Chancellor Reaves to Step Down

March 21, 2014

Donald Julian Reaves announced today that he will step down as chancellor of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) effective December 31, 2014, or thereafter when a successor is in place. 

Accompanied by his wife Deborah, Chancellor Reaves made the announcement to a gathering of university faculty, students and staff after having informed the WSSU Board of Trustees at its meeting earlier in the day. 

"At the end of December I will be in the middle of the eighth year of my five-year commitment," Reaves said jokingly.  "Seriously though, I am truly thankful to have had the opportunity to serve the University and the community and I want to thank UNC Presidents Tom Ross and Erskine Bowles for giving me the opportunity to lead this institution.  I also want to thank the members of the board of trustees with whom I have worked for their strong support, especially Board Chair Debby Miller.  I also want to salute the wonderful faculty and committed staffs who serve this institution.  For me, it has been an exceptional experience."

Chancellor Reaves said that he struggled with the decision, but beginning in late 2012 has had conversations with UNC President Ross about his desire to step down as chancellor and return to the classroom, where he began his career in higher education 37 years ago.  He will join the WSSU political science faculty as a full professor with tenure.

"Deciding to leave a job that you love is not easy," Reaves explained.  "Deborah and I have given this decision considerable thought and I have consulted widely about it.  I also went back and read the speech that I gave at my installation to determine whether I had fulfilled the promises I made then.  Though there is always work to be done, I feel that we have accomplished everything that I said and much more.  So, having built a much firmer foundation for WSSU, it seems that now is a good time to move on."

Chancellor Reaves said that his initial goals were incorporated into the University's strategic plan and that he continues to be excited about the implementation of those efforts and the results.  He is particularly proud of the improved outcomes for students, including significantly better retention and graduation results.

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