The Guilford College Board of Trustees announced on Monday, July 27 that it had hired an interim president.

On June 26, Guilford College President Jane Fernandes announced she would be stepping down July 1, 2021.

However, the announcement on July 27 included the fact that Fernandes would be stepping down on July 31, 2020, and Carol Moore would begin serving as interim president on August 1.

Chair of the Guilford College Board of Trustees Ed Winslow in a press release said, “The Guilford Community, including trustees, faculty, and staff who participated in the interview process, united in concluding that Dr. Moore is best suited to lead Guilford at this moment. She brings a wealth of experience leading institutions through periods of transition, which will serve us extremely well.”

Moore holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Montclair State University and a Ph.D. in marine biology from Northeastern University. Moore was president of Columbia College in South Carolina from 2018 until retiring for family and health reasons in March of this year.

Moore, who began her career in education as a high school science teacher, has also served as president of Lyndon State College and Burlington College in Vermont.

Burlington College became an issue in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary because Jane Sanders, the wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders, was the president from 2004 to 2011 and made a controversial $10 million land purchase that was credited with leading to the demise of the school. Moore was the president of Burlington College from 2014 until it closed in 2016.

Moore said that her focus would be on moving Guilford College forward with actions that will serve the overall best interests of the college and be fully inclusive. She said, “I believe all members of the College community need to be heard on important topics and are entitled to the data and analysis inherent in decision-making on issues of campus-wide merit.”

Fernandes is the first female president of Guilford College and has served in that role since 2014. In an unusual resignation letter, Fernandes cited the coronavirus pandemic as one reason she was resigning from her position as president. Fernandes plans to take a sabbatical 2020-2021 and return to Guilford College as a professor in the English department in the 2021-2022 school year.