Cumberland University


CU Board Reappoints President and Elects Officers


The Cumberland University Board of Trust unanimously voted to renew Dr. Harvill Eaton’s appointment as president of the University Wednesday at its spring meeting.

The action continues Dr. Eaton’s employment with the University for 5 years and comes after a thorough review of his performance.

“Dr. Eaton has demonstrated remarkable leadership as president of Cumberland,” said Dr. Edward Thackston, Chairman of the Board of Trust. “During the past 7 years he has transformed the University through stabilizing its financial position, strengthening and growing the size of the faculty, recruiting record numbers of more academically prepared students, and greatly enhancing the University’s reputation. Cumberland, and the community it is surrounded by, are fortunate to have him at the helm.”

The Chairman of the Board formed an advisory committee earlier this year for the purpose of evaluating the president’s performance and gathering feedback from individuals representing all sectors of the University and the community.

"I am grateful for the Board's vote of confidence and honored to serve this great institution,” said Dr. Eaton. “I stand committed with the faculty and staff, deliberate, in continually reshaping the Cumberland experience we provide to students.  Cumberland is the oldest university in the region, but it has the brightest new face."

Eaton added "each person who is a part of the Cumberland team is committed to delivering a very personal, student-centric education of the highest quality. We are preparing our students to excel in a very diverse and constantly changing world.  Today's strongest businesses did not exist, nor could have even been imagined, a few years ago.  We are demanding our students be prepared for tomorrow.  The new Cumberland is there, and it's great to be a part of it."

Eaton, who has held leadership positions in both public and private institutions, has served as Cumberland’s president since 2004. The renewal of his contract will extend his relationship with the university through 2016.

“The results of our review were extremely positive,” said Dr. Bob Vero, Chairman of the Presidential Evaluation Advisory Committee. “Cumberland University is a small school but remains a complex organization to lead. Dr. Eaton has established a track record of excellence, and I am excited that he will continue being a driver for this institution.”

During the spring meeting the Board also elected officers.  Dr. Edward Thackston will continue to serve as Chairman, as Mr. Winstead Paine Bone III and Mr. Joseph Adams continue their service as Vice Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively.  Dr. Thackston is Professor Emeritus of Environmental and Civil Engineering at Vanderbilt University.  Mr. Bone is the long-time owner of Wilson County Motors, and Mr. Adams is with Eastern Alliance Insurance Group in the Lebanon community.

“We are fortunate to have such strong leadership on our Board of Trust,” said Ms. Jackie Cowden, Chairwoman of the Nominating Committee. “The Board looks forward to working with our officers to continue delivering results that the current students, prospective students and the entire University community have come to expect.”

The officers will serve 2 year terms and will be effective immediately.