President of Medgar Evers College Will Step Down

William L. Pollard’s four-year tenure at the predominantly Black college in Brooklyn has been turbulent.

Posted: 02/04/2013 01:44 PM EST

The president of Medgar Evers College, the largely African-American college in Brooklyn, is resigning following a tumultuous tenure that included votes of no confidence from faculty.

William L. Pollard, who came to the college in 2009, will remain at Medgar Evers until a successor is named.

Medgar Evers College, named after the famed civil rights leader, is a part of the City University of New York and its chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, released a statement lauding Pollard.

“The president has worked diligently to focus this important institution in Central Brooklyn on student-centered goals and objectives, enhancing faculty instruction in the classroom, and on utilizing the new and modern campus facilities in creative and effective ways,” Goldstein said.

Nonetheless, Pollard has been the subject of controversy since shortly after his arrival. Soon after Pollard became president, the administration decided to remove the automatic teller machines of the Carver Federal Savings Bank, a Black institution, and replace them with Citibank machines.

Another controversial move was Pollard’s decision to end the school’s relationship with its Center For NuLeadership, which assisted former prisoners in their quest to attend college. The school was criticized for hesitating to approve a $2.4 million grant proposal that would have assisted in educating nonviolent drug offenders.

Late last year, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education issued a warning, saying that the college’s accreditation was in jeopardy. On two occasions since Pollard’s arrival, the faculty held a vote of no confidence against Pollard and his administration. These followed a walkout by students who called for the resignation of the school’s president and provost, who is a close confidant of Pollard.

Between 2002 and 2007, Pollard served as president of the University of the District of Columbia, a historically Black college. Immediately before joining Medgar Evers College, he was vice president of the National Association for State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

The reporter was a senior fellow at the school’s DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy from 2009 to 2011.


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(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

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