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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Delaware State University Announces Two Administrative Position Changes

DSU is a privately governed, state-assisted historically black land-grant research university in Dover, Delaware.

DOVER — Delaware State University is headed toward change as two seasoned administrators announced changes to their positions this week.

Dr. Saundra DeLauder, provost and chief academic officer, will step down as of June 30, while Dr. Vita Pickrum, foundation president and head of institutional advancement will retire on Dec. 31. 

DSU President Dr. Tony Allen announced the news to staff and faculty on April 25 in an email, noting that he will soon detail a transition strategy for both positions. DSU officials declined to comment further to the Delaware Business Times.

DeLauder was appointed as DSU’s sixth provost in May 2020, after Allen vacated that post to become president of the historically Black university, leaving a void in DSU’s leadership. She previously served as the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research from 2013 through 2017 and vice provost from August 2017 through 2019. 

According to DSU, the Office of the Provost oversees college deans, the various academic departments, “additional locations and related academic activities in coordination with the Office of the President.”

Dr. Saundra DeLauder, provost and chief academic officer
Dr. Vita Pickrum, foundation president and head of institutional advancement

Historical records from the school show that the provost position was created under the leadership of DeLauder’s late father-in-law, William B. DeLauder, when he was DSU’s president from 1987 to 2003.

After the North Carolinian native steps down from that role later this year, she will remain at the University as a full professor in the College of Agriculture, Science & Technology following a “one-year administrative sabbatical” during which she will continue to identify ways for the University to grow. 

“She has agreed to work on special projects for the University, including determining the best use of the testing laboratory at the Kirkwood campus and how to meet the growing program needs for research expansion, contracting, and other revenue generation. I have also asked her to help lead our efforts with Thurgood Marshall College Fund to build a new online platform, as a part of the HBCU Transformation Project,” Allen said in the statement. 

DeLauder had 26 years of higher educational experience before her roles at DSU, including becoming North Carolina Central University’s first female full professor and its first-tenured female chemistry professor.

DSU has traditionally appointed a search committee for its next provost, including in 2020 and 2017, when DeLauder and Allen were selected respectively. No such committee has been announced for the upcoming search at this time.

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