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Christine Johnson McPhail fills husband’s role at St. Augustine’s
Published Tuesday, February 23, 2021
by St. Aug's Communications

RALEIGH – Christine Johnson McPhail was named St. Augustine’s University’s 13 president effective Feb. 24. McPhail fills the vacancy left after the death of her husband, Irving Pressley McPhail, in October.

“We are excited and fortunate to have an innovative, proven credential leader of Dr. Christine McPhail’s stature to lead St. Augustine’s to the next level of excellence as we reimagine a new model of the HBCU of the future,” said (Ret.) Justice James E. Perry, chairman of the Board of Trustees.

McPhail, who is president and CEO of the McPhail Group, is a well-respected thought leader in higher education in her own right. She also teaches at Kansas State University as professor of practice at its John E. Roueche Center for Community College Leadership. McPhail is the founding professor and director of Morgan State University’s Community College Leadership Doctoral Program. Under her leadership, MSU received R1 Carnegie classification, indicating that the program awarded at least 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees during the update year.

“I am both humbled and honored to have been selected by the Board of Trustees to serve as its next president,” said McPhail. “I am committed to the success of this University and each of its students. I also feel a responsibility to carry on my late husband’s work to establish the University as a 21st Century, learning-centered institution, while at the same time leaning on several decades of experience in higher education leadership and strong partnerships with the SAU community to move us forward.”

The SAU Presidential Search Committee, under the direction of trustees Rodrick Miller and Marley Bollinger, was comprised of individuals from local government, the Raleigh business community, higher education experts, SAU alumni, and the Board of Trustees.

“After interviewing several potential candidates to carry on the work unfortunately cut short by the loss of her husband, Dr. McPhail quickly rose to the top of our list,” said SAU alumnus Miller. “She has distinguished herself as one of the foremost authorities in higher education leadership and strategic organizational advancement. We are certain she is the best choice to lead SAU into the future.”


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