Leadership Shakeup at Morehouse College in Atlanta

This past January, Morehouse College, the highly regarded liberal arts educational institution for Black men in Atlanta, announced that it would not extend the contract of the college’s president John S. Wilson Jr. beyond June 30, 2017 and would begin a search for a new leader.

Dr. Wilson was appointed the 11th president of Morehouse College in November 2012 and took office in January 2013. Earlier, he was executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black College and Universities.

Now the college has dismissed Dr. Wilson, effectively immediately and installed William Taggart as interim president. Taggart has been serving as chief operating officer at the college since 2015. Earlier, he was president and CEO of Atlanta Life Financial Group. Prior to joining Atlanta Life Financial Group, he served as chief operating officer for the Office of Federal Student Aid.

In a statement, President Taggart said, “as an Atlanta native, I look forward to working with the entire Morehouse Community, including the Board, students, faculty, alumni and donors, to continue on our path of success and build upon Morehouse’s strong foundation and reputation of academic excellence.”

Taggart is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C. He earned an MBA at Harvard Business School.

The college also announced that board chair Robert Davidson had stepped down and was replaced by Willie Woods. Three other new board members were seated.


Comments (6)

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  1. Wiley J. Huff says:

    Perhaps a well-qualified female administrator is what is needed. Perhaps.

    • robert hunter says:

      Get a White President to attract white students. I bet Bannon would give up serving in the Trump Administration to become President Of Morehouse

  2. A M says:

    For clarity, Dr. Wilson stepped down, in unison with the board chair. He was not dismissed by the college.

  3. SM says:

    I don’t believe that Wilson voluntarily stepped down. Contract was not renewed. When will our HBCUs understand that belt tightening and fiscal responsibility are what is needed for long term survival? Here you have a President attempting to reign in unnecessary spending and he gets chastised and his contract is not renewed? While on the other hand you have the President of Howard ($1 million per year) and other HBCUs receiving salaries substantially higher than their counterparts at much larger and more conplex universities and students are not being served?
    The #1 job of a President of a university is to bring more $ into the university. Why aren’t HBCU presidents held to this same standard yet we are willing to overpay them when they aren’t doing their jobs? We need to do better or our HBCUs will die a slow death!


    I really feel that Dr. Wilson has been badly treated and not given the credit which he rightly deserves. When he became President of Moorehouse college student recruitment was down by 20%; for the past two years, student recruitment has substantially improved.

    There was a budget shortfall before Dr. Wilson arrived; and now the finances of the college are healthy.

    Under Dr. Wilson’s stewardship, one student won the prestigious Rhodes scholarship to study Computer Science at Oxford university. He was the 4th student to do so in over a hundred years of Moorehouse college history. The student is of Zimbabwean origin. And because success breeds success; there is a sizeable population of Zimbabwean students at Moorehouse. A Zimbabwean millionaire has pledged to pour millions of dollars into Moorehouse.

    All this has been done in just 4 turbulent years by Dr. Wilson. If that is not great leadership, I really don’t know what great leadership looks like.


  5. Ivory Brock says:

    Amen!!!!, Many HBCU President run their campus like a 3rd world leader. They live large. Hire their friends, administrative top heavy, faculty are under threats of firing and students under served. This is a fact.

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