A Change in Leadership at Fisk University in Nashville

H.-James-WilliamsFisk University, the highly regarded historically Black educational institution in Nashville, Tennessee, has announced that H. James Williams has resigned as president of the university. The chair of the university’s board of trustee told The Tennessean that “we had some differences of opinion and the board wanted to move in a different direction in some areas.”

Dr. Williams has served as the 15th president of Fisk University since February 2013. Before becoming president of Fisk, Dr. Williams served as dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He has taught at Georgetown University, Florida A&M University, and Texas Southern University.

A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Dr. Williams is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham. He holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, two law degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center, and a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Georgia.

SimsThe board of trustees has named Frank L. Sims as interim president of Fisk University. Sims has been a member of the board of trustees for three years. He is past chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Sims had a 36-year career at Cargill Inc. serving in a number of different roles including president of the North American grain division and as corporate vice president. He is a graduate of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas, where he majored in business administration.

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  1. When will Fisk and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities be able to keep their presidents and chancellors for a respectable length of time? HBCUs are becoming like Black Baptist Churches–they are changing chief administrators about as often as most people change underwear.

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