Wilberforce University president Herman Felton has taken a job at another historically black college.
Felton will become the 17th president of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, according to HBCU Digest. He will replace the college’s current president, Haywood Strickland, in June.
“It is an honor and privilege to be a part of the rich legacy of Wiley College,” Felton said in a statement to HBCU Digest. “I look forward to working with Wiley trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters to prepare the next generation of servant-leaders.”
The news of Felton’s new job comes just a day after Wilberforce University appointed Executive Vice President and Provost Elfred Anthony Pinkard to be the university’s 22nd president.
Felton served as Wilberforce’s 21st president for just over a year-and-a-half. Wilberforce University has struggled financially in the past few years and Felton sought to stabilize the school.
In November 2016, the university cut $750,000 from its payroll budget and further layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts were implemented in May, Felton said at the time.
Earlier this year school leaders put about 10 acres of campus, including two buildings, up for sale for about $7 million.
From mid-2014 through most of 2015, Wilberforce University was at risk of losing its accreditation from mid-2014 through most of 2015, due to declining enrollment.
The school was issued a “show cause” order from the Higher Learning Commission that was later lifted in November 2015 after enrollment increased by more than 85 percent to around 650 students. If the college had lost its accreditation, its students would not be eligible for federal financial aid.
Before starting at Wilberforce University in 2016, Felton worked at Livingstone College in North Carolina, where he served as senior vice president, COO and vice president of institutional advancement.
He was credited with increasing Livingstone’s annual alumni contributions from seven percent to 19 percent over three years, according to a press release from Wilberforce. He previously worked as the director of development at Murray State University in Kentucky.
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