Andrew Hugine, Jr., former president of South Carolina State University, will become the 11th president of Alabama A&M University.
The seasoned administrator successfully fielded board questions pertaining to his leadership philosophy, politics in higher education, athletics and several other concerns prior to the Board of Trustee’s shift to executive session following an already six-hour meeting.
In order to deal with AAMU challenges and traditions, Hugine said he would practice shared governance by pulling together the school’s stakeholders “to conduct a critical review of where the University is strategically.” He also expressed confidence that AAMU will soundly deal with the issues that led to its placement on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
“We must have priorities,” he said. “We cannot be everything to everybody.”
While at SCSU, Hugine made huge gains in enrollment, fundraising, and construction. Many SCSU supporters believe he was fired in retaliation for fighting back against micromanaging Board of Trustees members.
The AAMU community rallied behind Hugine despite rampant rumors that an influential trustee wanted Lawrence Davenport. During an interview, Davenport told AAMU’s search committee that he was willing to sign a lifetime contract with AAMU. But shortly after that statement, he took a job as head (principal) of a Rhode Island charter school.
Faculty members circulated a petition against Davenport’s candidacy and openly expressed their anger to the media.