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Jan 06, 2014 08:10 AM EST

ASU Names Gwendolyn Boyd as The First Female President in School’s 146-year History

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Gwendolyn Boyd, an executive administrative assistant at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab for the last 33 years, has been unanimously chosen as the first female president of Alabama State University (ASU), effective Feb.1.

"I feel good about our choice," Board Chairman Elton Dean said in a statement.  "I am looking for great things from Dr. Boyd. The Board is going to work with her 100 percent.  We are going to be the policymakers, and she will be the C.E.O. I believe everyone is going to be pleased with the direction that ASU is going."

The two-year contract including a possible extension of another two-years will pay Boyd $300,000 annually.

Boyd from Montgomery earned an undergrad degree in math from ASU and became the first African-American to earn a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University. She also holds a doctoral degree in ministry from Howard University.

Boyd hopes that it was her academic credentials that landed her the job, not her gender. She is all excited to serve as the school's 14th president.

"I will give 110 percent of who I am and all that I bring to the table to make sure that Alabama State University goes to higher heights, that whenever our name is called pride will overwhelm people," Boyd said, AL.com reports.

Praising the search committee, Gov. Robert Bentley called Boyd an 'excellent choice.' ".....If she's allowed to do her job, I think she will make an excellent president."

"I am very pleased with the choice that the Board has made and the recommendation coming from the search committee," Bentley said. "She is a great representative for the University, and she is going to do a fantastic job and move this University forward."

Bentley's office initiated an investigation into ASU last December after former President Joseph Silver claimed he was repressed by the board of trustees for questioning suspicious contracts. During the same time, the trustees decided to pay Silver $685,000 to step down from the position. The reason for his sudden departure after just 13 weeks on the job has not been revealed due to a confidentiality agreement.

Boyd promised to co-operate with a full evaluation of the university.

"It's about doing the right thing, so we need to do that assessment, find out what went wrong and then from there fix it," Boyd said. "And we've got to be very, very transparent as we do that,"AL.com reports.

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