William Peace U. President to Retire

October 14, 2014

The president of William Peace University in North Carolina plans to retire next summer after a tumultuous time in office. President Debra Townsley, who came to Peace from Nichols College in Massachusetts, helped make several major and controversial decisions. During her tenure, the college began admitting male students, changed its name and decided to invest one-third of its endowment in a nearby shopping center. Students have criticized her tenure -- a local newspaper took a picture of two students tossing roses into a campus fountain in celebration of Townsley's departure -- and so have faculty. While the influx of male students helped grow enrollment, her administration also got rid of faculty and prompted professors to write a letter to the university's board complaining about everything from staff turnover to lower graduation rates to spiders

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