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Nicole Pride, vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, one of the nation’s largest historically black colleges and universities, will be West Virginia State University’s new president.

The WVSU Board of Governors selected Pride Thursday morning in a voice vote with no nays heard, university spokesman Jack Bailey said.

The university said Pride’s start date hasn’t yet been finalized. When she takes the helm of the school, she will become the first woman to lead the institution since its founding in 1891.

“I look forward to working with all the members of the State family to continue to advance its land-grant mission,” Pride said in a news release. “The opportunities for the University in the years ahead to continue to meet the economic development and prosperity needs of the state and region are immense and I am honored to be selected to lead this growth.”

Pride has been in her current position since July 2018. She has served in several other roles at North Carolina A&T, as well, including about five years as chief of staff to the university’s chancellor.

Before that, she worked for IBM, including as “marketing program manager, corporate learning division and manager of corporate community relations and public affairs,” the release said.

Pride and the two other finalists visited the West Virginia State campus earlier this week to meet with students, alumni, employees and community members.

The other finalists were Patricia Ramsey, who last year was a finalist to lead Bluefield State College, and Rodney Smith, president of the University of The Bahamas.

After Smith was revealed as a finalist, the University of The Bahamas announced that he doesn’t plan to renew his contract there, according to news media in that country.

Dr. R. Charles Byers, who has served as West Virginia State’s interim president since mid-May, did not seek the full-time position, according to the university. Former president Anthony Jenkins left the school in May to become the president of Coppin State University, in Baltimore.

Reach Ryan Quinn at,, 304-348-1254

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