FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fayetteville State University Chancellor-Elect Darrell Allison broke his silence at the height of the controversy surrounding his appointment. His first day on the job is scheduled for March 15.
"The accusations and attacks are hurtful when it comes to my family. I have to be honest, I've heard from so many more who say hang in there Darrell, we need you," Allison said. "Faculty, students and staff saying Darrell, we need you."
Some continue to show frustration about the selection process. The faculty senate declared the chancellor search as failed and the National Alumni Association questioning Allison's qualifications. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for his removal before he even steps foot in the chancellor's suite.
"The initials Ph.D. are important, but what FSU needs right now are the letters l-e-a-d-e-r. I'm a leader with strong leadership," Allison said.
Allison is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and UNC-Chapel Hill's Law School. As for the opposition in the FSU community, Allison said he met with student leadership for more than two hours and meetings with alumni are ongoing.
He laid out his vision, saying his first order of business is hiring a vice-chancellor of advancement and a provost.
"We have a fine nursing program, fine business program and education program. Human resources and financial resources is what we'll need and what we'll be striving for," Allison said.
He said he plans to get that through relationships he has gained at the state level and on the Board of Governors. Talks of Allison changing the university's name to UNC-Fayetteville are also circulating in the community -- talk he dismissed.
"Don't let the suit fool you. I'll be dressed in fatigues on the front lines fighting against that as chancellor of FSU," Allison said.
'I'm a leader': Fayetteville State Chancellor-Elect speaks out as some question his appointment