African-American President of Martin University Steps Down

Algeania Freeman has stepped down as president of Martin University in Indianapolis. The university was founded in 1977 by Boniface Hardin, a Catholic priest, to educate nontraditional students. The average age of a Martin University student is 40. About 91 percent of the university’s 1,200 students are black.

Freeman, who holds a Ph.D. in communications from Ohio State University, previously served as president of historically black Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. Dr. Freeman’s tenure at Martin University was controversial due to the firing of many faculty members, but she had managed to put the educational institution on more solid financial ground.

The board of trustees named Charlotte Westerhaus acting president. Upon accepting the appointment, Westerhaus said she would like the position on a permanent basis.

Westerhaus was vice president for diversity and inclusion for the National Collegiate Athletic Association until her position was eliminated during a management reshuffle. Previously, she served as assistant to the president and director of equal opportunity and diversity at the University of Iowa. From 1998 to 2001, Westerhaus was the director of affirmative action programs at Purdue University. She has also held administrative posts at the University of Wisconsin, Pomona College, and the University of California at Davis.

Westerhaus holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University in Athens. She is also a graduate of the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University.