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2 LU presidential candidates to be introduced this week

2 LU presidential candidates to be introduced this week

February 20th, 2018 by Bob Watson in News

The two finalists for Lincoln University's vacant presidency — William E. Hudson Jr., left, and Jerald Jones Woolfolk — will have a chance to answer questions this week about themselves, their work and their vision for Lincoln.

Photo by Submitted

The two finalists for Lincoln University's vacant presidency will have a chance to answer questions this week about themselves, their work and their vision for Lincoln.

William E. Hudson Jr., currently vice president of Student Affairs at Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, will be in Jefferson City on Wednesday.

And Jerald Jones Woolfolk, currently vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management with the State University of New York (SUNY) at its Oswego campus, will visit Thursday.

LU officials set the same schedule for both visits, including a general public session from 7:30-9 a.m., during a breakfast hosted by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce in the Presidential Suite at The Linc, 1299 Lafayette St.

Both candidates will be interviewed by Lincoln's curators during a working luncheon from 12:15-1:30 p.m. in the board room, 201 Young Hall. That meeting will be closed to the public.

After meeting each candidate, members of the Lincoln community are asked to fill out online surveys about the candidates.

Hudson's survey can be found at

Woolfolk's survey can be at

Some present or former LU faculty members have privately suggested the presidential search committee seek more applicants.

Curator Winston Rutledge, one of the committee's co-chairs, said Monday that "everybody's entitled to their opinion."

Hudson has spent his higher education career in Tallahassee, either at Florida A&M (commonly called FAMU) or across town at Florida State University.

He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degree in guidance and counseling from Florida A&M.

He earned his education specialist degree and doctorate in rehabilitation counseling from Florida State.

Hudson has taught and been an administrator at both schools.

Before becoming Florida A&M's vice president for Student Affairs, he was the school's director of university retention and associate director for academic programs.

Last March, he was one of the FAMU leaders involved in urging Florida lawmakers to provide additional funding for mental health programs, counseling, security services and related research on college campuses.

Hudson has also been involved in working on a new Student Affairs Building to be opened next year, which he called "a necessary
student-centered approach that enhances and modernizes the campus experience, which improves persistence to graduation."

In an online letter to A&M students, Hudson noted: "The FAMU experience is designed to expand your personal and educational interest, opening your mind to different ideas and cultures."

Woolfolk has previously been an unsuccessful candidate for the chancellor's post at the University of Tennessee Martin, and for the president's job at Grambling University in Louisiana — both in 2016.

In Tennessee, the Jackson Sun newspaper reported, Woolfolk said her role in higher education isn't just a job, but a calling.

"If this little girl from Leland, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta — one of the most impoverished areas of the country — can do this, then anybody can," Woolfolk told a public forum of that school's faculty, staff and students, the Jackson Sun reported. "I have committed my career to ensuring that students are successful. That's who I am."

Last December, Woolfolk was one of two winners of the SUNY statewide Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Award "for institutional efforts to make the college a welcoming, supportive and inclusive place for all," SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said.

Woolfolk also won an individual award recognizing her "leadership in the sustained effort to ensure the college embraces all, including members of traditionally underrepresented groups," a SUNY news release said.

She has been SUNY Oswego's vice president of student affairs and enrollment management since 2014, as well as serving as a visiting associate professor and the interim chief diversity and inclusion officer.

Her biography on SUNY Oswego's web page said Woolfolk "has over 30 years of experience in higher education gained at institutions across the country," including serving as dean of students at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff; vice president for student affairs at City University of New York's College of Staten Island; and as vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi.

Woolfolk earned her doctorate in urban higher education at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, where she also earned her bachelor's degree in psychology.

Her master's degree in counselor education was earned at Iowa State University, Ames.