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Alabama State's 11th President Resigns

After a seven-year presidential tenure riddled with accomplishments and controversy, Alabama State University President Joe A. Lee announced his resignation effective May 31.
Alabama State president Joe A. Lee

Lee's decision to leave the university was made public during a scheduled trustee board meeting held Feb. 8 in the Joe L. Reed Acadome Board Room. His resignation left many in attendance flabbergasted.

The Brewton, Ala. native led the university out of a time of transition into a period of progression evidenced by the multimillion dollar construction projects that are underway as well as the numerous academic programs that have been implemented under Lee's auspices.

Lee was instrumental in the completion of the Fred Shuttlesworth Dining Hall and the Robert C. Hatch Forensic Sciences building.

Cameron Glenn, a junior health information management major, was not aware of Lee's resignation.

"Wow! I am very awed. That was very abrupt," Glenn said. "However, I've seen great progress as far as building up the campus goes," he said.

He continued, "I've heard that during his presidency his hands have been tied sometimes. If this is true, I really feel sorry for him."

Student Government Association President Duncan Kirkwood was also surprised.

"I was shocked because I hadn't heard anything about it," Kirkwood said. "Many times things like this would seep through the grapevine, but this one didn't."

Kirkwood feels that Lee has been a great president.

"He knows what's best for him," he said. "If that's his decision, he's served the school well. He's been a great president and has been student oriented."

The university has received a variety of awards and recognitions during Lee's tenure - most notably the reaffirmation of a 10-year accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as achieving the largest enrollment in the history of the university - 6,038.

Lee previously served as president of Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Talladega, and his master's and doctorate in educational administration from Miami (Ohio) University.

Bryan Weaver writes for The Hornet Tribune, Alabama State University's student newspaper, which originally published this story.

Posted Feb.29, 2008

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