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story.lead_photo.caption Jerald Jones Woolfolk is seated in her president of Lincoln University office for an interview. Woolfolk was inaugurated Friday, Oct. 6, 2018, as the 20th president of Lincoln University in a ceremony at Mitchell Auditorium. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Lincoln University President Jerald Woolfolk will be leaving the university at the end of the 2020-21 academic year, LU announced Sunday.

In a Lincoln news release, Woolfolk said it has been a pleasure to lead Lincoln University for the past three years.

"I have been away from my family for many years, and it is time for me to return home," she said.

She thanked the LU community for allowing her to lead "this great, historic university."

"It is with great sadness that I announced my departure from a university and community that I love," she said. "It has been my honor and privilege to serve as its 20th president. We have accomplished much together. The university has strong momentum going forward, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with our staff, students, faculty and the community."

In the news release, LU Board of Curators President Victor Pasley said the board is grateful for Woolfolk's "leadership, dedication, and contribution to Lincoln University and wishes her the best."

"Dr. Woolfolk created new and innovative opportunities for our students, elevated Lincoln University's successes in the public eye and led the university through the immense challenges of a global pandemic," he said.

During Woolfolk's tenure, the university raised a record $2.3 million in one year, safely and successfully held in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and started LU's Law Enforcement Training Academy — the first law enforcement academy in the country to be based at a historically Black college or university.

Pasley said the board will "name an interim president while conducting a nationwide search" for Woolfolk's successor, according to the news release.

The Board of Curators will meet in closed session at 2 p.m. Monday to review "personnel records, performance ratings, or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment," according to the meeting agenda.

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