Claflin University President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale authored a column in 2017 titled, “Claflin eyes greater prosperity.”
Beyond citing significant accomplishments during the academic year, Tisdale referenced a blueprint for the future under which Claflin began operating in 2016-17: “Claflin LEADS: A Shared Vision for the 21st Century.”
As Tisdale prepares to retire on June 30, 2019 after 25 years at the helm, an unprecedented era of progress at Claflin, he leaves with the plan in place for the university's new leadership.
In Tisdale's words, "The plan provides our path and navigational tools to greater prosperity."
It will now be up to a new president to carry the strategic plan forward, which according to the person named to the post Monday and the board will be a priority.
Claflin’s ninth president will be Dr. Dwaun Warmack, who leaves the presidency at Harris-Stowe State University, a historically black institution in St. Louis, for the move to Orangeburg.
“I’m coming behind a living legend,” Warmack said at a press conference, saying he has a goal of moving the university from great to excellent.
Warmack said he will build on the foundation established by his predecessors.
“Claflin is on an amazing trajectory,” he said. “The theoretical framework is here. Great things are there.”
“Claflin is already a great institution. How do we transcend to be excellent? So, you know, I want to continue to build on those things, the things that have happened already, build those, and bring some of the expertise and skill set I have to continue to go to the next level,” Warmack said.
In doing so he has “Claflin LEADS” as a guide.
Claflin LEADS is an acronym for 1) leadership development, 2) experiential learning, 3) academic progress, 4) diversity and 5) student success.
Of the new president’s unanimous selection by the board of trustees, Chairman Dr. James K. Lehman stated: “The university has had a strategic plan in place for several years and he will be carrying that forward. We will not be starting, but it will really be a continuation of the strategic plan that as a board we developed with the cabinet over the last several years.”
Warmack knows he has big shoes to fill at Claflin. After a national search resulted in his selection, the university board believes he is the right person for the mission. Claflin and Orangeburg welcome him and look forward to his leadership of an institution vital to this community and higher education internationally.