A former leader of a national group of public universities has been named the interim president ofCoppin State University, the university system announced Wednesday.
Mortimer H. Neufville, who had served until June as the interim president of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, will become the interim president Jan. 23, when the current president, Reginald S. Avery, steps down.
Avery received a vote of no confidence from the faculty last year. He pledged to increase the university's low graduation rate when he arrived in 2008, only to see it continue to fall.
"We are very fortunate that Dr. Neufville has accepted this appointment," University System of MarylandChancellor William E. Kirwan said in a statement. "With a history of serving higher education with distinction and effectiveness, he is well positioned to serve Coppin well during this critical transition period."
Coppin, which is located in West Baltimore, has struggled to stabilize financially and retain students over recent years. The college draws most of its 3,900 students from city schools and many need to complete remedial course work after enrolling.