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Oswald Bronson Named Interim President of Edward Waters College

Oswald Bronson Named Interim President of Edward Waters College

Dr. Oswald P. Bronson, who served 29 years as president of Bethune-Cookman College, was named last month as interim president of struggling   Edward Waters College.

Bronson, 77, began work at the historically Black college and replaced former President Jimmy Jenkins, who resigned recently in the midst of a plagiarism scandal that cost the private school its accreditation.

Bronson, who retired at Bethune-Cookman last year, is credited with doubling the enrollment of the Daytona Beach college to about 2,800 students. While he was at the helm, the school’s endowment rose from $1.2 million to $25 million and its total operating budget increased from $6 million to over $45 million.

“We are excited and encouraged to have been able to attract Dr. Bronson,” said chairman of the board of trustees, Bishop McKinley Young. “He brings vision, stability, leadership and proven integrity to EWC along with the highest academic credentials. Dr. Bronson is convinced EWC is poised to do great things.”

Bronson is expected to serve as president for about six months while a national search is conducted for a permanent replacement.

Jenkins said in his resignation statement that he wanted to give the private Jacksonville college its best shot at successfully appealing the decision to revoke its accreditation. The Southern Association of Colleges voted to drop EWC’s accreditation in December after it was discovered that the college had copied part of its accreditation documentation from another school’s application.

College officials were set to appeal the association’s decision at a hearing Feb. 22 in Atlanta.

The uncertainty about the school’s future has caused the second semester enrollment to drop from about 1,300 students to 900.

Edward Waters College, established in 1866 to educate the descendants of newly emancipated Blacks, is a private four-year liberal arts  institution with close ties to the African Methodist Church. 

—  Associated Press

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