By Bob Allen
Georgetown College’s search for a new president will continue after two of three previously announced finalists withdrew from further consideration.
College officials said May 9 that former Lexington, Ky., Mayor Jim Newberry and Jason Rogers of Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., withdrew from consideration “for personal and professional reasons,” the school announced Thursday.
They, along with Cheryl Kimberling, president of Multicultural Alliance in Fort Worth, Texas, were announced April 23 as finalists to succeed current president William Crouch, who retires June 30 after 22 years.
William Houston, chair of the presidential search committee, said the panel would immediately begin a second round of confidential interviews with leading applicants and with leading existing applicants and “hopefully, schedule future campus visits as soon as possible.”
Chartered in 1829, Georgetown College has long been affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Convention leaders were poised last November to end the relationship but at the last minute postponed the vote to wait and see if the next president wants to continue to discuss issues behind the proposal to sever ties.
A state convention study committee that proposed ending ties with Georgetown cited factors including a recent decision by the school’s trustees to drop the requirement that 75 percent of the board members be Kentucky Baptists.
Another was a revision of Georgetown’s identity statement from sectarian Baptist to one “built on a Baptist foundation” in pursuit of “a knowledge of and commitment to the Christian faith.” Also mentioned was the 2010 relocation to Georgetown’s campus of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner.