Education

Yancy named interim president at Shaw

Posted August 15, 2011 9:13 a.m. EDT
Updated August 15, 2011 5:33 p.m. EDT

— 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."

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.