Lee News

Livingston Announces Start of Presidential Search


Following Dr. Paul Conn’s announcement that he will be stepping down as Lee University president next year, the search for his successor is getting underway.

Conn will be staying at Lee in the position of Chancellor, to serve on the team of a new president. The process of choosing a new president is being led by Dennis Livingston, chair of the Lee University Board of Directors. Livingston is a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, and has been on the board for 23 years, and an officer for the past nine years.

Dennis Livingston

Livingston has appointed a six-member Board search committee, as well as four advisory members, to lead the search process. Joining him on the committee are Wade Lombard (Austin, Texas), Patricia Carroll (Ft. Myers, Florida), Jerry Madden (Greer, South Carolina), Robert Daugherty II (Atlanta, Georgia), and Kenneth Jones II (Princeton, North Carolina).

Livingston also announced that a new email address has been established for anyone to communicate directly with the Search Committee. This “listening post” has been set up at the following web address: presidentialsearch@leeuniversity.edu. This provision will allow anyone to offer nominations, applications, comments, or any other ideas directly to the search committee.

Also, four additional individuals will be serving as advisory members to the committee. According to Livingston, each will represent a different constituency of the Lee University community, and the Board encourages input and comments to these representatives, from anyone wishing to participate in the selection decision. “We want to make sure every voice is heard,” Livingston said.

• Representing Lee alumni: Steve Black: 423.595.7300, steveblack@kw.com

• Representing Lee faculty: Jean Eledge: 423.284.5628(c), 423.614.8119(o), jeledge@leeuniversity.edu

• Representing the Cleveland community: Beverly Johnson: 423.284.3773, beveywevey@aol.com

• Representing Lee students and staff: Lena Barber: 423.715.0531, lbarber@leeuniversity.edu

• Representing the church: Search Committee member: Jerry Madden: 864.879.4878, revjmadden@charter.net

Livingston emphasized that the Search Committee will deliver its findings to the full Board of Directors, which will make the final decision and appointment of the new president. “We are a search committee, not a selection committee,” he stated. “Our job is to gather information, but the entire Board of Directors will meet together to make the choice.” Livingston expects a decision to be announced by the Board sometime in January or February 2020.

The new president will assume the office on August 1, 2020, at the conclusion of Lee’s summer commencement. In his announcement to the Board and faculty, Conn pledged to stay at Lee to support and assist his successor. “I will still be here working hard, in the role of Chancellor, to help the new president reach the big dreams we all have for Lee University,” he said. “This is the work I love, at the place I love, with the people I love. My title and position will change, but not my heart.”

Livingston said the Board will provide periodic updates on the search process whenever there is news to report.

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