Wilberforce Faculty Association

Wilberforce University was set to name a new president this week, but the selected candidate turned down the offer, and now a new search is underway.

Dwayne Smith, vice-president of academic affairs at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Mo, was offered the job to become the school's 20th president at an alumni conference in Memphis. But the head of the Wilberforce Faculty Association, Richard Deering, indicated that Smith balked at the offer after learning he was not the university's first choice.

Wilberforce University announced Thursday that it has organized a transition team to help guide the school in its search to find a a replacement for retiring President Patricia Hardaway whose resignation is effective on December 31.  The school's Board of Trustees hopes the team can find a leader who can bring a fresh vision to the university which is struggling to survive.

Wilberforce University President Patricia Hardaway is stepping down from her post at the end of this year. Hardaway informed the university's Board of Trustees that she will will resign effectively on December 31.

Hardaway became the 19th President of Wilberforce and only the second woman to hold the job. She is also a  Wilberforce alumna, who had worked at various positions at the university.

Hardaway was appointed after Floyd Flake resigned whose tenure had been controversial at the university. But her time as president has also had problems.