Fayetteville State University’s new chancellor should be fundraiser and visible in the community, residents say
Interim chancellor Peggy Valentine is among the possible candidates to replace James Anderson
John Henderson | The Fayetteville Observer
Fayetteville State University’s new chancellor should be a visionary, a good fundraiser, have knowledge of incoming trends and be visible in the community, residents said at a forum put on by the university that is part of the search for a new leader of the university.
The forum broadcast remotely on Zoom on Thursday night is one of several the university is holding to find a full-time chancellor. In July of last year, North Carolina System Interim President Bill Roper announced the appointment of Peggy Valentine as interim chancellor of FSU. She was the dean of the School of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University. Valentine, who has said she is considering applying to become the permanent chancellor, started after James Anderson in June stepped down from the chancellorship, a job he had held since 2008.
Anderson, who was 70 when he stepped down, said he wanted to spend more time with his children and grandchildren and he felt the timing was right to leave office. He is now teaching psychology.
As part of the chancellor selection process, forums are being held with different groups to get their input on the type of chancellor they would like hired. Forums have so far been held with faculty, staff and alumni. A forum to get student input is scheduled for Aug. 12. Thursday’s forum was to get the general community input into the chancellor search. The event was moderated by Dr. Roxie Wells, who is an FSU graduate and is president of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
She said all of the feedback from constituents will be used to develop a “chancellor leadership statement” that will be part of advertising for the position, which will happen in August or September.
Applications for the job are being taken in October and November. Jerial Bogan said at Thursday night’s forum that she would like to see a chancellor who is “engaging and visual in the community, someone who develops relationships with all constituent groups.” “In order for the community to support the university, most of the time they want to see the leadership visible in the community and develop relationships with different organizations or with different people,” she said. Delma Jackson said she’d like to see a visionary chancellor “with a proven record of advancing the complex corridors of academia into the future.” Another woman who identified herself by her first name only, Kenjuana, said she wants to see a chancellor connected to the alumni.
“I would like to see the chancellor be more involved and connect more with the alumni so that the alumni can help the institution meet the goals that they are trying to meet,” she said. She said the chancellor should introduce new graduate and doctoral degree programs that are connected to “what’s trending in our society.” “Not what has been, but actually developing and implementing programs and different things for the institution that is futuristic,” she said. “And I do like them having a proven track record of doing that. It’s not just all talk. They can actually come and advance the institution.” Asked by Wells what the top priorities should be for the incoming chancellor, Jackson, a retired educator, replied that “knowledge of incoming trends in education, technology and international linkages” are among them.
“We need to think about where our students are going to fit in as the world develops with this technology with travel, with health issues,” she said. “How are we going to educate them as leaders or participants? And in what areas?” Queen Degraphen said the new chancellor should be a good fundraiser. Degraphen said it seems that over the years FSU, along with many other historically black colleges, has fallen short on fundraising. “You have to maintain these 20- and 25-year relationships with certain donors, be they individual, be they corporate, or whatever,” she said. Degraphen said she is not blaming anyone for FSU’s funding shortfalls but “I just know a long-term strategy needs to be laid out for ongoing giving to the university.”
“These relationships with donors have to be cultivated and maintained over a long period of time,” she said. Fayetteville State University board of trustees Chairman Stuart Augustine, who heads up an 17-person search committee, said Thursday before the meeting that the hope is to have a permanent chancellor in place by the end of the calendar year. “We want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to get some feedback and have a say in the matter, and then we have to go through the publication of the posting and start getting the applications and filtering through those,” he said. The university’s board of trustees will submit a list of two or three candidates it would like to see hired, in no ranking, and send them to the UNC System president, who will be Peter Hans effective Saturday.
The UNC System president picks the new chancellor subject to the approval of the Board of Governors. However, Hans is advocating a controversial change to the UNC System chancellor search process that would allow the president to bypass the trustees’ recommended picks and insert his own finalists for chancellor positions.