Saint Augustine's University leader drops bombshell allegation in response to lawsuit

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Thursday, June 20, 2024
Raleigh HBCU leader drops bombshell allegation in response to lawsuit
A lengthy letter from the SAU Board of Trustees Chairman said there was a coordinated effort to get Shaw and SAU to merge so Shaw's campus could be torn down and redeveloped.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Saint Augustine's University Board of Trustees Chairman Brian Boulware is fighting back against allegations against him and the leadership of the Raleigh HBCU.

Boulware and the Board of Trustees were all recently sued by SAVE SAU Coalition. That's a group comprised of alumni, parents, students, and others with a special interest in the health and future of the university.

The lawsuit states that the university "now teeters on the edge of chaos, brought to its knees by the utter neglect of its board of trustees and especially its most recent chairmen, Defendants Brian Boulware and James Perry." It goes on to state that "the board is led by a dictatorial and vindictive chairman who is more concerned with lining his own pockets than leading the university."

As a response to that lawsuit, Boulware sent a lengthy letter addressed to Falcon Nation defending his actions and accusing the push against him and the university's board as being filled with "lies and deceptions."

In an explosive revelation, Boulware accuses local business leaders of holding a meeting to try and force SAU and Shaw University to merge. The purpose of this merger would be to allow for developers to tear down Shaw's campus and build new projects on that property.

He alleges in the meeting that the owner of a local television station said this:

"Raleigh doesn't need two Black universities. We need the two to merge. I don't care what you call it. However, we need them both on SAU's property because we need downtown land to expand the development footprint."

On WRAL's website, they've confirmed Capitol Broadcasting CEO Jim Goodmon was in attendance at this meeting. Capitol Broadcasting is the company that owns WRAL.

ABC11 Eyewitness News was not present at the meeting.

Boulware said both he and Interim University President Dr. Marcus H. Burgess rejected the proposal.

Boulware said another business leader who was part of this conversation told him that the Raleigh business community was supportive of the merger and implied that there were limited financial options for Saint Augustine's University to pursue in this case.

He said the day after that conversation, a news report highlighted the financial challenges of SAU and other regional HBCUs in North Carolina.

Boulware goes on to say that investigations into SAU and accreditation problems the university has dealt with lately were all connected to this push to get SAU to merge and free up land for development.

"This unwarranted attention has disrupted our operations, leading to delays in meaningful projects and the need for additional resources. It has also jeopardized the trust of our community, with some stakeholders questioning our financial management," Boulware writes.

ABC11 reached out to Shaw University for a response to the situation but has declined to comment at this time. ABC11 also reached out to WRAL for a statement but have not received one.