Claflin University Board of Trustees Selects AGB Search to Lead Presidential Search with Search Committee

Oct 19, 2018

Claflin University announces that it has retained AGB Search to help lead the search for the new president at Claflin University.

Dr. Henry N. Tisdale will retire on June 30, 2019, after leading Claflin University, his alma mater, for the past 25 years. He was appointed Claflin's eighth president in 1994 and led the University to unprecedented growth and development and national recognition as a leading 21st Century institution of higher education.

"We are pleased to have an established and highly respected organization to lead us through the process to identify Claflin's next visionary leader," said Mr. James A. Bennett, chair of the Board of Trustees. "This is truly a major responsibility of the Board and it is important to have a highly qualified organization to help lead the way to achieving our ultimate goal."

The University also announces the Presidential Search Committee, which will be chaired by trustee Mr. Calvin Elam, and is represented by all constituents of the University, including the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, student body, Claflin University International Alumni Association, Board of Visitors, and the public sector.

In addition to Mr. Elam, president of Elam Financial Group of Columbia, S.C., the Search Committee includes the following individuals from the Board of Trustees: Rev. Dr. Robin Dease, Dr. Belinda Gergel, Mr. William Johnson, Mr. James Lehman, Rev. Dr. Albert Shuler and Mr. Bennett; from the faculty, Dr. Belinda Wheeler, associate professor of English and faculty representative to the Board of Trustees; from the student body, Ms. Kayla Hodges, student government president; from the staff, Ms. Ashley Schofield, Claflin University controller; from the Claflin University International Alumni Association, Mr. Gerald Mackey, a 1974 graduate and financial secretary of the CUIAA; from the Board of Visitors, Mrs. Thelma Hudson, a 1973 Claflin University graduate and chair of the Board of Visitors; from the public sector, Mr. Robert Jennings, vice president for medical sales and marketing at Zeus Industrial Products, Inc.

Founded by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) in 2010, AGB Search is the only firm that specializes in all aspects of executive search exclusively for higher education institutions. The firm has insight into the qualifications crucial for effective leadership in higher education. AGB Search works with institutions to develop a thorough understanding of their needs and culture, which is critical in identifying the best pool of presidential candidates. In addition, AGB Search offers transition assistance for new presidents to help establish a solid foundation for long-term success. The proven success of AGB Search makes this firm the right partner for Claflin University's presidential search.


Founded in 1869, Claflin University is recognized by national publications such as U.S. News and World Report, and Washington Monthly as one of America’s best liberal arts colleges. The University proudly serves the state of South Carolina, the nation and the world. Its beautiful historic campus is home for approximately 2,100 students from every region of the United States and more than 20 international countries. Claflin students demonstrate extraordinary achievement, distinctive confidence and a lifelong desire to transform society through visionary leadership.Its academic programs prepare students to compete and succeed in a global and technological society. 

Outstanding alumni include the late Chief Justice of South Carolina Supreme Court (Ret) Ernest A. Finney, Jr.; renowned photographer, author and publisher Cecil Williams; internationally recognized artist Leo Twiggs; Vela McClam-Mitchell, president/CEO and owner, Georgia International Travel; and the eighth president of Claflin University, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale. For more information, visit

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