Presidential Openings @ AME Colleges : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

When Bishop Young was at my church for Founders Day a couple of weeks ago I shared with him about my plans for an AME College Fair Day for Fall 2002. Bishop Young indicated to my that Paul Quinn College will be looking for a new President. Later that week, it was brought to my attention that Delores Cross has announced her resignation as President of Morris Brown College. In my opinion, Morris Brown is the flagship university for all AME supported institutions of higher learning. These Presidential vacanies imply that the next Presidents will have a unique opportunity to help nurture young men and women in the new information economy. Now here is a novel idea for discussion. If a candidate for the Bench in 2004 has demonstrated exemplary leadership in higher education, is a risk-taker and dedicated to the principle of high student academic achievement, why not consider becoming a President of Morris Brown or Paul Quinn College? I for one am convinced that the needs of our members are best served by assuming responsibilities like these as opposed to joining an already crowded Bishops Bench. As I have stated before I see no compelling reason why we need to elect 8 Bishops in 2004. I know there are some Ivy League terminal degree holders (especially in the 1st District) who can effectively lead these schools and serve their local congregations. Jeffrey Leath immediately comes to mind. Now that I think about it teaching economics under a Leath-led college might make me uproot from FL and forsake my tan and sun. When Samuel Dewitt Proctor was President of NC A&T Univ in the early 60s he did not abdicate from his pulpit duties. Who will be the AME counterpart to Dr. Proctor? QED

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002


Brother Bill, I agree with your basic premise. There is a sufficient number of aduquately trained clergy in the A.M.E. Church to ensure outstanding leadership in A.M.E. colleges and universities. One such person is Dr. Charles E. Young, former pastor of Ebernizer A.M.E. Charleston, SC, recently appointed as president of Allen University. However, the fundamental problem confronting all A.M.E. related institutions is not one of leadership quality or denominational financial support but a problem of flawed governance. Most of our institutions are financially and academically weak, as a result they suffer with limited student enrollment. These recurring problems throughout our institutions are the direct result of frequent presidential turnover. The turnover is the result of Board interference and conflicts with board chairs. Until we seriously address the issue of governance and structural support these institutions will continue of fail in many respects. This must be a lay initiative, the clergy will not initiate this kind of a change at the magnitude necessary.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2002

Bro. Bill, I hear what you are saying and agree with a large part of your statement and position, it's just that I feel that every pastor does not a college president make. I think the calling of a college president is just that a calling, and because it is a calling I feel that the person we put in those positions should have a calling for it. I also agree that The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leath would be an excellent candidate for a college president, and there are several other pastors in the First District who would be excellent candidates. I feel as if a president to a college is like a pastor to a pulpit, seemingly the same but with very different characteristics.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2002

who in the first district would make a good colliage president to the ame colleges. jackson ? flake? belin? . who ,outside of flake?

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2002

Having worked in College administration at the Bermuda College in Bermuda, I was asked to allow my name to be included for the presidency of Payne Theological Seminary. I respectfully declined the offer for a host of family related reasons, one of which was the health and subsequent death of my mother-in-law in February of this year. I believe hat the First District has a number of people; pastors and laity who could be considered for the job of president of one of our institutions. The challenge that such a job presents is the travel demands. Within the First, I think that Flake, Robert Lowe, Henry Belin, Alvan Johnson, Fred Lucas, William Watley, David Cousin, Gregory Groover, Dan Turk, Vernal Simms and a host of others could be considered. The challenge is we do not know who of this number would be interested based on what they perceive God to be directing them to do at this time in their ministry. I think it is safe to say that half of this number is not likely to go that way. I would be interested to know if Dr. Paulette Coleman would be so inclined or Dr. Dennis Dickerson?

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2002

When did Dr. Obery Hendricks step down from Payne and does anyone know his future plans. He is a brilliant scholar. Thanks

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2002

I am happy to find this message board dealing with the critical issue of AME college leadership. Recently, I received permission from Presiding Elder Theodore Evans of the Kansas City South District, Northwest Missouri Conference, Fifth Episcopal District, to initiate a fundraising effort to help Morris Brown from its present position of fiscal embarrassment. I note that it was apparently in a similar position back in 1992, when the late Bishop Ming restored a modicum of fiscal integrity to it.

The AME College Fair Day is a great idea. There are no AME Schools in Missouri, and none, in the whole Fifth District; so, we feel somewhat remote from the fray, involving our colleges, in the main. Thus, such a college fair would be of great value to us, as a consciousness-raiser, preparatory to priming the pump for fundraising.

I would not confine the search for college presidents to either the First Episcopal District, nor to persons with terminal Ivy League degrees. The president of my alma mater, Howard, has an undergraduate degree, and a law degree from Howard, as do I. He is doing an outstanding job! So, I would broaden my search parameters. At any event, I am pleased to find this discussion board.

For your information, I pastor a very small, semi-rural AME church in Butler, Missouri (founded 1871), which is approximately 70 miles south of Kansas City, on the Kansas border. It is where the first battle involving black troops in the Civil War was fought on October 28-29, 1862 (First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry), which little- known fact we have, through the grace of God, resurrected and memorialized since 1999. As stated earlier, I practice law for a living in Kansas City.

Bless you all.

Rev. Dr. Larry D. Coleman

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

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