HBCU Virginia University of Lynchburg Names Kathy Franklin Its New President

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Kathy Franklin, previously the provost and executive vice-president of Virginia University of Lynchburg, has been named president of the college, according to a news release. 

Originally named Lynchburg Baptist Seminary, the school opened with just 33 students 126 years ago and has had just 17 presidents — including the likes of pastor and civil rights activist Vernon Johns and pastor Elisha Hall — in that time.

Franklin is the 18th president of the historically black college tucked away on Seminary Hill in Lynchburg.

She has served as interim president since the retirement of Ralph Reavis, who resigned abruptly in October, after serving as president of the college for 15 years. Reavis, who turned 75 in July had originally announced he would retire “no later than” May 2016.

“We are thrilled to have chosen Dr. Franklin to lead our institution,” LeRoy Owens, chairman of the college’s board of trustees said in a news release issued just before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from Franklin’s personal email account.

According to VULs website, the college’s executive staff now is comprised of Franklin; Provost/Executive Vice President John Borek; and Vice President of Finance Donald Leslie. Franklin is also identified on the site as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and under part-time faculty as a professor and vice president of administration.

According to Wednesday’s news release, Franklin was selected following a national search from among a competitive pool of candidates.

In October, when Reavis retired, Owens told The News & Advance the presidential committee already had received about 10 applications and would continue to accept them through Nov. 1. On Sept. 3, VUL posted a listing regarding the search on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website. The listing did not identify the president’s salary.

Franklin has been interim president since the fall.

“I am very happy to have been selected and I look forward to building on the wonderful foundation already laid at the school,” Franklin said in the release. She did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

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Source: Lynchburg News & Advance

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