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Virginia Union approves President sabbatical, students petition for removal

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RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Union University President Dr. Claude Perkins will go on sabbatical for a year, the school announced Monday.

VUU’s Board of Trustees approved the year sabbatical requested by Dr. Perkins, effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Perkins, who had a residence hall and seminar facility named after him, is under contract with Virginia Union ends in July of 2017.

“Dr. Perkins’ work at Virginia Union has been truly transformative,” Virginia Union Board Chairman Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson said. “We welcome this period to establish transition for the University while we have the benefit of Dr. Perkins’ experience and input.”

Dr. Claude Perkins

Dr. Claude Perkins

The University praised Perkins for his commitment to serving the community and reaching the highest enrollment in University’s history, but hundreds of students recently signed a petition denouncing his presidency.

The petition said students are living under terrible conditions, lack necessities, and accused the school of a misappropriation of funds:

“The students of Virginia Union University deserve a better leader. We are tired of this family being treated with disrespect to our money and to our education. Virginia Union University needs someone who actually care about the students and treats us like adults. We at Union are living under terrible conditions from mold to no hot water for weeks at a time, lack of necessities, and most importantly FOOD. Not to mention the misappropriation of funds and upcoming new policies irrational for independent working students.”

The petition has 347 signatures, with a goal of 500.


Dr. Perkins has been with the school since January of 2009. Board Chairman Dr. Richardson said under his leadership the school has made more than $30 million in campus improvements, including construction of the first new residential facility on the campus in the last 45 years.

Board Chairman Dr. Richardson said that processes are being put in place to cover operations of the University during Dr. Perkins’ sabbatical.

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