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Mar 26, 2017 11:36 AM EDT

Kevin Rome Named As Fisk University's New President [VIDEO]

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Fisk University announced on Thursday that Kevin Rome will officially step into the position president for Fisk University on July 1st. Rome is currently president of Lincoln University in Missouri. With his years of experience he will become the 16th president for the historically black institution.

He will replace the school's interim president Frank Sims, who has led the university after H. James Williams resigned in 2015.  It took eight months of planning that included forums with alumni in multiple states, faculty and staff. Barbara Bowles, chair of the Fisk Board of Trustees, said that Rome is the transformational leader that Fisk is looking for to shape the school's future and accelerate growth.

Rome had four years of presidency for Lincoln University. Prior to that, he was an administrator at North Carolina Central University.

Rome said that the previous president, Sims, left a strong legacy of leadership and he is ready to build on Fisk's legacy. Fisk University had a central role in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

As the nation's historically black colleges and universities are facing an interesting chapter, he remains positive that Fisk's story of academic excellence, diversity, and integrity expand over the next 150 years will remain according to Nashville Public Radio.

In 2012 the university shared their celebrated Alfred Stieglitz Collection with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. The multimillion-dollar deal saved Fisk from having to close its doors.

After the university's accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges was put on two-year probation they overhauled its financial practices several years ago. As a result, the probation was lifted in 2013.

Rome's experience with managing a budget of more than $57 million at Lincoln University was a key factor for his selection. Lincoln enrollment jumped 50 percent during his time and Fisk hopes that he can help the university with grow in the same sense.

Cynthia McIntyre, a Fisk trustee, said Rome's past accomplishments can very well increase Fisk's partnership with the greater Nashville community according to The Tennessean.

© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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