Meharry names Epps president, CEO

Veteran medical college leader replaces Riley

Meharry Medical College has named veteran leader Dr. Cherrie Epps its president and chief executive officer.

Epps’ appointment, which The Tennessean first reported Wednesday, comes after Dr. Wayne Riley opted to not return to Meharry after having taken a sabbatical earlier this year.

Epps most recently served as interim president following Riley’s departure. No reason has been given for Riley’s sabbatical.

At 83, Epps is believed to be the oldest president of a college, university or medical school in the United States.

Dr. Norman Christopher Francis, 82, is the president of Xavier University in New Orleans. He has been Xavier's president since 1968, making him the longest-tenured current leader of an American university.

Epps has been a member of Meharry’s  leadership team for more than 15 years. That span includes a 2007 stint as interim president (prior to Riley’s  arrival). She has a Ph.D. in zoology from Howard University.