Fisk President Placed on Leave, Vann Newkirk Named Acting President

Fisk University President Kevin Rome has been placed on leave following revelations of a protective order filed against him by a Nashville man who claimed to have a romantic encounter with the executive.

Provost Vann Newkirk has been named acting president of the university pending resolution of the allegations against Rome.

“As this is a personal matter not connected to the school, we cannot comment on the specifics,” Fisk Board Chair Frank Sims said in a statement. “Dr. Newkirk has made tremendous contributions as provost and we look forward to his continued leadership. Fisk has experienced several outstanding years and we are convinced the next few years will be the best in the University’s esteemed history.”

According to officials, Newkirk led the successful June 2020 on-site special committee visit by SACSCOC and has led the institution’s COVID-19 response and reopening plan for the fall.

“Fisk University has stood the test of time,” the statement read. “For more than a hundred and fifty years, the school has enabled students to pursue their futures and realize their dreams. We are confident that all of our alumni, friends, and supporters will help us continue in our mission to positively change student lives and reach new heights.”