent at the Air Force Academy in 2003 after four top commanders were ousted following a sexual assault scandal. Scores of female cadets said they had been raped by fellow cadets with no action taken against their attackers. In some cases, they were punished for reporting assaults.

Rosa publicly admitted the sexual assault problem and focused considerable attention on guaranteeing female cadets that their complaints would be heard.

This week, the Air Force plans to release a report on claims that evangelical Christians have harassed cadets of other faiths. Rosa has acknowledged there is a problem of religious intolerance at the academy.

Billy Jenkinson, chairman of The Citadel’s governing board, said Rosa’s firsthand knowledge of the college and leadership experience made him the ideal choice.

Grinalds, a retired Marine major general, helped The Citadel move forward after its tumultuous fight over the admission of women in the mid-1990s. There are now more than 120 female cadets at the college.

Brig. Gen. Cliff Poole, a business professor, will serve as interim president between Grinalds’ departure and Rosa’s arrival.

Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said Rosa has to get approval from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to leave active duty, which could take four to six months.

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