Dr. LeVon E. Wilson, chairman of the Bulloch County Board of Education and through last semester professor of legal studies at Georgia Southern University, has a new job, as the associate provost of Clark Atlanta University.
An announcement of Wilson’s hiring on Clark Atlanta’s website states that it was originally posted Oct. 12 and last updated Nov. 13. In a phone interview Tuesday, Wilson said he has been transitioning into the Atlanta post while also completing his duties at Georgia Southern, from which he retires Jan. 1. He said he will remain a Statesboro resident, and for now a Board of Education member.
As associate provost, he will oversee Clark Atlanta University’s enrollment management and work closely with the university’s leadership on academic policy, strategic direction and resource planning, the announcement said.
“I am honored to become part of the leadership team of such a historic university,” Wilson was quoted in CAU’s announcement. “The opportunity to be a key player in mobilizing for the future is one that allows me to employ my experiences toward positively impacting the lives of our next generation of scholars, researchers and activists.”
Clark Atlanta University is a private university, self-described as historically black and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. CAU was formed in 1988 by the consolidation of Clark College, which was established in 1869, and Atlanta University, founded in 1865.
Clark Atlanta’s recent undergraduate enrollment is listed as 2,567 by both Collegedata.com and U.S. News & World Report. Total 2014-15 enrollment, including graduate students, was 3,485, according to the CAU website.
Wilson was selected from a nationwide pool of candidates, according to the university’s statement. The associate provost reports to the university’s provost, who is also vice president for academic affairs. But new Clark Atlanta University President Ronald A. Johnson announced the selection of Wilson.
Johnson, who was hired in March and took office July 1, invited Wilson to become part of a team trying to steer the university out of a difficult period, Wilson said. As reported by Atlanta news organizations, CAU has seen some enrollment declines, missed some growth targets and experienced related financial problems during the past decade.
“Over the last several years it has declined in some respects, and the new president there asked me to join his executive team for the purpose of trying to see if we can get that institution back on track,” Wilson said. “That is the primary motivation for me to assist in that process.”
Improving enrollment, Wilson confirmed, will be central to his responsibilities.
Wilson has both a juris doctor degree as a lawyer and an education doctorate. He received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Western Carolina University, the J.D. degree at North Carolina Central University School of Law, and the Ed.D. in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University.
As a lawyer, he is a member of both the Georgia and North Carolina bar associations, in addition to those of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, the U.S. Tax Court, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, the Clark Atlanta announcement states.
He has taught legal studies at Georgia Southern University for 10½ years and before that taught, and chaired a department, for about 14 years at Western Carolina University. He declined to give his age, but described his departure from Georgia Southern as a retirement from the state university system.
Bulloch BOE service
Wilson has represented District 3 on the Bulloch County Board of Education for three years. He was selected as chairman for 2015 by a majority of the members in January. The board is slated to elect a chairperson again next month, but Wilson has one year remaining in his term as a board member.
Wilson said Tuesday he intends “as of this moment in time” to stay on the board to complete his term.
He and his wife, Mildred Wilson, have a home in Statesboro. His daughter, Chelsea, is now a freshman at Georgia Southern.
“The fact that I am assuming a new position doesn’t necessitate a move,” Wilson said. “In fact, my plan is to retain my residence here in Statesboro. We do not plan to move, at least at this juncture, so we plan to continue our community activities, sometimes for me, from a distance.”
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.