Allen University fires president without explanation

File photo: Allen University president Lady June Cole
File photo: Allen University president Lady June Cole Gerry Melendez

Allen University has fired its president and hired a interim leader, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

The historically black school in downtown Columbia on Friday fired Lady June Cole, who had been president three years, without explanation. On Monday, the school hired Ernest McNealey as interim president, according to the sources, who did not wish to be identified.

McNealey was president of Stillman College, a historically black college in Alabama, for 16 years until he resigned in 2013. Most recently, he has been an Atlanta-based education consultant.

Allen officials have been silent on the transition, saying they cannot talk to media. Repeated efforts to reach members of Allen’s board of trustees for comment this week also were unsuccessful.

The school had an enrollment of 660 students, as of 2014.

Cole’s firing was first reported by WIS TV. She took over as president of the African Methodist Episcopal Church-affiliated school in September 2013 after the resignation of former president Pamela Martin Wilson.

Avery G. Wilks: 803-771-8362, @averygwilks