The Delaware State University Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Wilma Mishoe as the interim University president, Dr. Devona Williams as the board’s interim chairwoman and John Ridgeway as interim vice chair. Those interim leadership responsibilities will commence when current DSU President Harry L. Williams leaves the institution in January to become the CEO/president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Delaware State University’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to elect Chairwoman Dr. Wilma Mishoe as Interim President of the University, and Vice Chairwoman Dr. Devona Williams as Interim Board Chair while the University searches for its next president.
The changes will be effective on January 25, 2018, when current President Dr. Harry Williams moves from his post to become the President of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
In August, Mishoe and D. Williams were named the first-ever board chairwoman and vice chairwoman respectively in the university’s 126-year history.
Mishoe said, “Our priority is to keep the University moving forward with an intentional focus on student success. Under Dr. Harry Williams’ leadership, Delaware State University grew boldly and became one of the premier institutions of our kind in the nation. That momentum must continue; standing still while we search for our next great leader is not an option. We have to keep innovating and improving.”
This is the second time that Mishoe has stepped away from a university board to serve as acting president. After 11 years on the board of Wilberforce University, she was selected as Acting President in 2014. She brought into the president’s office 35 years as a higher education administrator, mostly at Delaware Technical Community College, from which she retired in 2010, but also at Wilmington College, now Wilmington University from 1975-1980.
She is the daughter of the late Dr. Luna Mishoe, DSU’s longest-serving chief executive, who led then-Delaware State College from 1960-1987.
Devona Williams, who takes over as interim board chairwoman, has been a member of the Board of Trustees since her early 2012 appointment by then-Gov. Jack Markell. She is the founder of Goeins-Williams Associates, a 27-year management-consulting group, and has been a part of the growth of DSU’s College of Business and international programs.
The board also named Mr. John Ridgeway as Second Vice Chair.A Trustee since June 2016, Ridgeway is the corporate manager of Toyota’s Eastern Territory Service Center, which is based in Owings Mills, Md. He is also a Class of 1975 DSU alumnus.
A Presidential Search Committee is anticipated to be named in the coming weeks and will include a wide variety of university stakeholders. Work will begin in January.