Black female presidents at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) are dropping like flies. On Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, the Alabama State University Board of Trustees voted to place President Gwendolyn Boyd on administrative leave. Boyd is the revered 22nd national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Boyd introduced to Alabama State University, their first ever engineering program, the first HBCU Presidents Summit on STEM, she was invited to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund headed by Dr. Johnny Taylor to speak at Apple in California as Apple was coming together to celebrate their first cohort of STEM students from HBCUs.
“As a college president and an engineer, I was at the event to talk about how companies like Apple can deal with issues of inclusion and diversity.
“My message was that problems are solved by a diverse set of people. If everybody at an organization was trained at the same institution or similar institutions, they tend to look at problems the same way. But if you bring people together who have been trained differently with the same information, trained to look at things differently, or approach problems differently, you stand a better chance to have new product lines, new ways of marketing, new ways of approaching people about what they want in technology.”
Boyd was charged with failure to maintain confidence of the board, Provost Leon Wilson, who will serve as interim president, issued a statement.
“At this time, it is important that the Alabama State University family remains focused on our top priority and greatest treasure, which is our students. We will continue our educational agenda, and I, along with our leadership team, faculty and staff, will serve our students to the best of our ability. The most important thing for the University right now is to maintain its stability. I ask that the community keep me and our University in its prayers.”
A hearing will be held on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The board appointed Provost Dr. Leon Wilson to serve as interim president. It appears the firings are the latest trend among HBCUs.
Carolyn Meyers resigned from Jackson State University in October.
Dr. Lady June Cole was fired from Allen University. There were reports she was escorted off the campus located in Columbia, S.C.
Elmira Magnum resigned from the presidency at Florida A&M University mid-September.