Morehouse alumni start petition to fire college’s president

Morehouse College President John Wilson Jr. (AJC FILE PHOTO)

Morehouse College President John Wilson Jr. (AJC FILE PHOTO)

Someone has a bone to pick with Morehouse College’s current leadership.

An online petition addressed to the college's Board of Trustees asks that President John Wilson Jr. and his senior team be terminated.

A poster only known as “Morehouse Alumni” wrote alienation of the school’s graduates was among the top concerns.

“Since the installment of President Wilson, the alumni have felt largely disconnected from the happenings at Morehouse,” the petition states. “With limited transparency and even less access, the Wilson administration has strategically manipulated the narratives of their success.”

From the petition:

Wilson has alienated the alumni, which is visible by the lower than average numbers of alumni interaction with College and financial contributions. Customarily, the Morehouse Magazine would be where alumni would find information and explanations for items such as the uptick & exceptionally high acceptance rate of 76%, our Moody credit rating drops, our US News Rankings fall to #159, alongside our HBCU Digest rating drop to #4, and our Wall Street Journal drop to #140. All of these occurrences have happened on Wilson’s watch and has compounded the weakening of the Morehouse reputation and status and created the current tense negative alumni sentiments in regards to President Wilson.

From the student side, we have seen his decree dissolve the Hopps Scholars Program, with fully-funded scholarships by the United States Department of Defense, which funded 186 scholars with 100 of the Hopps Scholars obtaining doctoral degrees. Adding insult to injury, President Wilson and Provost Garikai Campbell have actively refocused on STEM by the demolition of health professions programming, which has historically sent significant numbers of students to medical and dental schools. In addition, students have been obligated to live on campus beyond their freshman year and rack up more charges in room & board fees. We understand this measure as reallocating the school’s financial burdens onto the backs of parents and students to be unethical.

Cathy Tyler, the college’s executive director in the officer of strategic communications, said Friday in a statement that Wilson “has poured nothing less than hard work and dedication into stabilizing this great institution.” She mentioned enrollment has leveled following eight consecutive years of losses, increased alumni engagement, noting a donations from them have more than doubled in the last four years.

“His work ethic is rooted in his love for Morehouse College,” she said.

Last month, U.S. News and World Report listed Morehouse College among the best Historically Black Colleges and Universities.