Monday, June 10, 2024
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Jarvis Christian University Board of Trustees voted May 3 in executive session to grant former JCU President Dr. Lester C. Newman president emeritus status for his contibutions to the growth and development of the university. Newman served the university from 2012 to 2023 as the institution’s 12th president.

The resolution signed by the board cited Newman’s leadership, vision, and guidance to the institution and listed many accomplishments, including his involvement in succession planning to name Dr. Glenell M. Lee-Pruitt as his successor.

Other accomplishments included increasing student enrollment, enhanced academic programs, improved infrastructure with facility renovations and construction of two residence halls, transitioning the institution from a college to a university, and successfully maintaining the institutions accreditation status.

A Shreveport native, Newman concluded his 45-year higher education career—which included serving on multiple education organization boards—when he retired as JCU president on June 30, 2023.

Newman received his bachelor's degree in political science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University.

A dedicated leader and academician, he served in several positions in higher education for a period spanning more than 40 years.   Prior to Jarvis, Newman served as the Executive Assistant to the President and Director of Administrative Management Programs at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. For nine years, he also served as President and Professor of Political Science at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS. 

Earlier in his career, he held such positions as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Political Science, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina; Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science, Shelby State Community College, Memphis, Tennessee; Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky; and Assistant Professor of Political Science, Associate Director of Institutional Self-Study and Assistant to the Dean of the Junior Division at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

He receeived numerous honors, awards and recognitions and authored more than 50 presentations and publications. He was active in numerous professional associations, institutes, consortia, and organizations in higher education.  He and his wife, Gloria, have two children and seven grandchildren.


Jarvis Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500, or visit for questions about the accreditation of Jarvis Christian University. To view PDFs, you may download Adobe Reader here.