Meharry Launches Presidential Search

Board of Trustees appoints Presidential Search Committee to choose next leader of historic college that specializes in training health professionals to serve the underserved.

Nashville, Tenn. (Wednesday, April 16, 2014) – The Board of Trustees of Meharry Medical College, the nation's largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center, today launched a national search for its 12th president. The new president will succeed Dr. A. Cherrie Epps, who will continue to lead the organization until the new president is appointed.

To lead the search for the new president, the Board of Trustees appointed an 11-member Presidential Search Committee with representation from the community, alumni, faculty and donors/supporters.

"Meharry is a proud institution with a rich history of caring for those who are often forgotten in our society. Our new president will have the important task of carrying on and continuing to grow that legacy," said Chairman of Meharry's Board of Trustees Frank S. Royal Sr., M.D. "We are extremely grateful to our colleagues on the search committee who have agreed to take on the role of finding the ideal candidate to fill this role. It is an awesome responsibility, and we greatly appreciate their service to Meharry."

"We are also indebted to President Epps who has dedicated so much of her illustrious career to our college, most recently as our leader," continued Royal. "Dr. Epps has demonstrated a selfless devotion to Meharry, particularly to our students who she has helped prepare for the challenges of our nation's ever changing health care environment. As one of the first women to lead a national academic health sciences institution, Dr. Epps also serves as a role model for female leaders around the world."

Founded in 1876, Meharry has long been recognized as one of the finest institutions for medical, dental and biomedical science education in the nation. Dedicated to eliminating health disparities through education, research and patient care, Meharry is consistently recognized as a top producer of primary care physicians, dentists and biomedical scientists as well as public health and health policy leaders. For nearly 140 years, Meharry alumni, students, staff and faculty have fulfilled and continue to live the college's mission of educating health care providers and researchers to serve the underserved.

Royal said the Presidential Search Committee, in conjunction with Meharry's Board of Trustees, will be seeking a leader who can:

  • Demonstrate experience leading a vibrant and growing academic institution;
  • Shepherd and position the historic college as a leader amidst changes in the U.S. health care environment;
  • Ignite enthusiasm among Meharry students, staff, faculty, alumni, donors and friends;
  • Expand programs that support student development and growth; and
  • Defend and embody Meharry's mission to serve the community with quality and compassionate heath care services, especially for those most in need.

"We are anxious to further Meharry's legacy and find a strong leader to guide the college's future," said Royal  "In addition to ample leadership experience, we are seeking a president who will build on the strengths of the organization honoring its tradition and history while recognizing its significant impact on health care and who has the vision to help Meharry achieve even greater feats."

Members of the Presidential Search Committee include the following individuals:

  • Nelson Adams, M.D. '78, Miami, FL – a member of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee; former president of the National Medical Association; School of Medicine alumnus
  • Brandon Barton, D.D.S. '80, West Bloomfield, MI – a member of the Board of Trustees; School of Dentistry alumnus
  • Kimbra Bell, M.D. '96, Chicago, IL – a member of the Board of Trustees; President of the Meharry National Alumni Association; School of Medicine alumnus
  • Kim Cape, Nashville, TN – a member of the Board of Trustees; General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, United Methodist Church
  • Daphne Ferguson-Young, D.D.S. '79, Nashville, TN – faculty representative on the Presidential Search Committee; School of Dentistry alumnus
  • Martin Jeffries, M.D. '79, Evans, GA – a member of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Health Affairs Committee; School of Medicine alumnus
  • Milton Jones, Atlanta, GA - Vice Chairman of the Meharry Board of Trustees
  • Lewis Lavine, Nashville, TN – member of the Board of Trustees; Center for Non Profit Management
  • Jimmy Sheats, D.D.S. '74, Nashville, TN – community representative on the Presidential Search Committee; School of Dentistry alumnus
  • Christopher Watkins, Nashville, TN – student representative on the Presidential Search Committee; President, Pre-Alumni Association; 3rd year medical student
  • James Williams, Atlanta, GA  – a member of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee

About Meharry Medical College

Meharry Medical College, founded in 1876, is the nation's largest private, independent historically black academic health center dedicated to educating minority and other health professionals. True to its heritage, it is a United Methodist Church affiliated institution that is ranked second among all 141 medical schools in the social mission of medical education. Meharry is a leading national educator of African Americans with M.D. and D.D.S. degrees and Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences. Click here to learn more.


Contact: Janet M. Caldwell