Julianne Malveaux Quits as College President
Julianne Malveaux, the politically progressive economist and commentator, has resigned as president of Bennett College for Women "to pursue other challenges" [PDF], the college announced on Tuesday.
Malveaux, 58, has been president of the a small historically black school in Greensboro, N.C., since 2007. At the time, her move to academia was seen as a rare career move. She succeeded Johnnetta B. Cole, the widely admired former Spelman College president who joined Bennett in 2002.
While president, Malveaux continued writing her column, which was syndicated in the black press, wrote regular columns for USA Today, appeared on broadcast outlets and kept up her speaking engagements. She seemed to warm to the task of educating and molding young black women.
Malveaux said in her statement:
“Leading Bennett College has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. In my five years at the college, we have embraced Bennett’s historic commitment to create an oasis where women are educated, celebrated, and transformed into 21st century leaders and global thinkers.
"As I reflect on my accomplishments and of the college’s growth and transformation during my tenure, I realize that it is time for Bennett, and for me, to embark on a new chapter. Five years is the longest time I’ve ever held a job in my life, and while I remain committed to HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities] sand the compelling cause of access in higher education, I will actualize that commitment, now, in other arenas. I will miss Bennett College and will remain one of its most passionate advocates.”
Charles Barrentine, chair of the Board of Trustees, said in the news release:
“The Board of Trustees respects Dr. Malveaux’s desire to pursue her other interests at this time. We have been extremely fortunate to have her at the helm of Bennett College for the last five years. Given her many talents, the college has been enhanced by having Dr. Malveaux as our leader.
"Under Dr. Malveaux’s leadership the college completed an ambitious $21 million capital improvements program that renovated existing facilities and erected four new buildings – the first new construction on campus in 28 years. She increased enrollment to a historic high of more than 735 students in 2009, expanded alumnae involvement, and enhanced the curriculum with a focus on women’s leadership, entrepreneurship, excellence in communications, and global awareness.
"Also, under Dr. Malveaux’s leadership, Bennett’s accreditation has been reaffirmed through 2014 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She also created a 2020 Master Plan, which advocates, among other things, construction of a new high-tech library. Overall, Dr. Malveaux empowered the college to build on its historic legacy. In recognition of her distinguished work, she will be named President Emerita of Bennett College at the May 6 commencement.”
In June 2011, the college's accreditation was placed on a six-month probation for financial instability, but the probationary status was removed in December, according to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges.