Coleman Lew Leads Provost Search for Lenoir-Rhyne University

March 15, 2018 – The hunt for university leadership has been heating up, especially with searches for provosts. Just recently, Coleman Lew + Associates was selected by Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC to lead its search for a new provost. Two years ago, the Charlotte, NC-based executive recruitment firm helped place the school’s current president, Frederick K. Whitt.

The previous provost, Larry Hall, resigned in December to accept a role with the Appalachian College Association. Leslie Lambert, who previously served as provost and executive vice president at Ferrum College in Virginia, is serving as interim provost.

Lenoir-Rhyne, which is affiliated with the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is looking for an innovative, inspirational, strategic and collaborative leader for the role, said Coleman Lew.

A Liberal Arts School

The provost, who reports directly to the liberal arts school’s president, serves as the chief academic and student life officer, and as chief executive officer in the president’s absence.

The provost of Lenoir-Rhyne University is considered a trusted advisor to the president and serves on the president’s cabinet and senior leadership team, said the search firm. The individual chosen for the job will be expected to work closely with the president and other senior-level leaders to build and implement a long-term strategic plan and to ensure effective university operations, while embracing academic excellence in a culture of transparency and shared governance.


Greenwood / Asher & Associates Seeks Provost for Wright State University
Wright State University in Fairborn, OH, has turned to Greenwood / Asher & Associates to lead its search for a new provost. Thomas Sudkamp is stepping down from his role at the end of June, and the school hopes to find his replacement by that time.


As chief academic officer, the provost is charged with providing leadership that ensures an up-to-date curriculum through regular assessment that is consistent with the mission of the university, said Coleman Lew. The provost is also expected to lead and evaluate the faculty and staff within the Office of Academic Affairs; develop short-term and long-term plans consistent with the mission of the school and with a fiscally responsible budget; represent the faculty and appropriate staff to all constituencies, including the administration, students, alumni, and the public; and promote Lenoir-Rhyne to all constituencies.

Candidates should have a record of distinguished and progressively responsible academic administrative experience in higher education, said Coleman Lew. Other requirements include:

  • Extensive experience as an academic dean (preferably a chief academic officer) at a regionally accredited institution;
  • A distinguished record of teaching, scholarship, and service appropriate for appointment to the rank of professor with tenure;
  • Track record of academic leadership that demonstrates a commitment to innovation through exemplary teaching and enhanced student engagement;
  • Demonstrated confidence and comfort working in a vibrant and entrepreneurial culture committed to the principles of shared governance;
  • Strong and effective written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills to support engagement with both academic and non-academic constituencies;
  • Understanding and familiarity with current trends in higher education, particularly related to independent, liberal arts comprehensive universities;
  • Expertise with professional program-level accreditation processes and with institutional-level regional accreditation requirements.

Higher Education Leadership Search Seeks Provost for Northeastern State University
Higher Education Leadership Search has been selected by Northeastern State University in Oklahoma to help find a new provost and vice president of academic affairs. Consultants Bill Meehan and Alan Medders are leading the assignment.


Lenoir-Rhyne University, founded in 1891 as Highland College, has campuses in Hickory, Asheville and Columbia. The school has an overall enrollment of nearly 2,600 students. The average class size is 16 students. The student/faculty ratio is 13:1. And 79 percent of the faculty hold doctoral degrees. Lenoir-Rhyne offers over 50 undergraduate majors and 30 master degree programs. Its first doctoral program will begin this fall. The school offers two undergraduate degrees, four graduate degrees and four seminary degrees.

Coleman Lew + Associates recruits CEOs, board members and senior leaders for national and international companies, institutions of higher education, independent schools, and a wide variety of non-profit organizations. The firm is currently leading searches for director of undergraduate admissions at the University of North Carolina Pembroke, executive director for the Richland County (SC) Recreation Commission and an array of other roles.

Coleman Lew’s list of completed assignments is lengthy and includes: vice president for finance and business at the Citadel, vice president of human resources for Wingate University, director of sales for Costco U.S. and director of criminal justice services for Mecklenburg County, NC, among others.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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