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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Flake to step down as Wilberforce president

Wilberforce University President Floyd Flake has resigned from the university, effective June 30, the university announced Friday.

Flake, president since 2002, announced his resignation in an e-mail sent to faculty and staff Thursday.
"It is with a profound sense of joy and reservation that I hereby tender my resignation as the 18th president of Wilberforce University," Flake wrote.

"I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Wilberforce University," he continued. "As both an alumnus and as president, I am richer as a result of interactions with students and nurturing faculty members who provided me the tools for success in life."

Flake, an ex-Congressman, is widely credited with pulling the school out of financial emergency when he joined the historically black college six years ago.

But he came under fire last year when the faculty voted no confidence in him in March, saying he was "rarely present on campus."

Flake commutes two days a week to Wilberforce from his home in Queens, N.Y., where he is pastor of the Greater Allen A.M.E Cathedral, one of the largest churches in New York with 23,000 members.

In response to the faculty's charge, he said he was hired to raise money through his political connections and turn around the financially ailing institution.

"You can't raise money in any better place than New York," he told the Dayton Daily News in an October interview. "I indicated I could only be here about two days a week, and no one ever thought differently."

Flake, who is paid $210,000 a year at Wilberforce, served in U.S House of Representatives from 1987 to 1997, representing his Queens district.

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