Lincoln University will launch a search for its next president, the school announced Monday.

Richard Green has been interim president of the historically black university in southern Chester County since July 2015. He replaced Robert R. Jennings, who resigned in November 2014 under fire for statements that some critics interpreted as blaming women for sexual assault.

Lincoln announced that Diversified Search, based in Philadelphia, will conduct the search.

"We embrace the opportunity, with trustee Terri Dean leading the Presidential Search Committee, to attract and hire a great president who will quicken the growth trajectory that Lincoln University is presently experiencing," said Kimberly Lloyd, chairwoman of the board of trustees.

The university, which has more than 2,000 students, has continued to face criticism from some alumni, parents, students and faculty over staff turnover, limited resources, and lack of needed facility upgrades. The university's financial rating also was downgraded last year by Moody's Investor Services. But the university has had an uptick in enrollment.

Lincoln spokeswoman Maureen Stokes said that Green's contract will expire June 30, and that university officials have decided they are ready to launch the search.

"It's about time," said Charles Pettaway, chair of the department of visual and performing arts and the nonvoting representative to the board of trustees. "I just hope they get somebody who is really good, an academician as well as a business person, because we need both."

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