“You have to speak in terms of financial strength first, because small liberal arts colleges are all challenged to make ends meet every year,” Wilson said.The financial changes had a real impact, of course.He took criticism for being unable to reverse a recent history of falling enrollment at Morehouse.And he found himself the target of alumni and other critics, some of whom circulated a well-publicized petition in October calling for his ouster while listing alleged grievances including limited transparency, continual financial issues and turnover among faculty and staff.
“I’ve been in higher education my entire career, and I understand very clearly that every president serves at the will of the board, and sometimes you get a clear and immediate explanation, and sometimes you don’t,” Wilson said in an interview Tuesday.
It fell from 2,900 in 2007 to 2,200 in 2014, he told the .
Federal data listed undergraduate enrollment at 2,167 in the fall of 2015, the most recent data available.
Students and faculty members took issue with the way trustees reached their decision, objecting to the fact that student and faculty trustees were shut out of the decision-making process.
Meanwhile, those who watch historically black colleges voiced concern that Wilson’s firing is a reflection of the uniquely high pressures that contribute to high turnover among the ranks of HBCU leaders.