Historically black Jackson State University announced that former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige will take over as interim president.
Rod Paige, a proud graduate of Jackson State, said last Thursday that he was interested in serving as interim president of his alma mater.
— Jackson State U. (@JacksonStateU) November 1, 2016
Paige, 83, was mentioned by many JSU alums and supporters that felt he would be a great asset to the development of Jackson State University. Two others were also discussed as possible choices to lead the school. Currently, JSU Provost Dr. Evelyn J. Leggette will serve as acting president until Paige’s term begins.
“On behalf of the senior leadership, alumni, faculty, staff, and students we welcome our outstanding alumnus Roderick Paige back to his ‘dear old college home’ and we look forward to working with him in his role as interim president of Jackson State University,” Leggette said in a statement, congratulating Paige.
In 2001, Paige became the nation’s seventh top U.S. education official and first African American in the role after being nominated by George W. Bush. Now Paige becomes only the fourth interim president in the history of JSU. He also served as JSU Head Coach from 1964-1968 and was inducted into the JSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
College Board officials said JSU’s reserves have decreased from $37 million to $ 4 million. Former JSU President Carolyn Meyers arrived at Jackson State in 2011, so many concerned faculty, students, and alumni believed Meyers was behind the disappearance of funds. IHL Executive Board and their audit firm looked into the matter immediately. Efforts continue in the rebuilding of JSU’s cash reserves, IHL has projected that $10 million in reserves by the end of the current fiscal year, said Meyers prior to her departure.
After the report was released in late October, Meyers in a statement to the student body discussing all that she has accomplished while at JSU. This letter was a surprise to many and some believe it was her resignation letter. She denied the rumors that she was resigning and later that next week she released her resignation later.
The letter stated that as of November 1, 2016, she will no longer be serving as President of Jackson State University.