Former Congressman Named Interim President at WilberforceWILBERFORCE, Ohio
A former congressman has agreed to serve as president of Wilberforce University for one year while school officials search for a permanent successor to retiring president John Henderson.
The interim appointment of the Rev. Floyd Flake, 56, of New York City, was announced late last month. Flake, a Wilberforce graduate and pastor of Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in New York, represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 1997.
John Walker, chairman of the Wilberforce Board of Trustees, says Flake’s appointment will allow the board to conduct a thorough search for a replacement for Henderson, who will retire June 30. Henderson, 70, became president of the nation’s oldest, historically Black private university in 1988.
Flake, who also serves as president of the charter school division of Edison Schools Inc., will only be on the Wilberforce campus two or three times a week but will have the full powers of the presidency after his appointment begins July 1, said Walker.
About 1,000 students attend Wilberforce University in this city about 15 miles east of Dayton.
Flake will not be a candidate for the permanent position, Walker says.
“He’s what we need at this particular time at Wilberforce,” says Walker. “But we know it won’t be forever.”
Flake’s national contacts and fund-raising abilities help make him an ideal short-term president, Walker said.
Flake graduated from Wilberforce in 1968 and went on to earn a doctor of ministry degree at United Theological Seminary in Dayton. He was a candidate to become education secretary for President Bush in 2000 before removing his name from consideration.
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