By Frederick H. Lowe
Dr. William B. Bynum, Jr. president of Jackson State University, one of the largest Historical Black Colleges and Universities based on enrollment, has resigned following his arrest in a prostitution sting.
Dr. Bynum tendered his resignation as president on Monday, February 10, during Black History Month, to the Board of Trustee of State Institutions of Higher Learning. His resignation was effective immediately.
On the same day, Bynum tendered his resignation, the Board of Trustees named Thomas Hudson acting president of Jackson State University. Before his promotion, Hudson served as special assistant to the president and chief diversity officer. He also served on the executive cabinet and provided guidance to senior leadership on all topics related to the university’s future.
“We are extremely pleased that Thomas Hudson has agreed to serve as Acting President,” said Hal Parker, president of the Board of Trustees of
State Institutions of Higher Learning. “As both an alumnus and a current staff member, he has a deep love for and understanding of the campus and all it means to students, faculty, staff, alumni and the state.”
The whirlwind set of events occurred on February 10 when the Clinton, Mississippi, police announced they had arrested Dr. Bynum and 16 others. Police arrested them on multiple charges, including prostitution, procuring the services of a prostitute, promoting prostitution, conspiracy to promote prostitution and various controlled substance violations.
Police charged the 57-year-old Bynum with procuring services of a prostitute, using a false identity and simple possession of marijuana.
Dr. Bynum was named the 11th president of Jackson State University on May 31, 2017. Prior to joining Jackson State, he served as president for four years of Mississippi Valley State University. A native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Davidson College and a Master’s and a Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University.
Bynum’s motto is: “Look back and thank God. Look forward and trust God. Look around and serve God. Look within and find God.”
He is married Deborah Bynum. The couple are the parents of six children. Jackson State, which is based in Jackson, Mississippi, was founded in 1877. The school had a 2019 enrollment of 7,250.