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The Wilberforce University Faculty Association unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in President Elfred Pinkard, Chief Financial Officer William Woodson and Mark Wilson, chair of the Board of Trustees, two weeks ago, the association announced in a statement Thursday. The group also called on all three officials to resign.

Faculty members are concerned about past compliance issues with the Higher Learning Commission, Wilberforce’s accreditor, and cited eroding shared governance, declining student success, the elimination of some academic programs and poor budget and fiscal management as reasons for their vote of no confidence.

“Faculty assert that without a change of leadership, many of the reoccurring issues facing the university, such as its failure to meet forecasted enrollments, academic and programmatic goals, and a data-driven structure to enhance decision-making and operational efficiency, will persist and become even more problematic for continued accreditation,” faculty leaders wrote in a press release.

University officials disagree with the picture the faculty has painted.

“The recent media release of a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the University, notably, the Board Chairman, President and Chief Financial Officer was not approved, supported, nor endorsed by the Board of Trustees and contained misinformation and untruths,” Marsha Bonhart, a spokesperson for the university, wrote in a statement.

The university is financially strong, Bonhart said. Wilberforce has reduced its balance sheet liabilities by 66 percent since fiscal year 2017. The Higher Learning Commission placed Wilberforce on probation in 2019 after the university failed to meet several accreditation standards, but the agency lifted that designation in 2021.

“The overwhelming majority of the Board of Trustees fully and emphatically supports the leadership of its Board Chairman, Mark Wilson, the University President Elfred Anthony Pinkard, and the Chief Financial Officer, William Woodson,” Bonhart wrote. “It should be noted that this action was led by a long-serving faculty member with a history of opposition to the last four Wilberforce University presidents and one Board member who has openly defied the actions of the full Board of Trustees and the recommendations of the University’s counsel.”