The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning approved changes in the leadership at Alcorn State University at its meeting held today in Jackson. Dr. Ontario S. Wooden, who currently serves as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, will begin serving as Interim President of Alcorn State University immediately.
Dr. Wooden replaces Dr. Felecia Nave who served as the 20th President of Alcorn State University since 2019. Trustee Tom Duff, President of the Board of Trustees said, “The Board wishes Dr. Nave well as she pursues new opportunities.”
This move comes months after the same governing body placed Thomas Hudson on leave as Jackson State University President.
Dr. Wooden began his tenure as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2020. In this role, he oversees effective delivery of academic and student support services across the campus which includes management and oversight of all academic schools, the registrar, research and graduate studies, 1890 Research/Extension, Library, Institutional Research and Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment/Accreditation.
“We appreciate Dr. Wooden’s willingness to take on the role of interim president,” said Trustee Duff. “He has a keen understanding of the challenges in higher education and we are confident he is well-prepared to lead Alcorn State University at this time.”
Prior to joining Alcorn State University, Dr. Wooden served as associate vice chancellor for Student Success and Academic Outreach at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). In twelve years at NCCU, he provided leadership in multiple positions including associate vice president for Innovative, Engaged, and Global Education; interim associate dean of the School of Education; and associate professor of Education.
Dr. Wooden earned a master’s and a doctorate in higher education from Indiana University Bloomington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Albany State University.
The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.