Morehouse Board of Trustees Appoints New Interim President

Date Released: June 26, 2017

Media Contacts: D. Aileen Dodd, Morehouse College
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-- Mr. Harold L. Martin Jr. to assume the role as Interim President of Morehouse College

ATLANTA – June 26, 2017 – The Morehouse College Board of Trustees unanimously voted today to appoint Mr. Harold Martin Jr. as Interim President of Morehouse College. His appointment follows the recent passing of former Interim President William J. “Bill” Taggart, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this month.

Interim President Martin Jr. will take on the day-to-day leadership responsibilities for the College until a new President is identified and hired.

“The Morehouse College Search Committee has received many inquiries regarding the permanent President’s position and is working diligently to identify a candidate as the process moves forward,” said Dale Jones, Chairman of the Search Committee.

Interim President Martin Jr., who holds an M.B.A from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from Yale Law School, is an alumnus of Morehouse College. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2002 as the class valedictorian, earning a B.A. in Business Administration and membership into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

“While these circumstances are certainly unprecedented, I am honored to step into the role of Interim President of Morehouse College,” said Interim President Martin Jr. “Over the past few months, the College has made great strides under the leadership of Bill Taggart; it’s amazing how much he was able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.” 

“During this time, I worked closely with Bill to support his vision and his primary goals and objectives,” noted Interim President Martin Jr. “I will continue to execute on this plan in the days and weeks ahead and look forward to working with Morehouse’s Board, students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and donors to solidify Morehouse’s position as an academic leader during this pivotal time in our College’s history.” 

Willie Woods, Chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees said: “In selecting a new Interim President, the Board’s primary objective was to maintain the strong momentum achieved under Bill Taggart. We selected a leader familiar with his work who would offer very little disruption to the staff. Today, the Board could not have made a better selection. Harold will be a stabilizing force and will continue to move Morehouse forward as we finalize our search for a permanent President. We look forward to working with Harold to deliver on our promise of putting the College and its students first, and working toward delivering the highest levels of academic excellence.” 

“Harold has been a tremendous asset to the Board, and he has a strong fundamental understanding of higher education governance and operations, as well as the necessary leadership skills to chart a successful path forward,” said Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy, a long-time Board member and former President of Shaw College and Johnson C. Smith University.

Additionally, Dr. Yancy was appointed by the Board as a Senior Advisor to Interim President Martin Jr. She will focus on supporting the College’s preparation for the upcoming SACSCOC accreditation process.

"Harold Martin Jr. brings experience, character and leadership to the role as Interim President,” said Dr. Robert Franklin, President Emeritus of Morehouse College. “Harold and I worked closely during my tenure as President, and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to guide the future direction of Morehouse College. I look forward to watching him follow in my footsteps, along with others who have stood before him, to continue building a strong academic institution.”

In his post-collegiate years, Interim President Martin Jr. has been an active member of the Morehouse community through his involvement on the Board of Trustees. After leading a pro bono consulting project to develop the College’s strategic plan in 2011, he was invited to join the Board in 2014. Since then, he has served as a member of the Finance and the Trusteeship and Governance Committees, as well as multiple ad hoc committees. Most recently, in April 2017, Interim President Martin Jr. was elected Secretary of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. As a result of his appointment today, Interim President Martin Jr. resigned from the Board. Provost Michael Hodge will step down as Acting President, a role he assumed following Mr. Taggart’s passing.

Outside of Morehouse College, Interim President Martin Jr. is a business leader with extensive experience advising senior executives at institutions of higher education and at Fortune 500 companies. As an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, Interim President Martin Jr. helped academic institutions solve complex strategic, financial and organizational challenges. He was also a leader in the firm’s Higher Education Practice, which studied trends transforming higher education and best practices exemplified by leading colleges and universities. Interim President Martin Jr. has worked with numerous institutions, including large research universities, online colleges and academic health centers. 

Since leaving McKinsey & Company, Interim President Martin Jr. has built a successful independent consulting practice and private investment firm in Atlanta, where he currently lives with his wife and children. 

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Ranked America’s fifth “Most Entrepreneurial College” by Forbes Magazine in 2015, Morehouse College is the nation’s largest liberal arts college for men. Founded in 1867, the College enrolls approximately 2,100 students and historically has conferred more bachelor’s degrees on black men than any other institution in the world. Morehouse College is one of the two top producers of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs. Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Ga.; and Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security.

Last Modified: June 26, 2017, 18:06 PM, by: Kara Walker

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