January 2010


DSU Board Returns Dr. Claibourne Smith as Board Chair

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  The DSU Board of Trustees voted unanimously to restore Dr. Claibourne D. Smith to his former office as chairman of the board, which had been previously interrupted by his service as acting president of the University. Dr. Claibourne Smith is in his 23rd year as a Board of Trustees member and in his 16th year as board chairman. The action -- which took place at the board's Jan. 14 regular meeting -- also returned Dr. John Land to his former role as vice chairman of the board. Dr. Land served as the acting board chair during the 16-month absence of Dr. Smith. The acting president tenure of Dr. Smith ended on Jan. 9, as Dr. Harry Lee Williams took over the following day as the 10th president of the institution's history. The Board unanimously selected Dr. Smith to serve as the acting DSU president in September 2008 after the resignation of Dr. Allen L. Sessoms, who left the University to become president of University of the District of Columbia. In addition to selecting Dr. Land at that time to serve as acting chair, the board later selected board member David G. Turner to serve as acting vice chair. Prior to becoming acting president, Dr. Smith served 15 consecutive years as board chairman (1992-2008). His resumption of that office now moves him into his 16th year as chairman. Following the vote that returned Dr. Smith to his chair post, the board also unanimously approved a resolution that commended Dr. Smith for his service and performance as acting president.  

DSU President Williams Receives General Assembly's Welcome

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Gov. Jack Markell (center) is joined by (from left) Dr. Ronald Blackmon, DSU interim provost, Dr. Claibourne Smith, DSU board chairman, state Sen. Brian Bushwell, DSU President Harry Williams and state Rep. William Carson, prior to signing a resolution that welcomes Dr. Williams as DSU's new president.

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  DSU President Harry L. Williams received a formal introduction to the General Assembly on Jan. 19 with the passage of a resolution officially welcoming him as the University’s 10th president. Gov. Jack A. Markell signed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 25 on that same day, officially welcoming Dr. Williams and extending best wishes for his new tenure as DSU President. State Sen. Brian Bushweller was the primary sponsor of the resolution that had earlier passed in the Senate and the House..   Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, the DSU Board of Trustees chairman who served as acting president during the previous DSU presidential search period, and Dr. Ronald H. Blackmon, interim DSU provost and vice president of Academic of Affairs, accompanied Dr. Williams on the visit to Legislative Hall and the Office of the Governor.   The DSU president spoke separately before the state Senate and the state House of Representatives, graciously expressing his appreciation for the welcome and well-wishes as well as his positive anticipation in working in the future with the General Assembly and Gov. Markell on behalf of the University. He later had a pleasant meeting with Gov. Markell, along with Sen. Bushweller and Rep. William Carson.  

Dr. Claibourne Smith Honored with Resolution and Reception

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DSU President Harry L. Williams presents a gift portrait of Loockerman Hall to Dr. Claibourne Smith during a reception honoring him on Jan. 14.

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The DSU Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution that commended Dr. Claibourne Smith for his 16-month service as the University’s acting president. The board approved the resolution during its Jan. 14 regular meeting, in which they also unanimously returned Dr. Smith to his previous post of board chairman. Dr. Smith stepped down from the board in September 2008 to assume the responsibilities of acting president. He returned to the board on Jan. 10, the date in which Dr. Harry L. Williams officially become the DSU president. Following that board meeting, a reception was held in honor of Dr. Smith in the new Martin Luther King Student Center. Many faculty, staff and students were in attendance and testimonials were given in praise of Dr. Smith's service and dedication as acting president. Photos from that event can be viewed at /administration/photo-gallery-appreciation-reception-dr-claibourne-smith . The resolution approved by the board read as follows:   Delaware State University Board of Trustees Resolution in appreciation of Dr. Claibourne Smith, acting President January 14, 2010   Whereas, Dr. Claibourne Smith became the second person to serve as the acting president in the 119-year history of Delaware State University; and   Whereas,  Dr. Smith accepted the responsibility from the Board of Trustees as acting president, fully committing to keep the University focused and stabilized during a trying state and national economic downturn; and   Whereas, Dr. Smith led a delegation to China to expand DSU’s partnerships, provided strong leadership to address H1N1 concerns on campus, and convened a multi-level task force to implement Go Green measures on campus for the short and long term; and    Whereas, Dr. Smith made it a priority to interact with students, faculty and staff to better familiarize himself with how DSU operates, using that information to strengthen the University as well as to inform the Board on key issues through its retreat; and   Whereas, Dr. Smith’s oversight ensured that two major construction project stayed on track, resulting in the completion of a new Wellness & Recreation Center, a swimming facility and a new MLK Student Center; and    Whereas, Dr. Smith capably provided strong and stable executive leadership as acting president, which enabled DSU to methodically conduct its presidential search process resulting in a permanent president; now, therefore, be it    Resolved, that the Board of Trustees recognizes Dr. Smith for his exemplary efforts and accomplishments for 16 months as DSU’s acting president.   In Witness Whereof, the undersigned has executed this resolution as of the date above.   Dr. John Land Acting Board of Trustees Chair      

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