Morehouse College alumni urge board to keep its president

January 17, 2017, Atlanta: Morehouse College President John S. Wilson holds a meeting to discuss his impending departure from the college on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in Atlanta.     Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
January 17, 2017, Atlanta: Morehouse College President John S. Wilson holds a meeting to discuss his impending departure from the college on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Some Morehouse College alumni are appealing to the school’s board of trustees to reconsider its decision to let go its president in June.

More than 30 graduates, many of them attorneys, signed a letter Thursday making the case that President John S. Wilson should stay. They said Wilson during his four-year tenure has increased fundraising (doubling the total from alumni), reestablished 150 scholarships, increased student enrollment and eliminated an operating deficit of more than $10 million.

John Wilson discusses his impending departure after the board apparently votes not to renew his contract.

"We now join our voices with those stalwarts among the faculty, student body, trustees, and broader community who have issued the clarion call that Dr. Wilson's tenure should be extended, and not extinguished at this critical time. He should remain as President of Morehouse College because the objective data support this result," the three-page letter said.

Board members voted in January not to extend Wilson's contract when it expires in June. Morehouse, located near downtown Atlanta, is the nation's only historically black college and university for men.

The board has been under heavy criticism from faculty, students and some of its most prominent alumni for its vote on Wilson's contract and how it handled the situation.

The trustees have said some of its rationale for not renewing Wilson's contract must remain confidential. It has accused some faculty of sharing inaccurate information about the situation. A meeting scheduled Thursday between some faculty and an official from the college's accreditation agency was postponed due to flight cancellations stemming from Wednesday's storms throughout the southeast.

The trustees are scheduled to hold its monthly meeting, starting Friday.