FRANKFORT, KY – Today, the Kentucky State University Board of Regents named a new interim president. Dr. Ronald A. Johnson will serve the university in the interim capacity and will begin his appointment on July 1, 2022. Clara Stamps, who was previously KSU’s senior vice president for Brand Identity and University Relations, served as acting president since July 2021.

Dr. Ronald A. Johnson

Johnson is the former president of Clark Atlanta University (CAU), where he led the development and implementation of transformational academic, financial, competitive positioning, organizational, and operating strategies that resulted in significant improvements in enrollment, first-time undergraduate student retention, six-year graduation rates, and key financial performance indicators. He is an innovator in curriculum development and led curricular and pedagogical reform at CAU including the introduction of micro credentials, technology enhanced learning, and market driven academic programs and program innovation. He led the successful development of a new strategic plan for CAU and the reaffirmation of its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation.

The Board voted on the interim president at a special-called meeting Monday, June 27. Additional information regarding his appointment will be forthcoming.

“Dr. Johnson has a distinguished record in higher education administration especially at HBCUs,” said Dr. Gerald Patton, Chair of Kentucky State University Board of Regents. “We, the Board of Regents are elated at his appointment and look forward to working with him as he provides institutional leadership at Kentucky State University at this critical time.”

This appointment comes after Dr. M. Christopher Brown II resigned from the presidential role in July 2021, effective immediately. Brown was named the 18th president of Kentucky State in 2017, after serving in leadership roles at leading HBCUs in Louisiana and Mississippi.

About Kentucky State University
Kentucky State University is a public, comprehensive, historically Black land-grant university committed to advancing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, enhancing society, and impacting individuals by providing quality teaching with a foundation in liberal studies, scholarly research, and public service to enable productive lives within the diverse global economy. For more information, visit

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – The Lincoln University Board of Curators is pleased to announce Dr. John B. Moseley as Interim President of Lincoln University. Moseley, who most recently has served as the University’s Director of Athletics and Head Men’s Basketball Coach, will begin the role on May 22, 2021, following the departure of Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk.

The Board of Curators and Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk jointly announced on May 16th that President Woolfolk will depart the University at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.

“It has been my pleasure and honor to lead Lincoln University for the past three years. I have made lasting friendships with members of the Jefferson City community that I will always cherish. It is with great sadness that I announce my departure from a University and community that I love. it has been my honor and privilege to serve as its 20th President. We have accomplished much together. The University has strong momentum going forward and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with our staff, student, faculty and the community,” stated President Woolfolk.

“I have been away from my family for many years and it is time for me to return home. I thank the Lincoln University family for allowing me to lead this great, historic University. I thank the Board of Curators for their leadership and am confident that my vision for this historic University and the students it serves remains in good hands,” President Woolfolk added.

Dr. John B. Moseley, interim president, Lincoln University of Missouri.

Moseley was named Head Men’s Basketball Coach in 2014 and was appointment Athletic Director in 2016. In his seven years with the University, he has been instrumental in growing the institution’s relationships within the community, with on of the most noticeable partnerships with Jefferson City Parks with created the $14-million state-of-the-art campus wellness and recreation center known as The LINC. He has also collaborated with the LU Student Government Association to make Lincoln more competitive through upgraded athletic facilities, increased scholarships and a better collegiate experience. Moseley has successfully built the Blue Tiger Athletics Club membership, which has increased philanthropic giving and created even greater community partnerships.

Moseley received his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri; M.A. in Education and B.S. in Physical Education from East Carolina University. Moseley has served in higher education for 18 years, with 12 of those at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“We believe Dr. Moseley is the right appointment at this time. He has demonstrated leadership in recruitment and fundraising. He has a history of success in a diverse culture and understands motivating teams to reach excellence,” said Victor Pasley, President, Lincoln University Board of Curators.

Moseley, his wife, Dr. Crystal C. Moseley, and their daughter, Jillian, recognize Jefferson City as a great place to raise a family.

“I am honored to serve in his position and continue the relationships we have with our alumni around the world. Lincoln University is an important part of this community and a better Lincoln means a better Jefferson City,” states Moseley. “Crystal and I treat every student like they are part of our family, and that is what an HBCU experience feels like. My hope is that, together, our campus can ensure that the dreams of the 62nd and 65th Colored Infantries continue by providing all of our students a quality education and campus experience. It is important that we show appreciation for students, faculty, staff, alumni and our community. We have an opportunity to be an example of how people from different backgrounds can come together for a common goal.”


