KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that Dr. Lester Newman, president of Jarvis Christian College, has been elected as the new chair for the NAIA’s Council of Presidents (COP), effective July 1.
Dr. Newman has been the president of Jarvis Christian College, located in Hawkins, Texas, since April 2012 and a member of the COP for five years, as well as the Executive Committee for four years. As a COP member, he served as chairman of the audit review committee and represents the Red River Athletic Conference. He is the first president from a Historically Black College and University to serve as chair of the COP.
“Lester’s insight and thoughtfulness have already made a positive impact on the COP over the last five years,” said NAIA President Jim Carr. “I look forward to working with him in this leadership role.”
Prior to becoming President of Jarvis Christian College, Dr. Newman served as President of Mississippi Valley State University and in several other senior-level administrative positions at Wiley College, Lane College and Johnson C. Smith University. He also served in administrative posts at Kentucky State University and Southern University. An academician and political scientist, Dr. Newman rose up through the ranks from professor, dean and vice president to College president.
Dr. Newman is a native of Shreveport, La., and received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University.
The COP is composed of 23 institutional presidents who represent the 21 NAIA conferences, plus two at-large members. As part of the NAIA’s shared governance model, the COP is designated as a governing body and has authority over membership, all fiscal matters, and conference operations.