MACON - Mercer University President William D. Underwood has announced the appointment of Carson-Newman College President James S. Netherton to the position of executive vice president for administration and finance, effective Oct. 1, 2007. Dr. Netherton succeeds Dr. Thomas G. Estes Jr., who will retire as the university's senior vice president for finance and administration on
Sept. 30, 2007.
"Jim Netherton is an exceptionally talented individual. His intelligence and integrity as well as his depth and breadth of experience in higher education make him uniquely qualified for this key leadership position. Rarely do you find an individual who has served as a teacher and scholar, a chief operating officer, a provost and a college president," Underwood said. "He brings an extraordinary understanding of, and commitment to, higher education, as well as a lengthy track record of managing finances and operations in a university setting. I am pleased that Jim has accepted the challenge of joining us at
Mercer at this exciting time in the University's history."
Dr. Netherton was named Carson-Newman's 21st president on Feb. 1, 2000, following a four-year tenure at Samford University, where he was provost. During his tenure at Samford, the university implemented a new interdisciplinary core curriculum, received a $1 million grant from the Pew Foundation for work in problem-based learning, dramatically expanded its undergraduate research programs, implemented a new faculty governance system, opened an innovative new early childhood development center, renovated the campus library, planned a new sciences complex and expanded and obtained
accreditation for the interior design program.
As Carson-Newman's president, Dr. Netherton has led the Tennessee Baptist institution to expand and renovate the residence hall system, construct a new building for family and consumer science and a new football stadium, begin construction of a new academic facility for business, restructure its leadership team, develop a campus master plan, and acquire key real estate adjacent to the campus for future expansion. He also implemented several new curricular programs complete with specialized accreditation, implemented a strategic planning initiative, restructured admissions and recruiting to achieve an 80 percent increase in applications and launched a $55 million capital campaign that produced four consecutive years of record giving and surpassed its goal one year ahead of schedule. The two new academic buildings are Carson-Newman's first in over a quarter century.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to join President Underwood and Mercer University. Mercer has a great heritage, an excellent faculty and staff, and an important mission," Dr. Netherton said. "I am convinced that the next decade can be one that is quite invigorating as Mercer strives to become a truly national Baptist university. It is an honor and privilege to have the chance to contribute toward achieving that worthy goal.
As executive vice president for administration and finance, Dr. Netherton will oversee the treasurer's office, compensation and benefits, human resources, budget and analysis, information technology, physical plant, auxiliary services, the Mercer Engineering Research Center, Mercer Health Systems, health, safety and compliance, intercollegiate athletics, and the Mercer Police Department.
A National Merit Scholar, Dr. Netherton earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Mississippi in 1969, graduating summa cum laude and completing the University Scholars program. He went on to the University of Virginia on a National Defense Education Fellowship and earned his Ph.D. in 1973. He began his professional career teaching in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at what is now Armstrong-Atlantic State University in Savannah.
In 1981 Dr. Netherton was appointed executive assistant to the president at Baylor University and joined its faculty, teaching in mathematics and computer science. He subsequently served as vice president for information systems and vice president for executive affairs. The Baylor Board of Regents named him senior vice president and chief operating officer in January 1988. Dr. Netherton also taught in Baylor's honors program for 11 years and was a tenured professor of mathematics and computer science.
During his tenure at Baylor, the university implemented a major technology initiative that revolutionized the way teaching and learning were accomplished, the way administrative work was performed and that led to the institution being named one of the best wired campuses in the country. Dr. Netherton served six years as a commissioner of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, where he completed two terms as chair of the Accreditation Review Committee of the Commission, chaired two special committees -- one to revise the Criteria for Accreditation and the other to develop integrity standards for member institutions -- and regularly chaired accreditation visits to colleges and universities, including Mercer's in 1994. In December of 2005 the Commission presented him with its Meritorious Service Award.
He currently serves on the NCAA President's Council for Division II, as a board member for the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities, and as chair of the board of the International Associational of Baptist Colleges and Universities. In addition, he also served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Independent College and University Association and was president of the Consortium for Global Education.
He and his wife, Patricia, have two grown sons, Jay who is married to Anne Robinson, and Kirk, and two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Jacob. An active Baptist, he has served as chairman of deacons, Sunday school teacher and choir member. He and his wife are members of First Baptist Church in Jefferson City,
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah; an educational partnership with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.