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King University's interim president speaks about controversy, future

By Jim Conrad, jconrad@wcyb.com
Published On: Feb 25 2014 04:16:33 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 25 2014 05:54:48 PM CST

For months Bristol's King University has been involved in controversy, culminating with the resignation of former president Dr. Gregory Jordan.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

For months Bristol's King University has been involved in controversy, culminating with the resignation of former president Dr. Gregory Jordan.

A new interim president was named last week. On Tuesday, Dr. Richard Ray sat down with News 5 to talk about the future of the school and the healing process.

Dr. Richard Ray is totally familiar with the workings and history of King University; he's served on the board of trustees for 33 years. He's also trying to move past the controversy that surrounded the school in recent months.

With the resignation of Dr. Gregory Jordan as president, Ray is more than willing to step up as interim president. "What you see here is part of the flux of higher education, of planning, of rechecking, of going over things again, getting a little fresh start about things. 99 percent of what's going on here is in place," Dr. Ray said.

Students feel that the appointment of Dr. Ray is a step in the right direction for the school. "We fully support Dr. Ray and we're very optimistic for the future of King. The transparency is, was a big issue, the lack of communication that was previous with this current administration," Student Government Association president Andre Latimore said.

That lack of transparency and the quick growth of the school were two major issues for both faculty and students, and all agree growth is good. "Most students would agree on that, so long as the Bristol campus is taken care of and the administration engages the students and faculty in that expansion, it would be more than welcomed," SGA vice president Austin Patrick says.

Their new interim president sees a bright and prosperous future for King University. "We're on the way to even greater things here, building on the foundations of the past. I've know several of the former presidents, they've all provided a big step forward and I'm privileged to be here at this time to help build on that," he said.