Fisk University president to step down in December - WSMV News 4

Fisk University president to step down in December

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Fisk University President Hazel R. O'Leary has announced her retirement, effective at the end of this year.

Before joining Fisk in August 2004, O'Leary served as U.S. Energy Secretary from 1993 to 1997.

The university says in a release that O'Leary indicated the December 2012 retirement date will allow the University to complete its 2012 audit.

For the past two years, she has been involved in a legal battle over whether the historically black university can sell a $30 million stake in an art collection donated to the school by the late American artist Georgia O'Keeffe.

"Our work with the board, students, faculty, staff, and alumni to transform and grow Fisk using a metric based Strategic Plan has been rewarding. On a personal note, I am grateful to the Board for its advice, policy guidance, and resolve to measure outcomes, as well as, its deep commitment to Fisk during my tenure," O'Leary said in a statement.

Sources tell Channel 4 that O'Leary's contract was ending at the end of the year, so she saw this as a good time to leave. Even so, students we're told, are sad to see her go.

There is still no word yet on who will be chosen to replace O'Leary.

Shayla Shane, president of the university's Student Government Association, tells Channel 4 she is been pleased with O'Leary's leadership during the school's difficult times.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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