Morehouse College officials launched a national search for a new chief executive Tuesday, a day after school president Robert M. Franklin announced that he is stepping down from his leadership post when his contract ends June 30.

Board of Trustees president Robert Davidson said Tuesday that no names have yet surfaced to succeed Franklin, who has headed the all-male institution for the last five years.

“We are in the process of forming a search committee to perform a rigorous search for someone who embodies the core values of Morehouse,” said Davidson, a 1967 graduate of the college.

“In the evolution of Morehouse, we want to remain one of the premier institutions in the country,” he added.

Davidson and other college officials praised Franklin for helping to renew the college’s commitment to academic vigor, for doubling alumni donations and for generating more than $90 million in support of the college.

“Robert has led by example, dedicating a substantial portion of his time to community service, which is one of the core values that Morehouse seeks to instill in each and every one of its students,” Davidson said. “We will miss him as the board endeavors to find a replacement who will help to usher the college into a new era.”

While officials were publicly praising Franklin for his leadership, however, college insiders say Franklin was coming under increased scrutiny from board members and influential alumni for poor management decisions that led to a series of fiscal challenges – some say fiascos – at the school.

In an interview with The Atlanta Voice this week, Franklin and Davidson declined to comment about speculation that board members – weary of poor leadership decisions – forced Franklin to step down.

“We have a strict policy that we cannot talk about the financial matters of our staff or the college,” Franklin said. “But I can assure you that Morehouse is operating strongly at this time.”

Read more at Black Voice News.