Westminster president resigns for "personal reasons"

Friday, October 19, 2007 | 2:24 p.m. CDT; updated 3:07 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 5, 2008

COLUMBIA — The president of Westminster College in Fulton has resigned, the school announced Friday afternoon.

The college issued a written statement that said Fletcher M. Lamkin, who has acted as the school’s president since July 1, 2000, “resigned for personal reasons.”

Barney Forsythe, Westminster’s senior vice president and dean of faculty, will serve as acting president.

Lamkin “laid a wonderful foundation for success, and we’re excited to be able to build on it,” Forsythe said. He declined to elaborate on Lamkin’s reasons for leaving

Forsythe credits Lamkin as being actively involved in the strategic visioning and planning process. He said that within the last three to four years of Lamkin’s tenure, the president prepared a leadership team for his departure.

“We’re excited about stepping up,” Forsythe said.

Westminster was recognized twice by The Princeton Review as one of the best values in higher education during Lamkin’s tenure, the college said. They also said Westminster experienced record enrollments, an increased level of student support and satisfaction and the completion of Campaign for Westminster, an $80 million project, under Lamkin’s watch.

Forsythe added that Lamkin dramatically increased retention rates and internationalized the campus.

Bruce Hackmann— president and CEO of Fulton Area Development Corporation, of which Lamkin is a director — said Lamkin was an effective leader at Westminster and in Fulton. He credited the former president for the new facilities on campus as well as overall campus beautification.

“He made a difference in the lives of all of us who live here,” Forsythe said.

Neither Forsythe nor Hackmann were aware of Lamkin’s future plans. Lamkin did not return messages left at his home Friday afternoon.

“We appreciate the support of the board and the community as we make this transition,” Forsythe said.

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