Saint Augustine’s University President Everett Ward will retire after five years at the helm of his alma mater, school officials announced this afternoon.
Dr. Ward, who served as interim president beginning in 2014 and was unanimously chosen as permanent president a year later, will step down in July of this year.
The announcement comes weeks after the school successfully had its accreditation reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, and as questions linger about confidence in Dr. Ward’s leadership from members of the SAU Board of Trustees.
In August 2018, documents forwarded to the HBCU Digest revealed internal strife between the president and trustees, as executives were split on how the school would navigate falling enrollment and mounting debts.
But school officials and students lauded Dr. Ward for helping to lead unprecedented fundraising support in the latter weeks of 2018, securing major gifts from the Episcopal Church, and alumni of St. Paul’s College.
“Given the accomplishment of these goals, now is the time for me to transition the leadership of Saint Augustine’s to the next President,” said Dr. Ward. “We’re at a critical point in the history of our university and I know that now is the time to transition to an even more exciting chapter in the life of our institution.”
Dr. Ward, who also serves as general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., presented Bennett College for Women a check on behalf of the fraternity for $30,000 last week in support of its accreditation reclamation efforts.