JEFFERSON CITY - Carson-Newman College's Board of Trustees on Friday announced the formation of a search committee to replace President James Netherton, who is leaving effective in May to take a position at Mercer University.
The Rev. Marvin Cameron of First Baptist Church in Kingsport will serve on that committee, and former Kingsport Mayor Jeanette Blazier will serve on a committee to name an interim president.
Netherton announced his departure last month near the end of the board's listening posts statewide, following a faculty vote of no confidence in him last fall. Issues cited by his detractors included a lack of financial and organizational planning, adhering to the stances of more conservative churches, enrollment declines, lack of consistent faculty and staff raises, and deterioration of buildings on campus.
Board Chairman C.T. Cozart of Chattanooga recommended to the board a search committee to fill the vacancy - an 11-member group that will recruit and identify the institution's next leader. Composed of faculty, community representatives, trustees, a student and an alumni board member, the team will be led by David Ogle, a Gatlinburg businessman who is vice chairman of the board.
Cozart said it is expected that the board will name an interim president to lead the institution when Netherton leaves May 31.
The board delegated the responsibility for recruiting an acting leader to its personnel committee, led by trustee Maxfield Bahner, a Chattanooga attorney. Other members include trustees Carole Overholt and Ted Russell of Knoxville, former Board of Trustees Chair Blazier of Kingsport, and Cozart and retired executive Sonny Griffin, both of Chattanooga.
Cozart said he expects an interim president will be named after the board meets at its regular session in mid-May.
In other action, the board announced a new planning initiative, a fund-raising program specifically designed for classrooms and residence halls, and a communications program aimed toward Tennessee Baptist churches.
Walter Crouch, vice president for denominational relations, will lead an endeavor to improve communication with the state's Baptists with a particular emphasis on the almost 1,500 churches in East Tennessee. Cozart said trustees Ron Murray of Central Baptist in Johnson City, Mike Boyd of Wallace Memorial in Knoxville, and Leonard Markham of First Baptist in Fairfield Glade have agreed to serve on Crouch's committee.
For more information visit www.cn.edu/news.