Kevin D. Rome, Sr., Ph.D.
On July 1, 2017, Dr. Kevin D. Rome, Sr. became the 16th President of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to beginning the presidency at Fisk, Rome served as the 19th President of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri from June 2013 to June 2017.
With over 20 years in higher education, Rome has served in various capacities of university administration. He has served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at North Carolina Central University, Vice President for Student Services at Morehouse College, Vice President for Campus Life at Clayton State University, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Diversity at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis where he served on the development team for a $50 million new campus center.
During his tenure at Lincoln, Rome managed a budget in excess of $57 million and increased the reserves by approximately $5 million. Additionally, Rome’s leadership provided more than $60 million dollars in sponsored research, grants, and private gifts. On a personal note, the Dr. Kevin and Stefanie Rome Endowed Scholarship Fund was established at Lincoln University to assist deserving students in need.
Under his leadership, the university witnessed a 50% increase in student enrollment in addition to the creation of new institutional programs and academic initiatives. In fact, these new academic initiatives resulted in signed agreements with the Korean National University of Transportation to offer faculty and students increased research and learning opportunities and the One Love Learning Foundation of Jamaica to educate students and farmers on sustainable organic agriculture in the island country.
Rome has been credited with the increase in funding from state appropriations for land-grant status, increasing the state match from $500,000 to $2.5 million in a single year as a result of continued advocacy. He also worked collaboratively with Jefferson City Parks and Recreation to erect a $13 million, 80,000 square foot wellness and multipurpose center on campus.
Rome’s career has been deeply rooted in higher education, beginning at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Georgia as a Residence Hall Supervisor. From 1989 to 1991, he served as a Residence Director, Greek Advisor, and Financial Aid Counselor at the University of Georgia. In 1991, he joined the staff of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California as the Coordinator of Student Development. During his time at California Polytechnic State University, he received two promotions, serving as Academic Development Specialist and later as Education and Training Specialist.
Additionally, Rome has served as Assistant Dean of Students in the area of New Student Services at the University of Texas at Austin. He was promoted to Assistant Dean of Students in the area of Campus and Community Involvement. In this role, he supervised the Student Organization Center and the Student Organization Bank, coordinated the university’s response to demonstrations and protests, served as the advisor for the Student Government and Cabinet of College Council, and acted as a liaison for University of Texas Athletics.
Active in a host of civic and social organizations, Rome has served on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Central Missouri, Capital Region Medical Center, Central Bank, the Jefferson City Area YMCA. Rome formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), as Chair of the Council of 1890 Universities Executive Committee - APLU, Chair of the APLU Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE). Rome currently serves on the Advisory Council on HBCU Governance and Leadership for the Association of Governing Boards’ (AGB). He is a life member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.
Rome earned the Bachelor of Art degree in English from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1989. He received the Master of Education in College Student Personnel with an emphasis in counseling from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, in 1991, and the Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas in 2001.
Dr. Kevin D. Rome, Sr. is married to Stefanie Rome. They both reside in Nashville, Tennessee with their two children, Kevin Rome, Jr. and Kendel Rome.