Fisk University Announces New Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

vann newkirk Nashville, Tenn., September 28, 2018 – Fisk University President Kevin D. Rome, Sr., Ph.D. has announced the appointment of Vann R. Newkirk, Ph.D. as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs following a national search this past summer. He will begin his service on October 1. In this new position, he will oversee all academics and play a crucial role in the implementation of a new strategic plan for the University.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Newkirk to the Fisk Family, it was evident that he has a heart for HBCU’s and brings a plethora of knowledge and skills that are valuable to better serve our students academically,” President Rome said.

Dr. Newkirk joins Fisk University from Elizabeth City State University, where he serves as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and professor of History. He previously served as Associate Provost/Dean of the Graduate School at Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University (Alabama A&M).

The provost serves as chief academic officer and has the responsibility for providing strategic leadership to Fisk University, and to ensure the faculty and academic programs are of the highest quality – promoting academic excellence with a focus on Liberal Arts and Science.
“After meeting with some of the faculty at Fisk I knew it was the right fit for me,” Dr. Newkirk said. “I always knew Fisk was a special place with such a rich legacy of academic excellence. Fisk University is not only a great HBCU but has the potential to be a leading university in the U.S.”

Dr. Newkirk earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the Barber-Scotia College. His master’s degrees from Winthrop University and North Carolina Central University. His doctoral degree in History from Howard University.

“I believe in small private HBCU’s. I’m a product of a private HBCU,” Dr. Newkirk said. “I also believe in the mission of Fisk University and the students they serve. There is a lot of life left in a university like Fisk.”

Arnold Burger, Ph.D., who has served as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will remain on until Newkirk assumes the role on October 1.

“I want to thank Dr. Burger for providing Fisk and the search committee with excellent leadership,” President Rome said. “The work he was able to accomplish as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs kept the Academic Affairs division advancing smoothly.”