By Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2020

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Military Institute has selected a retired U.S. Army major general to serve as its interim superintendent amid a leadership shakeup that followed a newspaper article describing allegations of persistent racism at the school.

Cedric Wins will step in to lead the military college until a permanent superintendent is chosen, the school announced in a news release Friday. Wins will be the first Black leader to serve in that role, a school spokesman said.

The move comes after VMI’s former superintendent, retired Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, resigned last month under pressure from the governor’s office following the publication of a Washington Post article that described incidents such as lynching threats and a white professor reminiscing in class about her father’s Ku Klux Klan membership.

Earlier this month, the General Assembly approved adding $1 million to the state budget to pay for an independent investigation into the allegations.

The VMI Board of Visitors has appointed a superintendent search committee and will work with an executive search firm to identify candidates over the next several months. A new, permanent superintendent is expected to be in place during the summer of 2021, according to Friday’s news release.

Wins graduated from VMI in 1985 and was commissioned into the Army as a field artillery officer, according to a biography provided by the school. In his final command, Wins was the first Commanding General of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command.

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