Dr. John S. Wilson Jr. has an outstanding resume. So much so that he was headhunted after a rigorous nationwide search to take on the role as president of Morehouse College.
Wilson, who officially started his new job this week, has an exciting and challenging task ahead of him as Morehouse and other HBCUs struggle to remain relevant and financially viable in a more competitive higher education environment.
“It is clear across all higher education establishments that the current financial model is unsustainable,” says Wilson in his first print or online media interview since taking office. “HBCU’s are no different. It’s incumbent upon leadership to figure out ways to be innovative and creative when it comes to our financial models.”
Indeed, the financial recession is still taking its toll on U.S. higher education. HBCUs, for the most part, have faced greater challenges than predominately White institutions, from dwindling enrollment rates to competition from cheaper online colleges.
Therefore, Wilson says his short-term goal for the prestigious all-male liberal arts college is to stabilize the campus and strengthen the infrastructure.
For the future, he plans to “vigorously pursue capital preeminence” such as state-of the-art infrastructure. He also wants to focus on “character preeminence,” which he says is “not just educating smart people but educating and graduating good people as well.”