Asra Steele (1917-18)
The State Board of Regents appointed Asra Steele from the University of West Virginia's Department of Education as the first interim president in June 1917. Steele had a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri and a doctorate from Clark University. During Steele's administration, several of Arthur Crane's improvements were realized. These included additions to the school's plant and the introduction of correspondence work under the Extension Department. Neither Steele's impeccable credentials nor his faithful effort to continue Crane's policies, however, could prevent his abrupt dismissal after only 10 months on the job. He angered local business people during a1918 convocation with comments about the progress and financing of the First World War. It was a political dismissal during difficult times.