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Norfolk State president fired by visitors

Saturday - 8/24/2013, 1:10pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The governing board of Norfolk State University has fired President Tony Atwater.

The Board of Visitors' 7-4 vote Friday stunned Atwater, who called the decision "unexpected and disappointing." He had 10 months left on his contract.

While board members declined to explain their decision, media reports say the vote came months after the state and the university's accrediting agency had signaled trouble at the historically black university.

Atwater's contract allowed the board to fire him without cause for the "convenience of the university." His contract calls for him to receive his base salary of $295,000 through next June.

Sandra DeLoatch is provost and vice president for academic affairs. She was named acting president.

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