By Bob Allen
Georgetown College in Kentucky announced three finalists April 23 in a search for a new president to replace retiring President William Crouch, who steps down June 30 after 22 years. According to a news release, the three candidates will meet on campus in the next week with trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, students and community members.
The finalists are Cheryl Kimberling, president of Multicultural Alliance in Fort Worth, Texas; Jim Newberry, currently vice president and general counsel at Georgetown; and Jason Rogers, vice president for administration and university counsel at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
Kimberling, a graduate of the University of Memphis and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has held administrative positions at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
The Multicultural Alliance is devoted to the elimination of bias, bigotry, and racism in the United States, with lineage tracing back to the 1927 founding of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Renamed the National Conference of Community in Justice in 1999, the national group disbanded in 2006 and requested that local chapters create their own corporate identities.
Newberry is the former mayor of Lexington, Ky., who joined the Georgetown College staff in 2012 as general counsel and special assistant to the president. Newberry served as counsel to Georgetown College during its negotiations to restructure its relationship with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Rogers is a graduate of Baylor University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Vanderbilt University Law School. His sister, Melissa, is well-known in moderate Baptist life and recently was appointed by President Obama as special assistant to the president and director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Following feedback from meetings with various groups on campus to be scheduled soon, a search committee recommendation will be made to the board of trustees, which will then potentially select the 24th president of Georgetown College.
Last fall, the Kentucky Baptist Convention postponed cutting ties with Georgetown to wait and see if the next president might open the door for renewed cooperation. A state convention study committee proposed ending the relationship for reasons including a change in how trustees are elected, adoption of a more ecumenical identity statement and the 2010 relocation to Georgetown’s campus of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner.