INSTITUTE, W.Va. — West Virginia State University President Nicole Pride has resigned after less than a year on the job.
The WVSU Board of Governors accepted Pride’s letter of resignation in a unanimous vote Friday afternoon following an executive session that stretched for nearly five hours.
Pride was on the Zoom call when the meeting began but was not when the executive session was over. Pride’s resignation letter said she made her decision “after much reflection.”
The BOG then voted to give new vice president/chief of staff Ericke Cage operational control of the university until an interim president can be chosen. Cage was recently hired by Pride. He began at State on July 19.
Pride has been under fire after several members of her cabinet signed a letter of no confidence and submitted it to the BOG earlier this month.
“Condescending and abusive language are common in exchanges with Dr. Pride,” the group wrote in the letter.
And, “Dr. Pride is known for her retaliatory practices.”
Pride was hired last summer and is WVSU’s first woman president. She noted accomplishments of the past year in her resignation letter read Friday by BOG Chairman Chuck Jones.
Pride wrote that under her leadership the financial strength of WVSU had improved along with increases in fundraising and student enrollment. Pride said she appreciated the support of the campus community and the BOG.
WVSU’s Faculty Senate held some open forums in connection with the Pride situation. The senate had not yet taken a vote on the ‘no confidence’ issue. Faculty Senate Chair Jessica Barnes-Pietruszynski issued the following statement to MetroNews Friday afternoon:
“While it is unfortunate that we are in this situation, we trust that the Board of Governors has made the right decision for WVSU. We wish Dr. Pride the best in her future endeavors. However, our faculty are ready to move forward and start this new school year with our focus where it always is, our students.”
Pride began her career in the corporate and non-profit sectors, and left the industry to begin her service in higher education at North Carolina A&T State University, one of the nation’s largest HBCUs. She served as principal liaison and senior adviser to the chancellor, a member of the chancellor’s executive cabinet, and provided strategic and operational support for internal and external constituencies, and held a faculty appointment at the university.
Prior to higher education, she served in numerous capacities at IBM including marketing program manager, corporate learning division, and manager of corporate community relations and public affairs for nearly a decade.