Confusion, concern in administrative upheaval at St. Aug's
Posted April 4, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The shake-up that saw Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh lose two top leaders in two days has students worried and alumni at odds.
Dianne Boardley Suber, president of the historically black college announced Friday afternoon that she would step down at the end of May. Her resignation came a day after the school fired Angela Haynes, its vice president of business and finance.
"The last several months have been particularly challenging," Boardley Suber said in a statement. In recent months, the school has faced a myriad of financial woes that have led to cutbacks, a federal investigation and accreditation questions.
In response to a decline in enrollment and tuition revenue, the Board of Trustees cut more than a dozen staff positions earlier this spring.
"One minute they’re saying everything’s all right, the next minute it’s not," said freshman Zamir Andrews. "It's very complicated. Students don’t know whether to leave or not to leave because they don’t know whether the school is shutting down."
Boardley Suber noted those concerns, saying, "Faculty, staff and ardent supporters have continued to work together to ensure that the rapidly changing political and economic climate of this country not negatively impact the growth and expansion of the university and the uplifting of the wonderful students we serve."
Shamal Ayton, a freshman who transferred to St. Aug's in the spring said she plans to plans to transfer again. Other students told WRAL News that they, too, knew some who would not return.
The problems run deeper than just the financial. St. Aug's also is under investigation for allegedly providing false information on a federal grant proposal. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits the university, has also requested information regarding the school’s finances.
"We can’t do anything about it," a student named Brittany Allen said. "We just got to continue with our school year."
"Who knows what the future holds for this school," Andrews wondered. "I’m not sure. It’s crazy."