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West Liberty names new president

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. — West Liberty University has named its 37th president.

Dr. W. Franklin Evans

WLU’s Board of Governors announced Thursday the selection of Dr. W. Franklin Evans, the first black president in the school’s 183-year history.

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. W. Franklin Evans has accepted our offer and agreed to become West Liberty University’s 37th President. He will be a strong leader and we welcome him to the Hilltop and look forward to introducing him to our alumni, donors, friends and the wider community,” Rich Lucas, chairman of the search committee and the Board of Governors, said in a news release.

Evans, who will take over on Jan. 1, currently serves as president at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. His 25-year higher education career has also included a stint as interim president at South Carolina State University. He was also provost and chief academic officer there.

Evans will take the place of Dr. Stephen Greiner who has served at West Liberty since 2016. He previously announced his retirement. Greiner agreed to stay on a few additional months after the pandemic slowed the search for his replacement.

Lucas said Thursday that it’s an exciting day for West Liberty.

“Our Presidential Search Committee is to be commended for their dedicated and diligent work during a most unusual time. I also want to thank President Greiner for his dedication and leadership during the pandemic and his willingness to see the job through and remain in his role until our new president could be found,” Lucas said.

The state Higher Education Policy Commission is expected to approve WLU’s contract with Evans at its Friday morning meeting in Charleston.

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