About Lincoln University of Missouri
Lincoln University of Missouri is a historically black, 1890 land-grant, public, comprehensive institution that provides excellent educational opportunities including theoretical and applied learning experiences to a diverse population within a nurturing, student-centered environment. For more information, visit

Dr. Ronnie Hopkins

(DENMARK, SC) – Dr. Ronnie Hopkins recently assumed the role of interim president of Voorhees College while the board searches for the institution’s tenth president.

Before serving as interim president, Hopkins served as the institution’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, accreditation liaison, and is a tenured professor of English.

He said as the Board of Trustees commences a search for the 10th president, he is both honored and humbled to serve as interim president of Voorhees College.

“I truly look forward to providing students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all other college constituents with dynamic leadership, guidance, and direction in support of our vision of academic excellence and distinction,” said Hopkins. “I offer my sincere congratulations and blessings for continued success to Dr. W. Franklin Evans, the college’s ninth president as God has enlarged his territory and as he begins a new chapter of his career trajectory. President Evans has been an extraordinary leaders for Voorhees and a remarkable mentor to me.

Hopkins added, “In the tradition of excellence and ambition instilled by our founder, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, during my tenure as interim president, I will be highly engaged and my work will be intentional to ensure that Voorhees College continues to rise in its higher education ranks and continues to be a place where students Being. Believe. Become.”

According to Hopkins, Evans will serve as a presidential consultant through the end of January.

In November of 2020, West Liberty University named Voorhees College’s ninth president Dr. W. Franklin Evans as the university’s 37th president. Evans became the first Black president in the 183-year history of the college and assumed the role on January 1, 2021.

During Hopins’ productive and progressive career in pubic and higher education for nearly 30 years, Hopkins served in many administrative and instructional positions that involved supervision of faculty, staff, students, budgeting, and strategic planning. He has authored over $30 million dollars in grant awards to advance higher education priorities.

Formerly, he served at Benedict College as the founding dram of the Freshman Institute and the School of Honors. Additionally, he served as the professor of English and chair in the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Mass Communication. As well as dean of the School of Continuing Education, Graduate Studies and Lifelong Learning.

Hopkins actively serves as an Off-site and On-site Reaffirmation Committee Evaluator for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. He is also a founder and Chief Executive Officer of Possible Worlds Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides full-service career strategic directions and opportunities in education and employment for disenfranchised citizens impacted by homelessness, incarceration, and HIV/AIDS.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in English with a secondary teaching certification from North Carolina Central University. Also, Hopkins earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in English from Michigan State University. Additionally, he completed postdoctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa from Saint Monica University in Buea, Cameroon, Central West Africa.

Hopkins is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Bible Way Church of Atlas Road, and the Class of 2020 Executive Leadership Academy sponsored by the American Academic Leadership Institute for preparation of experienced college executive officers to become successful presidents and chancellors.


About Voorhees College
Voorhees College is a private historically black liberal arts institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church, whose mission is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. For more information, visit

The HBCU Presidential Spotlight Series is sponsored by the Office of the President and CEO, Founder Demetrius Johnson, Jr., at HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) introduces chancellors or presidents who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes those individuals who serves our nation higher ed institution daily, changing and educating lives while producing the next generation of leaders.

Dr. Kevin James serves as the Interim President of Morris Brown College, a historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia founded in 1881. In this role he leads as CEO and is responsible for leadership and management of all aspect of college operations and responsibile for the development and execution of the vision and strategic direction for the college in concert with the Board of Trustees. In his nearly 21-year career as higher education administrator, faculty member, executive business leader, and motivational speaker, Dr. James is committed to improving his community through education and empowerment. He has served in various executive-level roles in higher education and the non-profit sector. Prior to his current post as Interim President, Dr. James served as Interim CEO of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Internationally headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission of 100 Black Men of America is to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. A native of Columbia, S.C., Kevin attended South Carolina State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Social Sciences from Winthrop University; a master’s degree in Business Management Leadership, and Organizational Effectiveness from Troy State University; and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He is also a graduate of the Higher Education Institute at Harvard University.

