Board ousts Coker’s president

By Bobby Bryant, Editor,

For the second time since July, a Hartsville educational institution has forced out its president.

On Sept. 6, Coker University’s governing board announced that it had “requested and accepted” the resignation of President Robert Wyatt, “effective immediately.”

In a statement, the board said it made the move Sept. 5, the same day that Darlington County was braced for possible damage from Hurricane Dorian. Coker had canceled its classes because of the storm for most of last week.

“The Board of Trustees has formed a search committee to determine interim leadership, and has also begun the search for a world-class, permanent leader to guide the university into the future,” the board said.

“We are confident we will get a number of incredible candidates to lead our institution into its next phase of great accomplishments. … The Board of Trustees remains steadfast in its support of its students and families and we in turn appreciate your support of us.”

The board’s statement gave no indication why Wyatt was forced out.

Wyatt’s abrupt exit comes only about two months after the Hartsville-based Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics announced that its president, Hector Flores, had resigned under fire. That followed a vote of “no confidence” by the school’s faculty. GSSM’s board gave no reasons for the move.

In its statement last week, Coker’s board also said that next month, the school will announce “a new program … that will allow future students even more opportunities to graduate into successful high-growth careers.”

No details were given, but the board said this program “will create many new partnerships outside the university.”

Author: Rachel Howell

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