Black Studies Dean at the University of Virginia Announces Retirement

M. Rick Turner, dean of the Office of African American Affairs at the University of Virginia, announced his retirement. He has served as head of the black studies program for the past 18 years.

Professor Turner was placed on administrative leave on July 14 pending a university investigation after he signed a pretrial felony diversion agreement admitting that he had made false statements to investigators on the activities of a drug dealer. Federal prosecutors agreed not to press charges against Turner if he agreed to testify truthfully in any court proceedings in the future.

The university ended its internal investigation after Turner announced his retirement.

Professor Turner has been instrumental in efforts to increase racial diversity and black educational opportunities on the Charlottesville campus. He takes special pride in the university’s stellar record on the graduation rates of its black students.

The university named Maurice Apprey interim dean of the Office of African American Affairs. Apprey has been at the university since 1980, most recently as associate dean for diversity and student support at the School of Medicine.