Local News

Fayetteville State Names New Chancellor

Posted March 7, 2008 11:43 a.m. EST
Updated March 7, 2008 6:56 p.m. EST

— Fayetteville State University has tapped a veteran of the state university system in New York as its new leader.

University of North Carolina President Erskine Bowles recommended James A. Anderson, professor of psychology and former vice provost and vice president at the University of Albany in New York, to the Board of Governors Friday.

"I am the newest Bronco," Anderson told an enthusiastic audience at a reception on campus. "I couldn't think of a better place to finish my career because, folks, I'm not going anywhere."

Anderson, 59, graduated from Villanova University and earned his doctorate at Cornell University. His career has taken him to Xavier University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Texas A&M University, and he served 11 years as vice provost for undergraduate affairs at North Carolina State University.

When he assumes his new duties June 9, he will take the helm of a university that's had a troubling year.

Fayetteville State's fledgling nursing school fell into critical condition in May when 24 of 31 students failed an exit exam. State officials have placed  the program on probation.

The nursing school's problems and financial questions were among the difficulties that led to the resignation of former Chancellor T.J. Bryan last July. Lloyd "Vic" Hackley has served as interim chancellor since then.

"There was a little damage to your reputation in the past, but that's OK," Anderson said. "All institutions go through that. It's not how you went through it; it's how you rise above that's important."

He vowed to strengthen the school's academic reputation.

"We have to build the retention rate and graduation rates here. Let me tell you folks: No one takes you seriously down the road when you tell them about excellence and your graduation rates are low."