Charles A. "Tony" McGeorge, the controversial president of Valley Forge Military Academy & College, has stepped down, the school announced today.

John Miller, who handles public relations for Valley Forge, denied some insiders' accounts that McGeorge was fired earlier this week by the board of trustees.

McGeorge, who has been president of Valley Forge since July, 2005, resigned to take a senior position with a consulting firm, Miller said.

Staff were being informed this afternoon.

William Floyd, chairman of the board of trustees, will serve as acting head, while Valley Forge launches a national search for a permanent successor.

"We will always be grateful to Tony for the many great qualities he brought to Valley Forge and for setting us on a course for an exciting future," Floyd, a 1963 graduate, said in a statement reporting McGeorge's departure.

In April, McGeorge had announced plans to build a $32 million academic facility that would allow the coed junior college to more than double its enrollment.

But many Valley Forge alumni have been at odds with the school through McGeorge's tenure and have challenged the leadership of Valley Forge's first civilian president.

In the spring, they gathered more than 1,000 signatures on petitions calling for McGeorge's ouster. They also sent letters to Gov. Rendell, Attorney General Tom Corbett, and other state officials, charging that McGeorge and the board were mismanaging private and state funds.

Valley Forge later sued the Valley Forge Old Guard Inc., a group of the disgruntled alumni, alleging the organization had infringed on the institution's copyrighted symbols and images on its Web site and literature. The suit is continuing in U.S. District Court.

Miller said McGeorge is taking a post at Miller/Cook Associates, a consulting firm in that handles enrollment campaign for private colleges and universities.

Prior to arriving at Valley Forge McGeorge was employed as a health and marketing executive.

Valley Forge was founded in 1928 as a private, all-male college-prep boarding school. The two-year college later became coed. Enrollment figures compiled in October showed 250 students were enrolled from seventh grade through high school at the military academy, and 315 cadets at the junior college.

Contact staff writer Martha Woodall at 215-854-2789 or at martha.woodall@phillynews.com