On August 1, Carol A. Moore became interim president of Guilford College, a school founded by Quakers in Greensboro, N.C. She replaces Jane K. Fernandes, who had served as the Guilford president since 2014 and was the first deaf woman to head a U.S. college or university.
Moore has served as president of three higher education institutions, most recently at Columbia College in South Carolina. Moore holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Montclair State University, and a doctorate in marine biology from Northeastern University. She was a Senior Fellow at the American Council of Education (ACE) and also served as chair of the ACE Commission on Women in Higher Education.
Moore looks to be inclusive in her leadership. “I believe all members of the College community need to be heard on important topics and are entitled to the data and analysis inherent in decision-making on issues of campus-wide impact.”
Moore comes to Guilford at a turbulent time; amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and its related financial crisis, Fernandes announced she would be stepping down as president as of July 31, 2021. On July 1, Fernandes announced the layoffs of 45 staff employees and five visiting faculty, approximately 15 percent of Guilford’s workforce, prompting criticism, including an open letter signed by over 900 alumni objecting to the layoffs and criticizing “the manner in which Guilford College has recently implemented staff and faculty reductions.” On July 27, the Board of Trustees announced that Fernandes would be on sabbatical for the 2020-21 academic year, and that Moore would assume full presidential authority on August 1.
Moore “brings a wealth of experience leading institutions through periods of transition, which will serve us extremely well,” says Ed Winslow, chair of Guilford’s Board of Trustees.
The board is beginning the process of identifying the college’s next permanent president to follow Moore.