King University president resigns amid controversy

BRISTOL, Tenn. - King University officials tell us President Dr. Gregory D. Jordan has resigned from his position at the school.

The Board of Trustees named Dr. Richard Ray as interim president while they look for a new leader.

We called the university's public relations staff Friday afternoon and were told neither Dr. Jordan nor anyone else from the school is available for comment.

Members of the King University family we've talked to said they were scared for the future of the school and their jobs.

A statement we received from an alumni group said, "We as alumni are concerned with the general environment of fear and intimidation that President Greg Jordan has created on the King campus. This environment of fear and intimidation has adversely impacted students, but especially faculty."

Jordan had received a 'no confidence' vote by a board of faculty members several days ago.

Dr. Jordan had served as President of the University since 1997.

We're following this story and will have more details as they're available.

The full press release from King University is as follows:

"King University President Dr. Gregory D. Jordan has resigned from his position at the private Presbyterian institution. Dr. Jordan had served as President of the University since 1997.

"It is with a heavy heart that we accept Dr. Jordan's resignation," says Marcia Porter, member of the King University Board of Trustees Executive Committee. "We appreciate Greg's tremendous contributions to the school during his tenure as President, and before that as an esteemed faculty member. King University is the institution it is today, with expanding campuses, additional programs and multiple learning platforms, due to his vision, leadership and business acumen."

Dr. Jordan's resignation is effective immediately.

During Dr. Jordan's tenure, King recorded a number of significant achievements, including:

· Transition from King College to King University;

· Development of a University model based on the following schools:

o   King College of Arts and Sciences;

o   School of Business;

o   School of Nursing;

o   School of Behavioral and Health Sciences;

o   Peeke School of Christian Mission; and

o   School of Applied Science and Technology;

· Addition of 18 majors and programs;

· Approval by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the University's accrediting body, to offer master's-level and doctoral-level programs;

· Development of Graduate and Professional Studies programs, currently the largest sector of enrollment at the University;

· Expansion of programmatic offerings and satellite campus locations from Grundy, Va., to Nashville, Tenn.;

· Completion of a $50-plus million comprehensive capital campaign;

· Development of west campus and Student Center Complex;

· Increase of enrollment by 350 percent to become a net tuition revenue-generating institution;

· 16 consecutive years of enrollment increases, including 14 years of record enrollment;

· Growth in University endowments to more than $32.7 million in 2013, a 169 percent increase since 1998;

· Increase in average incoming-freshmen GPA from 3.23 to 3.44;

· Transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II Athletics and association in Conference Carolinas;

· Expansion of athletics program from nine offerings to 25;

· Increase in Performing and Visual Arts offerings;

· Addition of King Institutes, including the Buechner Institute and King Institute for Regional Economic Studies;

· Development of articulation agreements with 11 community colleges throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia;

· Designation as a "Military Friendly School" by the publisher of G.I. Jobs and the Guide to Military Friendly Schools®;

· Recognition as the largest recipient of transfer students among Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) institutions; also acknowledged for having the largest population of transfer students from public institutions in Tennessee; and

· Ranking from U.S. News & World Report for 24 consecutive years as one of the "Best Regional Universities" in the South.

In a vote today, the Board of Trustees Executive Committee named Dr. Richard A. Ray as Interim President of the University. Prior to the appointment, Dr. Ray served as Vice Chair of the Board.

Dr.  Ray received his A.B. from Dartmouth College, his B.D. from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., and his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He also attended Princeton Theological Seminary for a Rockefeller Fellowship year.

"Dr. Ray is a widely acclaimed Presbyterian minister," Porter says. "His well-rounded life experience will be tremendously beneficial to King University as he serves as Interim President."

A nationwide search will be conducted to select the University's next President."

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