Lester C. Newman, president of Jarvis Christian University in Hawkins, Texas, recently announced that he intends to retire in June. His retirement comes after 47 years in higher education and 11 years at Jarvis Christian.
“There comes a time when a leader knows it is time to step aside,” Dr. Newman said in an address to the university community in the campus chapel. “Jarvis needs a new perspective, new energy, and a new leader. I called this meeting today because I wanted my students, faculty, and staff to hear it from me first.”
During his tenure, Dr. Newman has improved the educational institution’s financial position, increased enrollments, and restored athletic programs. He expanded educational degree programs to include mass communication, cybersecurity, and healthcare management and opened a satellite teaching location in Dallas. He presided over the transition from a college to a university with the addition of two new master’s degrees in business and criminal justice.
Before becoming the twelfth president of what was then Jarvis Christian College in 2012, Dr. Newman was executive assistant to the president and director of administrative management programs at Wiley College, a historically Black college, in Marshall, Texas.
Dr. Newman is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science from Atlanta University.