Retired Memphis city schools director is interim president of college

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Johnnie Watson is coming out of retirement to serve as interim president of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis.

Watson is a retired superintendent of the Memphis City Schools and has taught at the University of Memphis and Rhodes College. He says he will work to tap new sources to improve finances at the historically black college.

The school is in danger of losing its accreditation. It was put on probation in December, largely because of a $6 million.

The board chairman says the directors will search for presidential candidates over the next few months. He also says university officials must improve finances to attract desirable candidates.

Watson takes the office vacated last month when James Wingate resigned the presidency, saying he was frustrated that LeMoyne-Owen couldn't improve its finances.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)