Why did you want to become a College/University president, and why at an HBCU?

I particularly wanted to work at an HBCU because no other organizations affects the black middle class like these institutions. HBCUs educate the minds of a large percentage of minorities who are going to move this country forward!

At the end – and the beginning – of the day, our work is all about the students. The important work of academic leaders is to assure educational quality and improve institutional effectiveness. My vision is to fully restore Morris Brown and serve as the premier model for shaping and ensuring the quality of higher education throughout the college and community. Ensuring quality through the accreditation process and improving the quality through the accreditation process and improving the quality of the educational product that our academic departments yield, and to safeguard and improve student learning outcomes will be my focus as President, while also ensuring fiscal stability.

How does it feel to serve as a College/University President?

I am honored to have been selected by the Morris Brown Board to serve at the helm of Georgia’s only HBCU started and funded by black people; being named president will allow me to strategize future growth and directions from a longstanding viewpoint. I look forward to continuing this great work in collaboration with the board of trustees, students, staff, alumni, and other shareholders to resurrect this historic college back to prominence. We will continue working to obtain accreditation, ensure financial stability, build a strong relationship with alumni, and grow enrollment through the “Hard Reset.”

What is your definition of leadership? What have been your leadership priorities as president?

“Leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less.” John Maxwell

My priorities as the leader of Morris Brown College have been accreditation, financial stability, and governance.

What does HBCU mean to you? Are the HBCU institutions relevant to the higher education space?

The Higher Education Act of 1965 defines an HBCU as any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.

HBCUs are synonymous with culture, quality, special attention to black students, diversity, success, the arts, and pride just to name a few. Unlike the other HBCUs operating in Georgia, which benefited from the financial backing of their white founders, Morris Brown College was founded in 1881, when the African Methodist Episcopal Church decided to open a school for black students after the Civil War. It was the first (and only) institution of higher education to be owned and operated by and for African Americans in Georgia, and over the course of the next century, it became a vehicle for advancement within the African American community.

What are three goals you are planning to accomplish for the 2020/2021 academic year?

Three goals that we are planning to accomplish for the 2020/2021 academic year include the following:

  1. Candidacy for accreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
  2. Financial Stability/Increased fundraising
  3. Improved Governance

How important is it to you for students to receive their education while attending an HBCU?

I am an executive leader who is student-centered first and foremost. For this reason, for many years I have wanted to become a President at an HBCU. Under my direction, students, faculty, and staff will be led through transparency and integrity. My style of leadership requires me to be quantifiable, visible in the community, and have an open-door policy. I am approachable and value diversity and multicultural competency. I am bridge builder who has the savvy to bring people together, thereby eliminating silos. Students at Morris Brown will not just be educated, but will be able to compete in this global society against graduates from any institution.

What is the most interesting challenges of working as an College/University President and in the space of higher education?

The most interesting challenge of working as a college president is the number of hats one must wear to be effective. The college presidency is 50 jobs rolled into one. According to an article posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled, “The Toughest Job in the Nation/The College Presidency,” the author argued several points of why the job is challenging. From experience, I agree with many of his perspectives. In the article it was noted that through survey, presidents were asked specifically, what frustrated them. The top frustration among both pubic and private college leaders was the lack of financial resources. This has been Morris Brown’s number one issue. Additionally, college presidents answer to a very large number of outspoken constituencies including students, staff, faculty, trustees, alumni, and in many cases, political leaders – none of which can be ignored. My most interesting challenges of being Morris Brown College President has been resolving problems with no resources. It has been challenging; however, we have been successful thus far. I believe, if there is will, then there is a way.

What has been the proudest moments of your presidency so far?

The proudest moments of my presidency so far has been the wins that have pushed us closer to fully restoring the institution. We are excited about the future of Morris Brown College. Morris Brown has made wonderful progress within the last thirteen months. The state’s approval (Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission {GNPEC}, which authorizes and regulates the operations of in-state nonpublic and out-of-state postsecondary colleges and schools operating or offering instruction in Georgia) is a clear sign that Morris Brown College is headed in the right direction and gaining momentum for its future. Moreover, we have led negotiations with the AME church to remove a 4.2 million-dollar debt which clears a pathway towards accreditation. Moreover, MBC has received over 1 million dollars in grant funding toward the restoration of iconic Fountain Hall. Additionally, the institution has made tremendous progress with accreditation, governance, rebranding of the institution, partnerships, and fiscal stability. We have provided bold leadership to address problems.

