NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Norfolk State University Board of Visitors has formally accepted the retirement decision of its president, Eddie N. Moore Jr.
During an emergency meeting Monday, the board voted to accept Moore’s decision. Moore first announced his plans in writing to the Board of Visitors on Sept. 15.
“It kind of caught us kind of off guard a little bit,” Rector Dr. Byron Cherry says.
According to a letter from Dr. Cherry, the board is now working with Moore on a mutually agreeable transition date. However, Moore’s retirement will occur no later than Dec. 31, 2017. Cherry said the board would have liked for Moore to stay.
“When someone does a good job for you, like any job, you always want that person to stay on longer, but that person may also have a different agenda and he decided that ‘I did what I had to do now it’s time to go,’” Cherry says.
Moore is the sixth president in the university’s 80 year history.
READ: Letter from Rector | Board Resolution
Moore was appointed from the role of interim president, after the school was taken off of probation status. Cherry said Moore was hired in the Fall of 2013 when NSU was going through “very challenging times.”
In his letter, Cherry said Moore provided the necessary leadership to correct issues with institutional governance and the backlog of under performed annual audits. He said under Moore’s leadership the university has seen improvements in enrollment, retention and graduation rates.
“He came in. He put a plan together. He got the right people in the right places and got the school turned around. We came off probation. The graduation rates went up. Retention rates went up. Enrollments gone up. We’re just forever grateful for what he did,” Cherry says.
After Monday’s meeting Moore spoke only to 10 On Your Side. He cited his health as the major reason for his decision.
“A lot of it is dependent on how I perceive my health issues. I just think a president needs to have a little more mobility than I have right now,” Moore says.
During the interview Moore hinted to another reason without explaining further.
“There’s always more to it but that is the major thing that I think is bothering me. I think the students need a president that can follow them on road games and have a little more energy and to do things on campus,” Moore says.
Moore says he hopes the next accreditation visit is a successful one for the university. He wants NSU to move forward and speak in one voice. To the university community who may be shocked by his decision, Moore said simply, “I’ll always love them and I hope they understand.”
The university plans to have an interim president named by its next board meeting in November.
Dr. Cherry explained that in a new president the board is looking for someone energetic, who will continue the work Eddie Moore started, take the university to the next level and remain in position up to 15 years.