Wilberforce University, the nation's oldest historically black private university, named a new president today. Dr. Algeania Warren Freeman, former president of Livingston College and Martin University, was named to head the school, according to a release.
A spokesperson for the school confirmed there was a 9 am meeting today to announce the board's decision to faculty, students and staff.
Freeman will take over a school that has had its share of problems during the past several years. Dropping enrollment and leadership issues were cited in part by the Higher Learning Commission when they sent a "show cause" order to the school in June. The "show cause" order means the school is at risk of losing its accreditation.
The order is procedural and requires that Wilberforce present its case “as to why its accreditation should not be withdrawn.” The order was effective as of June 12 — the date the board of the Higher Learning Commission issued it.
The university remains accredited during the “Show-Cause” period, John Hausaman, public information officer with the Higher Learning Commission has said.
If the school loses accreditation, it could mean that students are not eligible for federal financial aid and that it couldn’t accept international students.
Freeman has more than 40 years of experience and was honored with the Harlem Renaissance Award for Outstanding HBCU President while at Livingston College, according to the release. She won Teacher of the Year for work in the School of Health Related Professions and Natural Sciences at Norfolk State University and was a finalist for the White House Fellows program.
According to the release, she has raised more than $40 million in grants and external funding, published in numerous scholarly journals, presented research and delivered lectures at all manner of professional conferences and held fellowships with the U.S. Pentagon and the American Society of Allied Health.
She received her Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the Ohio State University, Master of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University and her Bachelor of Science from Fayetteville State University, the release said.
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