What are the two or three initiative that most excite you as you look forward to your future as president?

I am excited about Morris Brown Colleges’ future. We will continue working to obtain accreditation, ensure financial stability, build a strong relationship with alumni, and grow enrollment through “The Hard Reset.”

To accomplish our goals, we have identified six strategic priorities:

  1. Institutional Sustainability: through gaining accreditation and developing sustainable resources that enable the achievement of the College’s mission.
  2. Strategic Enrollment Management: by practicing effective enrollment management to optimize student access, retention, program completion and success through relevant programming, high-quality instruction, and comprehensive educational support services;
  3. Organizational Excellence: through promoting an organizational culture that encourages excellence and success by developing and supporting individuals, teams, and processes that contribute to the effective and responsible management of teaching and learning, student success, human resources, facilities, services, technology, and finances;
  4. A Market Response Institution with Innovative Academic Programs by strengthening existing market-relevant programs and developing workforce development, continuing education, and professional education programs to prepare its students with 21st century skills;
  5. Technology and Integrated Learning Space: by strengthening our technology infrastructure to provide educational and workforce opportunities, improve student access and utilization, and advance the College’s operational effectiveness; and
  6. Maximizing Strategic Partnership Opportunities: by expanding our brand, which is mission critical to ensure the success and sustainability of our institution, as strategic partnership opportunities are pivotal to increasing our visibility in the community and scaling reach and impact.

Why should students choose to attend your HBCU institution?

Morris Brown College is truly at a crossroad in its history. The institution is diligently working to reemerge to its prominence, utilizing strategic planning, which will lead to accreditation and sustainability. Morris Brown’s goal is to become a candidate for accreditation by October 2020. if selected as a candidate school, the institution will be eligible to apply for Title IV Funding (Federal Aid) for students. The College is proud of its tradition of serving the educational needs of the best and brightest young minds, while simultaneously providing educational support to students who might not otherwise receive the opportunity to compete on the college level. New students will be a part of a rich legacy and literally be part of history as Morris Brown College is fully restored!


About Morris Brown College

Morris Brown College provides educational opportunities in a positive and nurturing environment that will enable its students to become fully functional persons in the global society. The College prepares graduates to live meaningful and rewarding lives, thereby enabling them to make socially constructive and culturally relevant contributions to society. For more information, visit

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a nonprofit advocacy educational organization that is mission to support the significance and raises funds for scholarships, initiative programming, and for public and private HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains today as a strong advocacy for students and higher education. For more information, visit

INSTITUTE, W.VA – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Board of Governors has voted to recommend Dr. R. Charles Byers to serve as interim president of the University effective May 16, 2020.

Byers’ appointment must still be approved by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HPEC) which meets on Friday. If approved by HPEC, he would serve as interim president until a new permanent president for the University is selected. A national search is underway to replace current WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins who is leaving to become president of Coppin State University.

“The selection of Dr. Byers ensures we continue to build on our mission, and to not lose momentum nor growth objectives in these very uncertain times,” said Charles E. Jones, Jr., WVSU BOG chair.

Byers has served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for WVSU since July 2019. He has retired as Provost of the University in 2014 after 41 years of service at WVSU.

“I am looking forward to continuing to serve the University and to working with the leadership team to manage through these uncertain times posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also planning for the future of West Virginia State and the brighter days we all know are ahead,” said Byers. “We will continue to work to fulfill the University’s mission of meeting the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.”

Byers is a 1968 graduate of WVSU with a bachelor’s degree in art education. He later earned his master’s degree from The Ohio State University while working as a commercial artist and art teacher in Columbus, Ohio. Later, Byers earned a doctorate degree from Kent State University in higher education administration.

Byers joined the WVSU faculty in 1972 and spent the next 17 years as an associate professor of teacher education. He served for 12 years as the Vice President for Planning and Advancement, Title III Director and Executive Director for the WVSU Research and Development Corporation before being named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

In addition to his professional service to WVSU, Byers served on the Leadership West Virginia Board of Directors and for 10 years as a presenter for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Byers has served as Chair of the Trustee Board at the First Baptist Church in Charleston and as Chair of the Local School Improvement Committee in Dunbar. He has been a member of the Charles Drew Scholarship Commission and a consultant for strategic planning for Kentucky State University and the Association of Research Directors. He was a member of a Rotary Group Study Exchange Team to India.

