Newkirk leaves as ECSU provost

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Vann Newkirk


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Elizabeth City State University’s top academic officer has left the university to take a position at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.

Vann Newkirk, who had been ECSU’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs for a little more than three years, became provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fisk effective Oct. 1.

Farrah Ward has been named ECSU’s interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

ECSU plans to conduct a national search for a provost once the next chancellor is in place, ECSU officials said. The current timetable calls for the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to approve a new chancellor for ECSU in January and for the chancellor to be on campus sometime in February.

In a statement, ECSU interim Chancellor Karrie Dixon expressed gratitude for Newkirk’s service at ECSU.

“Dr. Newkirk was an asset to ECSU,” Dixon said. “We are grateful for his service to the university and wish him well at his new post with Fisk University.”

Newkirk was named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs by then-Chancellor Stacey Franklin Jones in May 2015 and began his work at ECSU in July of that year.

Fisk University President Kevin D. Rome Sr. welcomed Newkirk to Fisk in a statement released by the university.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Newkirk to the Fisk family,” Rome said. “It was evident that he has a heart for HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) and brings a plethora of knowledge and skills that are valuable to better serve our students academically.”

In a statement released by Fisk, Newkirk said he believes in small private HBCUs such as Fisk.

“I’m a product of a private HBCU,” 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.”

Newkirk holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Barber-Scotia College, a master's degree in history from Winthrop University, a master's degree in library science from N.C. Central University and a Ph.D in history from Howard University.