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.
Trustee Chair Colonel William Lee says four-person transition team made of members of the board will handle the day-to-day operations of the president until a replacement is found. Lee adds that he addressed the entire campus community about the transition and everybody welcomed the organized structure.
"I must say it was well received I did not receive one negative comment or dissent," he says.
Students, faculty and alumni will have an active part in helping select the next Wilberforce president. Lee says he knows that it won't be an easy task, but keeping a positive focus will help when trying to find a new leader, while also dealing with an enrollment of less than 500 students, troubled academic programs and a massive debt of over $20 million.
"I'm looking for us to be operating in a positive and amicable environment that's what I'm striving for," Lee explains. "We all have the same goal in mind, the same focus and that is a greater Wilberforce and a surviving Wilberforce."
Patricia Hardaway became the 19th President of Wilberforce and only the second woman to hold the job. She is also a Wilberforce alumna and is credited for helping the university more than double its fundraising goals.