A new president means the real work begins for Hampton Board of Trustees
The worst-kept secret in the HBCU community was finally affirmed this morning, as Hampton University’s Board of Trustees announced Gen. Darrell K. Williams as its next president. The general is a Hampton alumnus with a world of military experience, particularly in logistics management and personnel training modules.
But he isn’t a credentialed or experienced leader in higher education and certainly not within the historically Black context beyond his undergraduate years at Hampton in the early 1980s. The Hampton University he knows and the challenges he faces therein are dramatically different from anything he’s ever seen in industry and culture; soldiers don’t protest as students do. Officers don’t consider first-amendment and academic freedom protections for critiques of leadership the way that faculty do, and veterans don’t challenge the standing and adaptability of the military the way that alumni do for alma mater.