Cheyney, Fisk University Presidents Step DownHARRISBURG, Pa.Presidents of two historically Black colleges and universities announced plans to leave their respective institutions last month. After seven years as president of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Dr. W. Clinton Pettus is stepping down to pursue other interests. His retirement is effective Dec. 31.Pettus began work at Cheyney as provost and vice president for academic affairs, and was appointed president in July 1996. During his term as the university’s eighth president, he made significant and important changes including increasing student enrollment; developing and securing funding for a major capital improvement plan; implementing an integrated administrative management information system; increasing fund raising, especially for scholarships; and creating the Keystone Honors Academy for academically talented students. An interim president will be appointed at Cheyney University, and in the near future, the council of trustees will launch a national search for a replacement, said Dr. Judy G. Hample, Pennsylvania state system of higher education chancellor.Dr. Carolynn Reid-Wallace resigned last month from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. Reid-Wallace’s resignation was effective immediately.Reid-Wallace, who was named president of Fisk in 2001, was the university’s first female president. Prior to Fisk, she served in positions at Bowie State, the U.S. Department of Education and the City University of New York. Reid-Wallace made headlines several times during her short tenure. In 2002, Nashville’s The Tennessean newspaper reported that less than 30 percent of Fisk students supported her nine-month administration. In addition, controversy over the management of Fisk’s famed Stieglitz Art Collection, also found its way into the press.The Fisk University board of trustees has named a three-person administrative team to oversee the university until an acting president is named.
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