In 2015, Byers, an accomplished painter and sketch artist, published “A Place We Love So Dear: A Collection of Campus Drawings,” featuring pen and ink drawings building on the WVSU campus.


About West Virginia State University (WVSU)

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the University is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. For more information, visit

Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin

RALEIGH, NC – The Board of Trustees at Saint Augustine’s University has announced the appointment of Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin to the role of Interim President. The appointment is effective immediately.

According to the Board of Trustees Chairman The Honorable Chief Justice James C. Perry, “The Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) Board of Trustees is pleased to report that Dr. Maria A. Lumpkin has been named the Interim President of Saint Augustine’s University.” He added that “Dr. Lumpkin is the youngest person to lead the university in its 153 year history. In her previous role as Chief Operating Officer for the University, Dr. Lumpkin has already proven to be a transformational leader. One of her most notable accomplishments is leading the team that procured a $3.5 million dollar Emergency Assistance grant from the United States Department of Education. Throughout her career, Dr. Lumpkin has brought a student-centered approach to her work and the institutions she has served. Dr. Lumpkin’s experience and credentials are extensive. She received her bachelor’s degree, cum laude from Saint Augustine’s College, now University, in 1996; a Master of Urban Studies degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from Clark Atlanta University. She hold certification as a Case Teaching instructor by the Institute for Case Teaching at the Harvard University School of Divinity. Her decisive leadership style and genuine care for the University make her an ideal choice to continue the legacy.”

Dr. Lumpkin brings to the university over 20 years of higher education experience as a student-centered professional and administrator. Her professional background includes serving in progressive leadership roles in two of the largest university systems in the nation – the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). She also worked in the Atlanta University Center (AUC), the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) consortium in the country. Most recently she served as the special assistant to the president, and as the inaugural executive director of student retention and the center for scholar communities at Shippensburg University. She has also provided outstanding leadership as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Assistant Dean of Students at North Carolina Central University, Assistant Dean of Students at Spelman College. She has also worked in key leadership positions at Albany State University, and as Director of Student Involvement and co-director of the Global Civic Engagement Program at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Community Engagement and Director of the Mercer University Center for Community Development and Service Learning.

A professional grant writer, she established the President’s Task Force on Civic Engagement and procured over $5 million dollars in private grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, CocaCola, Target Foundation, Perkins Ponder Foundation, and the Federal Home Loan Bank to pilot and support several University-community partnership programs and catalyze major community development at Mercer University; and she has authored over $10 million dollars in Federal Grants, including TRIO (Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, AmeriCorps, National Service, and HOPE IV).

Dr. Lumpkin has been active on the Bibb County Workforce Investment Board, Goodwill Industries of Central Georgia Good Vocations Board, the Food Bank of Middle Georgia, and the international board of Africa’s Children’s Fund, the Atlanta Metropolitan State College Foundation, and the Clark Atlanta University Guild. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, The Links, Incorporated, and is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Macon (GA), a 2006 graduate Leadership Georgia and a 2015 graduate of Leadership Women America.

Dr. Lumpkin said of her appointment, “I am beyond thrilled to lead the “Falcon Nation” during this exciting period of growth in the life of the university. My appointment is especially meaningful to me, because I am a daughter of this great institution, and I know first-hand the transformational impact Saint Augustine’s education. I am supported by a treasure trove of dynamic faculty, staff, students, and Board of Trustees in co-creating a dynamic learning environment.”

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Lumpkin’s dissertation research project was entitled Is There Learning In Service Learning? An Examination of the Effectiveness of Service Learning Programs at HBCUs as Perceived by Undergraduate Students. A seasoned world traveler, Dr. Lumpkin has traveled to every continent, except Antarctica for humanitarian and educational purposes. She has used her personal experience in the international diaspora to inspire and fund over 500 students education abroad opportunities. The University is proud to have Dr. Lumpkin return to her alma mater and continue her service in this history making leadership role as the youngest interim President and the only female alumna to serve in this position.


