Yancy named interim president at Shaw

Posted August 15, 2011

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— Shaw University is searching again for a new leader on the heels of a shake-up last week in which President Irma McClaurin resigned and members of her staff were either asked to leave or submitted their resignations.

In the meantime, the woman who served as interim president for 15 months prior to McClaurin, will, once again, help fill the void, Board of Trustees Chairman Willie Gary said Monday.

Dorothy Cowser Yancy, the retired president of Johnson C. Smith University temporarily served as Shaw's president from 2009 until September, when McClaurin took over the post.

Gary said that Yancy has agreed to come back, beginning next month, for a year or two to lead the university.

Citing bad chemistry, the board said last week that McClaurin was out after less than a year on the job. Her chief of staff was asked to leave and the vice president for academic affairs also submitted her resignation.

During Yancy's 15 months at the university, she helped secure more than $31 million in loans and organize the school's finances.

"She worked with us in reshaping our debt, re-managing our debt. We have it at a point now where we are repaying our bills," Gary said. "People are being paid, and that's more important than anything."

Shaw names interim president Shaw names interim president

School officials have not released any details of a search for a permanent Shaw president. Gary said the school still has a list of candidates from its search a year ago and that the search firm the school used offered to assist at no charge.

The change in leadership comes as Shaw is still recovering from a tornado that ripped through the campus four months ago, destroying the Willie E. Gary Student Center and two dormitories and forcing school officials to end the spring semester two weeks early.

Classes resume Wednesday.


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  • vdsmallwood1 Aug 19, 2011

    For those of you who speak ignorance and know nothing of Shaw, keep your comments to yourself. I am a '94 graduate and even though Shaw has its ups and downs, it is nothing worse than all of these NCAA scandals and other craziness that go on at other schools! That is all you have been seeing on the news lately. If the head is the problem, then cut it off and I think that Shaw Administrators did right to not cause the university any more harm than what is currently going on. I hope that they hire Dr. Yancy permanently! She has done wonders in such a short time! She means business. She is so generous and understanding to show up again in this time of need. I applaud her humbleness as it could be any school that could have these sort of problems. I vote her in as Shaw's next president!

  • anonemoose Aug 15, 2011

    Sounds to me like she does not need the interim title. Just pay her almost anything she wants and get her to sign a five year contract, or let HER find the new President. It doesn't sound like it would take her 15 months to find a total waste as a president.

  • jaydosse Aug 15, 2011

    Is there going to be an investigation into this curious mess??? Sounds like this story requires a deeper inquiry to reveal the facts. People don't just resign or get fired usually, unless there is dirty laundry somewhere. Something smells awfully fishy here....

  • ceo Aug 15, 2011

    Congratulations to the board of trustees and to Shaw University. By acting quickly, this sends a strong signal to the University and supporters that the University will be in proven, stable, and capable hands.

  • mike275132 Aug 15, 2011

    The Same Old on another day.

    Another Diploma Mill on the Verge of collapsing.

  • Bronco Aug 15, 2011

    I attended/graduated from Shaw University many moons ago. It is sad to see the fiscal mess the school is in. People give and the money goes missing..Trustee resign because of financial irresponsibility..Almuni give and the money still is missing. Federal dollars flow to Shaw and the books are cooked..Widespread building damages caused by the tornado and the former president goes to the board for money for repairs and is put on hold..Baptist Churches give to SHAW and the money goes missing..WHEN will the authorities step in a do a REAL AUDIT? AS for me, I've given my last dollar to SHAW until some ACCOUNTABILITY is put in place..WHERE IS THE MONEY >>>WILLIE

  • tgiv Aug 15, 2011

    I love the ignorance of the comments. No one here knows which candidates were considered or who applied, but they trot out the race card as if they did actually have some knowledge. I wonder if the same people even considered asking the same question the last time the Duke President or UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor positions came open.

  • slipscomb9466 Aug 15, 2011

    Yancy looks good.

  • jacksonriccardi Aug 15, 2011

    Good luck!

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 15, 2011

    Wonder if the rest of the story will come out? There is something that went so terrible that they resigned, or was forced out?