CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Navigating a new campus landscape is a daily chore for Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) President Clarence Armbrister. He takes over as the 14th president of this place of learning and brings a mission statement that's clearly defined.
"The ultimate goal is to make sure that we recruit retain and educate students who are critical thinkers who are able to produce results," Armbrister told WBTV in a one-on-one interview.
He started in January knowing that he's inherited a school with challenges. During 2017, JCSU was placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
"And we are resource challenged. There's no question about that but we're going to work very hard," he said. "I have a great team here that I'll be working with and we're going to make sure we do the best we can to make sure that those issues are not impediments to our long-term success."
In recent years, the reach of the school went beyond the gates by opening places like the Mosiac village, and the new president is awaiting the arrival of the Gold Line extension that will come right by the campus.
"It really is an exciting time to really connect this university with the rest of uptown."
Early in his administration, he sees student outcomes as a critical concern under his watch.
"That's what we're going to be judged upon that's not something I'm fearful of. I look forward to being judged on that," Armbrister said.
By trade he is an attorney with a heavy background in finance. He comes to Charlotte after heading a boarding school in Pennsylvania.