About saint Augustine’s University

Founded in 1867 by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, the mission of Saint Augustine;s University is to sustain a learning community in which students can prepare academically, socially and spiritually for leadership in a complex, diverse and rapidly changing world. For more information, visit

Southern University at New Orleans campus. Photo courtesy of HCF’s Division of Communications and Marketing.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) Chancellor Lisa Mims-Devezin has stepped down, just months after the institution was placed on probation by its a accrediting agency and a top administrator became the subject of a federal fraud investigation.

Miss-Devezin’s departure from her post was approved by the Southern University Board of Supervisors back in October, according to a source and to board documents and officials.

She was replaced effectively by James Ammons, the current executive Vice President of the Southern University System and executive vice chancellor of Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Ray Becton, the president and chancellor of the Southern system, told the board on October 14 that Mims-Devezin was “requesting that her employment contract not be renewed.”

In a letter to Becton, also written October 14. Mims-Devezin asked for a month of paid leave at her chancellor’s salary and six-month sabbatical before returning as a faculty member at the College of Arts and Sciences. Her contract was set to expire on December 31.

“I was not fired, nor did I resign,” said Mims-Devezin in an email according to source. “My contract will run its course and expire.”

She touted campus expansion and a rise in research funding during her tenure.

“Clearly, we are charting new territories to build upon the rich history of Southern University at New Orleans,” said Mims-Devezin. “Because of the unwavering commitment to this institution, I strongly believe that the best is yet to come.”

Professors and members of SUNO’s Faculty Senate said the news of her departure as chancellor came suddenly, though after months of controversy at the university. Most SUNO employees learned about the leadership change after documents from the board meeting were posted online.’

This summer, the university was placed on probation by its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, because of chronic financial management issues. Then, in late August, SUNO officials announced plans to furlough employees and increase teaching loads for the faculty. Those measures went into effect in September.

Under the terms of its probation, SUNO will have two years to get on firmer financial ground or it could lose its accreditation, which could mean an end to federal loans and grants for students. Accréditons will do another review in June.

SUNO has struggled for years to deal with dwindling enrollment and state budget cuts, which have forced it to rely on tuition to fund a larger share of its $23.6 million annual operating budget.

Mims-Devezin was named chancellor in late 2016. She had been the interim chancellor and before that dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. She replaced Victor Ukpolo, who resigned as SUNO chancellor after a decade on the job as the school faced one of the lowest graduation rates in the country and a bleak financial outlook.

Dr. Dwayne Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Harris-Stowe State University. Dr. Smith has been named interim president while the a full presidential search is completed.

ST. LOUIS, MO – Harris-Stowe State University is please to welcome Dr. Dwayne Smith as the University’s Interim President. Dr. Smith will replace Dr. Dwaun Warmack, who announced his resignation earlier this summer to pursue a presidency at another university. Dr. Smith began his tenure on August 1, 2019 and will serve until a full presidential search is completed.

Smith is no stranger to Harris-Stowe. He is currently in his 12th year as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the institution, and overall has more than 30 years of progressive administrative and faculty experience in higher education.

Dr. Smith is well-versed in accreditation, enrollment management, student success, strategic planning, faculty and staff development, and obtaining external funding. Since his arrival to Harris-Stowe, he has successfully procured more than $12 million in external funding for various university initiatives. He successfully led the institution through five major accreditations, currently serves as a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, is the Principal Investigator of a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to substantially strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the state of Missouri, and serves as a Grants Reviewer for the National Science Foundation.

Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, the institution has increased its degree offering by more than 75%, developed undergraduate research opportunities, added STEM degrees and increased its yearly degree production – ranking as one of the top five institutions in Missouri in awarding undergraduate degrees to Minority Students. Additionally, Harris-Stowe ranked in the top 40 in the nation in graduating African-Americans in Education and the top 50 nationally in graduating African-Americans in mathematics and statistics (out of more than 3,000 institutions nationally). During his tenure, Harris-Stowe has been cited in national college rankings including, U.S. News and World Report, Best Regional Midwest Colleges, the Washington Monthly College Guide Rankings, the Economist College Rankings, Niche College Rankings, and Diverse Issues Annual Degree Producer Rankings. Dr. Smith has been instrumental in developing more than 20 collaborations and partnerships with Harris-Stowe and other institutions and organizations regionally and nationally valued at more than $2 million.

