Vann R. Newkirk was named the 23rd president of Wilberforce University in Ohio. He will take office in July.
“I am honored and excited to be joining the Wilberforce University community,” Dr. Newkirk said. “As an HBCU graduate, I also understand the transformative power of these institutions and I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff, and students at Wilberforce to continue the university’s legacy of excellence. “Our students are young people who have dreams and aspirations when they come to us. We have to guide them to the right kind of career paths.”
Dr. Newkirk has been serving as interim associate vice president at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville. Earlier, Dr. Newkirk was named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fisk University in 2018 and became president in February 2021. He was let go in August 2022, with no explanation given for his dismissal.
Prior to coming to Fisk, Dr. Newkirk was provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and a professor of history at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina. Prior to that, Dr. Newkirk served as associate provost and dean of the graduate school at Alabama A&M University.
A native of Elizabethtown, North Carolina, Dr. Newkirk holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina, a master’s degree from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a master’s degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham, and a Ph.D. in history from Howard University in Washington, D.C.