The president of an HBCU is on leave after he allegedly drugged and robbed his Grindr date.
Up until recently, Dr. Kevin Rome Sr. was the respected president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. But according to the NBC’s Nashville affiliate, the school temporarily removed Dr. Rome from his position after a restraining order against him came to light. The restraining order states that Rome had a fling in May with a man he’d met off Grindr. The potential relationship became violent, however, according to the anonymous victim. The man claims that Rome dosed him with GHB “causing me to go in and out of consciousness, and invited other people over to have sex in my bed.”
That’s not all, according to the restraining order. The man then claims that Rome and a friend caused damage to his home sometime between June 14 and 15. The ex says Rome and the anonymous friend broke into his home, wrote homophobic messages on the walls, stolen from him, and tampered with the apartment’s plumbing. Then on August 6, the victim received a message while at dinner that warned him to “stay away from his people and threatened to kill me if I continued to date black men.”
According to the Tennessee Tribune, Dr. Rome says the accusations against him are fasle. He not only denies the allegations, but he plans to fight the case in court. Rome’s attorney Jay Steed then added that Rome “plans to fight the case in court and clear his name.”
“It is important to note that these are merely civil accusations. Dr. Rome has not been charged with any crime. Dr. Rome is most concerned for his family, friends and the community at Fisk University for any harm they are experiencing as a result of these spurious charges. He expresses his deepest thanks to all those who have reached out to him over the past few days expressing their support,” Steed said in a statement.
After placing Dr. Kevin Rome Sr. on leave, Fisk University released the following statement:
“Monday, Aug. 10, Fisk University learned that allegations unrelated to our school had been made against University President Kevin Rome, PhD. As this is a personal matter not connected to the school, we cannot comment on the specifics. Dr. Rome has been placed on leave until the matter is resolved and Provost Vann Newkirk, PhD, will assume his duties effective immediately.
Dr. Newkirk has a 25-year career in creating innovative educational programs. He joined Fisk in 2018 and in that time his leadership has been outstanding. Some of his most notable achievements at Fisk include:
- Led the successful June 2020 on-site special committee visit by SACSCOC
- Guided Fisk’s COVID-19 response and school re-opening plan for fall 2020 semester
- Launched the Fisk Learning and Development Program (FLDP), a training and development platform for faculty and staff
- Successfully transitioned to a hybrid virtual campus by facilitating remote access through specialized software.
‘Dr. Newkirk has made tremendous contributions as provost and we look forward to his continued leadership,’ said Board Chair Frank Sims. ‘Fisk has experienced several outstanding years and we are convinced the next few years will be the best in the University’s esteemed history.’
Fisk has seen many successes over the years. In just the past two years it has
- Increased enrollment by more than 32 percent
- ACT/SAT scores for incoming freshmen have improved from the 55th percentile to the 73rd percentile nationally.
- Produced two Rhodes Scholar finalists
- Launched multiple new academic programs
- Increased corporate internships by 41%
- Grown academic grants to over $8,500,000 for this past year
- Raised over $21,500,000 including an increase in endowment.
Fisk University has stood the test of time. For more than a hundred and fifty years, the school has enabled students to pursue their futures and realize their dreams. We are confident that all of our alumni, friends and supporters will help us continue in our mission to positively change student lives and reach new heights.”