Prior to Harris-Stowe, Dr. Smith served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Avila University where he provided leadership over Student Retention, the Weekend and Evening College for adult learners, the Institutional Research Board, and Study Abroad. Dr. Smith has also served as Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Park University, was on the graduate faculty at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and as an Associate Dean in the area of multicultural affairs at Truman State University where he created Truman State’s first Diversity Department.

Dr. Smith is a Fulbright Scholar, serves on the Board of Higher Education Consortium, and Chairman of the Board of NewPot Solutions Charitable Foundation. He also serves on the Council of Chief Academic Officers, and the American Academic Leadership Institute Strategic Planning Council. His other honors includes Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in America and a member of the national honor societies, Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi.

Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D. In Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri, Columbia, M.A. in Education Administration and BS degree in Psychology from Truman State University. He also completed post-doctoral at Harvard University and participated in the Executive Leadership Academy for emerging University Presidents sponsored by the American Academic Leadership Institute.


About Harris-Stowe State University

Harris-Stowe State University’s primary mission, as set forth in Senate Bill 153, is to address the higher education needs of the metropolitan St. Louis region. Toward the fulfillment of this mandate, the University offers a solid General Education curriculum, which serves as the foundation for the University’s various baccalaureate programs in three broad professional areas, including baccalaureate degree programs in business, education, and arts and sciences. For more information, visit

Dr. Carol Johnson-Dean

MEMPHIS, T.N. – The Board of Trustees of LeMoyne-Owen College, a four-year historically black college in Memphis, on July 30 announced it has selected Dr. Carol Johnson-Dean to serve as Interim President, effective Aug. 26, 2019.

“Dr. Johnson-Dean’s breadth of educational leadership experience and unique understanding of the inner workings of HBCUs made her stand out as a highly qualified candidate for Interim President,” said Dr. Christopher Davis, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Selecting Dr. Johnson-Dean to serve in this critical role is just one of the many great strides LeMoyne-Own is making as we push forward in our mission.”

Dr. Johnson-Dean currently serves as executive director of New Leaders – South Region in Memphis. She has also previously served as superintendent in Memphis, Minneapolis and Boston Public Schools.

“It is truly an honor to assume the role of Interim President of LeMoyne-Owen College, an institution with a more than 150-year legacy in Memphis,” said Dr. Johnson-Dean. “As an HBCU, LeMoyne-Owen College continues to play an integral role in education and serving students, many of whom are first-generation college-goers. I am humbled at the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for the College, and I look forward to working with faculty, students and community partners in this critical endeavor.”

A permanent president for the College will be determined at a later date. LeMoyne-Owen also recently appointed Dr. Christopher Davis – Pasteur of St. Paul Baptist Church and local community advocate – to serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees.


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LeMoyne-Owen College provides a transformative experience educating students for urban-focused leadership, scholarship, service and professional careers. For more information, visit

Dr. Mickey Burnim

BALTIMORE, MD – University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Robert Caret named Mickey L. Burnim interim president of Coppin State University. Dr. Burnim will begin his service as interim president on July 1.

Current Coppin State University President Maria Thompson in January announced that she will step down June 30 and return on her native Tennessee.

Dr. Burnim served as president of Bowie State University between 2006 and 2017. Dr. Burnim also served as interim president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore during the summer of 2018 before the start of President Heidi Anderson’s tenure on September 1.

“We are grateful to Mickey Burnim for his ongoing service to the University System of Maryland. Dr Burnim very capably guided the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on an interim basis last summer, and his considerable experience and perspective position him quite will to lead Coppin during the course of a search for President Thompson’s successor,” Cabet said.

During Dr. Burnim’s 11 years as president, Bowie State experienced significant increases in regional and national recognition, added majors in cybersecurity and information technology, opened three new buildings, grew enrollment and graduates, and undertook a successful fundraising campaign.

Dr. Burnim previously served as chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, an Historically Black University in North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Texas and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Typically, the search process for a new president at most USM campuses can take approximately eight to twelve months to complete. A search committee has been appointed and will, with assistance from executive search firm Academic Search, conduct a thorough search of highly qualified candidates. The search committee’s work will conclude with its recommendation of finalists for consideration by the chancellor and the Board of Regents. The board will make the final selection.