Midtown Raleigh News

Shaw University looks for a new president

Dorothy Yancy, president of Shaw University, is retiring after two terms at the helm of the private university in downtown Raleigh.

Shaw had called on Yancy twice to provide stability during a management crisis and rapid turnover at the top. In her first stint as interim president, following the abrupt departure of Clarence Newsome in 2009, she worked to stabilize the university’s shaky financial state with a $31 million federal loan, which allowed Shaw to restructure its debt.

In 2011, Yancy returned to campus after former President Irma McClaurin was pushed out after less than a year on the job. Yancy arrived as the university was trying to recover from a devastating tornado that tore through the campus, causing nearly $4 million in damage.

Before coming to Shaw, Yancy had been president at Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black school in Charlotte, for 14 years. She signed a two-year contract in 2011, but trustees had said they wanted her to stay longer.

“While there is always more to do, I am proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure at Shaw,” Yancy said in a statement. “It has been a pleasure to serve this great university, and I am confident that our students, faculty, staff, alumni and Board of Trustees will continue Shaw’s historic legacy of academic excellence and civic engagement.”

Shaw became the first historically black college in the South when it was founded in 1865. The school now has more than 2,100 students in more than 30 degree programs, including graduate programs in divinity, religious education and early childhood education.

Shaw has already launched a process to find Yancy’s successor. A search committee of trustees, students, faculty, staff and community leaders held its kickoff meeting Friday. The committee will be led by David C. Forbes Sr., a Shaw trustee.

A university spokeswoman, Odessa Hines, said Yancy was unavailable for comment Monday. Her retirement date has not been set yet, and Yancy will continue to work on projects as the search for her successor is underway.

Shaw is undergoing a regular accreditation review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Hines said the university is waiting for the final results of that review.