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St. Aug's chooses alum to become interim president

Posted April 23

— Three weeks after losing two top leaders, the Board of Trustees at St. Augustine's University announced Wednesday that Everett B. Ward will become the school's interim president. 

Ward, who earned a bachelor's of arts degree from St. Aug's in 1982, will likely be the interim president between 12 and 18 months, the school said. Board members said he would also be considered for the job of permanent president following his interim term.

In a letter posted on the university's website, Ward said he is honored to accept the responsibility. 

"In the days ahead, I ask you to join the St. Augustine's family in addressing the financial challenges currently confronting our university," Ward wrote. "With your assistance and with the support of our community and our business partners, St. Augustine’s will once again be viewed as a premier institution of higher learning."

Ward will take over for Dianne Boardley Suber, who was fired by the school's board of trustees earlier this month. Suber's firing came after she fired Angela Haynes, the school's vice president of business and finance. Haynes was rehired after Suber was removed.

The university’s finances have been scrutinized within the past few months after the school lost $3 million in tuition revenue due to falling enrollment. A contractor filed a lien against the school over $675,000 owed for work on its football stadium, which remains unfinished, but the lien has been settled.

Federal investigators are looking into allegations that St. Aug's provided false information on a federal grant proposal, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits the university, has also requested information regarding the school’s finances.

Ward said in his letter that he has three goals for the university: 

  • Strengthen St. Augustine's financial position
  • Strengthen the faith that students and alumni have in the school
  • Strengthen the faith that the community and business partners have in St. Augustine's

Ward was the chairman of the St. Aug's Board of Trustees from 2009-11. 

Ward earned a doctorate degree in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University, and he was the first African-American executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party. He also served as the co-chairman of the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Committee and vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee black caucus.

12 Comments

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  • venitapeyton Apr 23, 7:50 p.m.

    Recalling Whitney Houston's, "Help is on the Way", we rejoice with St. Augustine's students, faculty, staff, alumni and other well wishers for the decision to choose Everett Ward! Awesome! Simply awesome!

  • mike275132 Apr 23, 4:22 p.m.

    Sound and Fury , signifying nothing.

    As another University goes bankrupt.

  • issymayake Apr 23, 3:35 p.m.

    Great pick for St. Aug! Brother Ward is more than capable of getting them back on solid footing.

  • 61babygirl29 Apr 23, 2:03 p.m.

    I agree with the person that said if he was on the board in the past, why didn't he offer assistance then? The answer? If the board members have something to hide, he could help cover it up. I don't see anything in his background to believe that the board made the right decision other than again, they may have something to hide. That's okay though, what you do in the dark WILL and COME to the light. Shame... I was wondering if the board was composed of intelligent members-now I know. St. Aug is in real trouble now.

  • sneeziegal Apr 23, 1:53 p.m.

    the next disaster ...

    — Posted by LetsBeFair

    hey "LetsBeFair", can you at least TRY to live up to your handle? Do you know ANYTHING about this man and his abilities? Or do you just want to crucify him before he even steps in the door just because?

  • glarg Apr 23, 12:06 p.m.

    Wards goals are on track but I dont see any experience in his background that would improve his ability to execute on those verses Dianne Suber.

    He was already on the board of trustees when the problems arose. If he has the connections to tap large donors why hasnt he already?

    He better start by going to SACS and start groveling, because if they lose accreditation they are done.

  • 678devilish Apr 23, 12:03 p.m.

    Maybe he will stay for awhile. Time will tell or as one said on board, will this be a disater too.

  • vsusu2002 Apr 23, 12:00 p.m.

    I think all colleges should make being an alumni a requirement of being president of the college.

    — Posted by Lightfoot3

    I agree.

  • LetsBeFair Apr 23, 11:45 a.m.

    the next disaster ...

  • Lightfoot3 Apr 23, 11:28 a.m.

    I think all colleges should make being an alumni a requirement of being president of the college.

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