Dr. L. Jay Lemons became president of Academic Search in 2017, after serving for 25 years as a college president in both public and private higher education. A recognized leader in the academy, Lemons has been particularly devoted to supporting leadership talent by working with new college presidents on the faculty of the new presidents’ programs of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and through the professional development programs for aspiring leaders of the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI). This passion for working with new and emerging leaders and the opportunity to help them build teams and their institutions was what led him to accept the presidency of Academic Search.
Dr. Lemons was president of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., from 2001 through June 30, 2017, and prior to that served as chancellor of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) College at Wise, UVA’s public liberal arts college in southwestern Virginia. Both institutions experienced highly generative periods of growth and development under his leadership. He understands colleges and universities and the leadership needed to propel institutions into the future.
Earlier in his career, Lemons served in a variety of roles at the University of Virginia, Texas A & M University, the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Wesleyan University – thus deepening his knowledge of the complex array of positions and leadership talent needed for institutions to be successful in a rapidly changing world.
Successful searches require familiarity with and knowledge of the talent pool and an ability to connect with those references who can provide deep insights into candidates and their potential for new positions. As a leader whom others in higher education have recognized for his ability to work across institutions and systems, Dr. Lemons has those contacts.
Lemons has served in key leadership positons in many national, state and local organizations. He is the immediate past vice chair and acting chair of the National College Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Board of Governors. Lemons also chaired the NCAA Division III President’s Council, the Council of Presidents of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Pennsylvania Campus Compact, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce.
He has also served on committees or boards of the American Council on Eduation, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges. He brings these broad contacts and his deep knowledge of public and private higher education to executive search.