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Percy named Carson-Newman University interim president

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Dr. Paul Percy

(Oct. 26, 2018) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman University Interim Presidential Search Committee and Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. Paul Percy will serve as interim president following the retirement of the University's 22nd president, Dr. J. Randall O'Brien. O'Brien will conclude his presidency Dec. 31.

Percy, who has served as executive vice president and provost for the University, will assume his new duties Jan. 1, 2019.

"Dr. Percy is a perfect fit to serve as interim president," said Carson-Newman Board Chair Harry Brooks. "He is familiar with the mission of Carson-Newman and a man of strong faith. I believe his vision and integrity will lead us through this transitional period."

Percy joined Carson-Newman's faculty in 2013 as the Ted Russell distinguished professor of business and director of the MBA and organizational leadership programs.

The Knoxville resident had previously served nine years as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at King University in Bristol prior to joining Carson-Newman. He began his career at King as an assistant professor of business and department chair.

"Dr. Paul Percy’s long history of administrative experience will enable C-N to continue making progress on the current strategic plan and other key initiatives in the pipeline," said Jeanette Blazier, who chaired the eight-member Interim Presidential Search Committee and is a C-N Board of Trustees member. "He served effectively as co-interim president during Dr. O’Brien’s recent sabbatical leave, and the board looks forward to working with him again during this interim period."

Along with over 25 years of experience as a college professor of business, Percy has over 20 years of experience in various roles of academic administration, eight years of experience in banking and 27 years as an Air Force and Air National Guard officer.

During his Carson-Newman tenure, the Buffalo, New York, native collaborated with the Department of Business to develop an adult-friendly Bachelor of Business Administration degree completion program. He also worked with an Institutional Effectiveness Committee, helping to finalize the reaccreditation process with The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In addition, he led the University's Steering Committee in the completion of the institution's Vision 2020 Strategic Plan.

Percy received his Bachelor of Science degree in communication and business administration from Houghton College before earning his MBA from the University at Buffalo. He continued his education at the University of Kentucky, where he received his PhD in business.

Percy and his wife Janet, who serves as associate professor of Accounting and Management at C-N, have three grown children, Paul, Jr., Rachel and Sarah.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The University has over 2,500 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

For media inquiries, visit the University Relations page.

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