RALEIGH: St. Aug's names interim president - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

St. Aug's names interim president

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RALEIGH, N.C. - St. Augustine's has tapped Dr. Everett Blair Ward to be the university's interim president after the school's board of trustees fired president Dianne Boardley Suber earlier this month before she could retire.

Ward earned his bachelor of arts degree at St. Augustine's and his masters degree at NC State.

Ward served on the chair of the St. Aug's board of trustees from 2009-2011 and was the first African American executive director of the N.C. Democratic Party. He has also served as director of the North Carolina Department of Transportation Historically Black College & University and Minority Institutions of Higher Education program.

The board unanimously agreed with his appointment and he will serve 12-18 months in his interim role.

Ward will lead the university in a time of crisis.

Enrollment at St. Aug's has fallen by 27 percent in the past 14 years, and the university blames its $3 million debt on a drop in tuition revenue. The school is also facing litigation and has furloughed or fired employees.

Ward said a big priority will be fundraising and working with the alumni association. To help the university get off to a good start, Ward himself wrote a check for $10,000 to St. Aug's.

In addition to the financial problems, St. Aug's may also be in danger of losing their accreditation.The university received a letter from its accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, who said it was taking a closer look at the financial situation at the school.

SACS the power to either put the school on probation or revoke accreditation, which could lead to the school closing its doors.

Ward announced that the university will conduct a nationwide search for their next president.


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