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The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

Johnson C. Smith University President Ronald Carter to leave
Announces intent to step aside June 30
 
Published Monday, August 1, 2016 6:00 pm
by Herbert L. White

PHOTO/PAUL WILLIAMS III
Johnson C. Smith University President Ronald Carter, signs a steel beam to go atop the new science building in 2014. Carter, JCSU's president since 2008, tendered his resignation effective June 30, 2017.

Johnson C. Smith University President Ronald Carter, who redefined the school’s mission beyond academics, is stepping down next year.


Carter, who has led the school since 2008, is leaving June 30, 2017 after transforming JCSU into a powerhouse in Historic West End’s development by building bridges outside its traditional mission.


“There is no doubt in my mind that this is the turning-point time for me to make room for a successor to look well to the growing edge of this historic institution with a new strategic plan in mind to move the university to another fertile plateau,” Carter wrote in a letter to alumni Monday.


JCSU moved its footprint beyond the Beatties Ford Road campus with its partnership in Mosaic Village, a student housing complex, as well as the Arts Factory, a facility for visual, communication and performing arts that opened in 2010. The facilities helped spark long-term investments in the Beatties Ford Road Corridor, which has historically lagged in business and housing development.


“He has delivered on that,” Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan said at the Arts Factory opening. …“He has been a strong voice for the question of whether Charlotte is inclusive to small business, to minority businesses. He’s been a leading voice in raising that issue, he’s been a leading voice in facilitating that dialogue.”


JCSU board of trustees Chair Shirley J. Hughes praised Carter’s achievements, saying he accomplished the mission of reinventing the school. The school added on-campus master’s programs for the first time since the 1960s as well as Metropolitan College, a degree program for working professionals.


“We are grateful for the visionary leadership and collaboration Dr. Carter has provided to Johnson C. Smith University through extraordinary times and for his willingness to see us through our search for his successor,” said Hughes, who was a member of the selection committee that picked Carter in a national search. “We hired him to serve as a change agent to forge a radical transformation and prepare us for the new realities all colleges are facing – and he has not only succeeded but actually exceeded our goals.”


Among Carter’s achievements is the construction of a $26 million on-campus science center and a $150 million fundraising campaign to coincide with JCSU’s 150th anniversary. He’s also initiated or strengthened partnerships with the Duke Endowment and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as pushing Charlotte leaders to build a streetcar in Historic West End.


Carter boosted JCSU’s endowment from $47 million in 2008 to $64 million despite changes forced by the 2009 recession, changes to federal student aid that forced 300 students to drop out, part of a crisis that hit historically black college especially hard.


“Dr. Carter was the perfect person to lead us through a period of radical transformation that the Board felt was crucial and outlined nearly a decade ago,” said Monroe Miller, JCSU’s immediate past trustees chairman. “Under Dr. Carter’s leadership, JCSU has put exciting and ambitious changes in place that will ensure a positive legacy as the university builds on these initiatives to ensure that JCSU thrives for another 150 years.”


Some of Carter’s initiatives have drawn criticism. Former trustee Talmadge Fair, a 1961 JCSU graduate, launched a vote of no-confidence petition last year to force the school to reveal the school’s finances and academics. Fair said Carter and Miller stonewalled his inquiries in board meetings and later in private inquiries.


“I think such a discussion is warranted in the community as it relates to black colleges,” Fair said in an October interview.


Carter was slammed for recruiting students outside the traditional pool of African Americans, which critics contended was an attempt to mainstream the school. JCSU also boosted freshman entrance standards to an SAT score of 800 and high school grade point average of 2.5, which narrowed the pool of potential students but Carter, who graduated Morehouse College despite a 726 SAT score, said the goal is to attract motivated students who will push themselves to succeed.


“The goal is to not just get a number of students through the front door,” he said in a 2010 interview with The Post. “My concern is I don’t want them going out the back door with no degree and a sense of failure. I want them to turn right around and leave this institution with a degree and they have a great sense of self-esteem about their degree and how to apply it. We had to say to ourselves first that Smith is not for everybody, any more than any other institution is for everybody. We have a particular focus, a particular expectation and teaching and learning and we want these students to come here and to thrive.”

Comments

Please do not bring back Dr. Yancey, ever.
Posted on August 8, 2016
 
Bring back Dr. Yancy immediately!
Posted on August 1, 2016
 

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