Presidential Search FAQs

Who is responsible for selecting the next president?

The Board of Trustees formed a Search Committee that has been charged with conducting the presidential search process, at the conclusion of which the Committee will make a recommendation to the Board. The Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for making the final decision on hiring the next president for Roanoke College.

How was the Search Committee selected?

The Search Committee was carefully selected to represent the perspectives of a variety of Roanoke College constituencies. The Committee comprises a talented group that represents the breadth and diversity of the Roanoke community but is small enough to work effectively.  The search committee includes members from the trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. 

How can members of the campus community provide input and/or feedback for consideration in the search?

The Search Committee welcomes and invites input from the Roanoke College community. There have been several opportunities to provide input in the early stages of the process. Our search partner, Academic Search, was on-campus at the end of October to conduct listening sessions with faculty, staff, and student leaders, and hear their thoughts on the important attributes and work ahead for our next president. An online community survey was available in early November to provide another opportunity to share input. This valuable feedback was critical in developing the search prospectus that will be used to introduce Roanoke and the presidential opportunity to prospective candidates and to evaluate candidates for the position.

How will the Roanoke College community be informed about the progress of the presidential search?

The Roanoke College community will be kept informed through periodic email updates from the chair and vice chair of the Search Committee, Malon Courts and Kirk Betts. The presidential search website serves as another source for news and information related to the search.     

Will we get to know or meet the candidates?

While the Search Committee is committed to keeping the Roanoke College community informed about the search and its progress, to attract the highest quality candidates, the Board of Trustees has made the decision for the process to be highly confidential. Names of candidates will not be made publicly available during any point in the search process. Search Committee members have committed to maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of the process and will not be able to comment publicly on the search.

Why is confidentiality so important in the presidential search?

A confidential search provides candidates the opportunity to explore and pursue the presidency of Roanoke College without risk of compromising their current positions. It enables Roanoke to attract the most talented, highly qualified candidates, most of whom we anticipate holding key leadership positions at other institutions or organizations.  

How will the Search Committee plan to identify and attract a diverse pool of candidates?

The Board of Trustees has engaged an experienced presidential search partner, Academic Search, known for its impressive record of placing persons from under-represented populations in leadership positions, to assist the Search Committee. The search will utilize best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the search process, and the Search Committee will engage in training to guard against bias. The position will be advertised and promoted widely with special attention paid to attracting candidates with a broad range of academic and nontraditional experience as well as candidates from diverse racial, ethnic, gender, and other backgrounds. Nominations will be sought from the Roanoke College community and others to help in this process. 

Will there be an expectation that the next President is Lutheran? 

The By-Laws of Roanoke College is our governing document, and it states that “the President of the College should understand and support the longstanding relationship between the College and the Lutheran Church and be able to articulate effectively its beneficial influence on the College and society.” You will see this statement reflected in the qualifications required for our next President as outlined in the presidential search prospectus.

Who can I contact with questions about the presidential search?

Whitney Aldridge ( is serving as the liaison to the Search Committee, and questions can be directed to her to be shared with the Committee. Nominations, applications, and expressions of interest can be sent to