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Alcorn State president ousted, IHL names interim replacement

Alcorn State
Photo courtesy of Alcorn State University

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) has approved changes in the presidential leadership at Alcorn State University.

Dr. Ontario S. Wooden, who currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, will begin serving as interim president effective immediately.

Wooden replaces Dr. Felecia Nave, who has served as the 20th President of Alcorn State University since 2019. Nave was the first female president in school history.

“The Board wishes Dr. Nave well as she pursues new opportunities,” IHL Board of Trustees President Tom Duff said.

Wooden began his tenure as provost and senior vice president of academic affairs in 2020. In this role, he has overseen effective delivery of academic and student support services across the campus which includes management and oversight of all academic schools, the registrar, research and graduate studies, 1890 research/extension, library, institutional research and institutional effectiveness and assessment/accreditation.

“We appreciate Dr. Wooden’s willingness to take on the role of interim president,” Duff continued. “He has a keen understanding of the challenges in higher education and we are confident he is well-prepared to lead Alcorn State University at this time.”

Prior to joining Alcorn State University, Wooden served as associate vice chancellor for student success and academic outreach at North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

In 12 years at NCCU, he provided leadership in multiple positions including associate vice president for Innovative, Engaged, and Global Education; interim associate dean of the School of Education; and associate professor of education.

Dr. Wooden earned a master’s and a doctorate in higher education from Indiana University Bloomington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Albany State University.

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