Morehouse College Board of Trustees Chairman Robert C. Davidson Jr. has issued a statement to clarify the college’s leadership plans, which he addressed in a letter sent Tuesday to the campus community.
Davidson confirmed that President John Silvanus Wilson will serve through the remainder of his contract, which expires on June 30.
“To further clarify my recent letter to the Morehouse community, President Wilson will begin to transition his day-to-day responsibilities to William “Bill” Taggart, Morehouse College Chief Operating Officer, in order to ensure a smooth transition of leadership when President Wilson’s contract expires this June. The Board will meet in April to consider its decision regarding the appointment of an Interim President. Until then, Dr. John Wilson and Bill Taggart will continue to work together while serving in their respective roles as President of Morehouse College and Chief Operating Officer.”
Davidson’s initial statement announcing Taggart assuming daily leadership duties over the college read:
“While the search to identify a new President continues, I am pleased to announce that the Transition Committee has identified William “Bill” Taggart, Chief Operating Officer, Morehouse College, as the individual who will begin to assume day-to-day leadership responsibilities for the college. Bill joined the Morehouse Executive Team in July 2015. The Board will meet in April to formally consider its decision regarding the appointment of an Interim President. I, along, with the entire Board of Trustees, have the utmost confidence in Bill as he steps into his new role and leads Morehouse in the coming months.”
Morehouse officials refuted the statement a day later.
Dr. Wilson, who served as the former executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs under President Barack Obama before being named as Morehouse president in 2012, gained national headlines and support from students, alumni and advocates last week with a media tour expressing his disappointment in the outcomes of a recent meeting between HBCU presidents and U.S. President Donald Trump, and a resulting executive order for black college federal support.
Morehouse trustees announced in January that Dr. Wilson’s contract would not be renewed.