Shaw University has named a longtime professor and dean as acting president while it continues the search for a permanent successor to Dorothy Yancy, who retired on Tuesday.
Gaddis Faulcon became acting president on Jan. 1, the school announced Thursday. He had been dean of Shaw’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies and an associate professor of public administration.
The Board of Trustees’ executive committee met on Monday to appoint Faulcon. The board’s rules stipulate that Faulcon, as acting president, will not be eligible to apply for the permanent job, the announcement noted.
Faulcon, who joined the faculty at Shaw in 1998, has 25 years of experience in higher education and has previously served in administrative roles. He was vice president for student affairs at St. Augustine’s University and acting executive director for Northeastern North Carolina Tomorrow Inc. at Elizabeth City State University. He earned his undergraduate degree at St. Aug’s and holds master’s and doctoral degrees from N.C. State University.
In September, Yancy announced that she would step down after two terms at the helm of Shaw, a private university in downtown Raleigh.
At that time, the university’s Board of Trustees began a search for her replacement. Apparently that process has been slow. A Shaw spokeswoman said Thursday that the search committee had met several times and had crafted a description of the position.
It’s unclear how long the process might take. In Thursday’s announcement, the university gave no timetable for Faulcon’s service, but said his appointment would continue “until the national search for a permanent president is completed.”
In the university’s news release, Board of Trustees Chairman Joseph Bell said that Faulcon had a proven record after 15 years at Shaw.
“We are confident that the University will continue to flourish and advance under his leadership,” Bell said in the release.
The university has faced management challenges in recent years. Yancy became interim leader of Shaw in 2009 after the departure of Clarence Newsome as president. A former president of Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, Yancy worked to obtain a $31 million federal loan to shore up the university’s finances and restructure its debt.
Irma McClaurin later became the permanent president but lasted less than a year on the job. Yancy returned as president in 2011, just as the campus was recovering from a tornado that caused $4 million in damage.
The university cleared a big hurdle last month when its accreditation was reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges. The re-accreditation process is an intensive review of a university’s academic and financial condition, and the reaffirmation extends for 10 years.
Shaw was founded in 1865 as the first historically black college in the South. The university now has more than 2,100 students in more than 30 degree programs.