Morgan president David J. Wilson

Morgan State University president David J. Wilson attends a rally held by students and faculty to support him. (Lloyd Fox, The Baltimore Sun / December 13, 2012)

The Morgan State University Board of Regents offered President David Wilson an "appointment" but no formal job contract this week and said he will continue to serve at "the pleasure of the board."

The college's governing board met in closed session for an hour Tuesday to debate Wilson's one-year contract, which is set to expire at the end of June. The appointment, which begins July 1, has no end date.

"Morgan is a very special institution, which I have enjoyed leading now for four wonderful years," Wilson said in a statement. "Granted, we have a lot to do, but our trajectory is upward."

In the statement, board Chairman Kweisi Mfume acknowledged the challenges facing higher education and particularly historically black colleges and universities. But he called Wilson "a leading national voice" and said he is "guiding Morgan admirably through these times."

At the University System of Maryland, college presidents have similar at-will appointments and are evaluated on their performance annually, according to USM spokesman Mike Lurie.

In December 2012, the Morgan board voted 8-7 to oust Wilson from his job before changing course amid an outcry from faculty members, students and other campus stakeholders. The vote to remove Wilson came as the university grappled with two shootings on campus within three months, a student who had been accused of cannibalism, and a professor's indictment on charges that he obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants fraudulently.

Dallas R. Evans, the Morgan Board of Regents chair who helped lead the vote to remove Wilson, was voted out as board chair a couple of months later.

Last spring, the board offered Wilson a one-year contract. In January, Wilson told the board he had been a finalist for a job as head of the public college system in Wisconsin but withdrew his name from consideration, saying his "heart and soul is right here at Morgan."

Wilson was named Morgan's 12th president in 2009.

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.

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