St. Augustine’s Names Ward Interim President

St. Augustine’s University turned to its alumni ranks and named Everett B. Ward as its interim president on Wednesday.

Ward, who graduated from the Raleigh, N.C., university in 1982, takes over for Dianne Boardley Suber. Suber had announced earlier this month that she was retiring at the end of May but the school’s board of trustees followed up by voting her out “effective immediately.”

St. Augustine’s also has been dealing with financial strife as a result of sagging enrollment. Like many other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the school suffered as a result of changes to qualification criteria for the federal government’s Parent PLUS Loan Program that many of its students relied upon. Full-time equivalent enrollment at St. Augustine’s fell from 1,387 in fall 2012 to 1,267 last fall, when an audit showed a $3 million drop in tuition revenue.

In addition, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Atlanta-based college peer review organization, currently is reviewing the school because of its financial condition. The SACS endorsement is considered essential to an institution’s ability to receive federal funds for student aid and other programs.