Article: Hunt Scanlon: Anthem Executive on a Diversity Placement Spree
Anthem Executive is on a roll and continues to consecutively place diversity executives in top leadership roles, such as president and provost. The Anthem Executive search firm recently shocked many in the higher education world. The firm recruited an executive who is arguably one of the top African Americans in higher education today, Dr. Loren Blanchard, who was the System EVP of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs for the largest higher education system in the nation, California State University System, into the role of President for the 17,000 plus student, University of Houston-Downtown. Anthem Executive recently recruited Dr. Keith Whitfield as president of the University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV), the state of Nevada’s flagship Carnegie 1 (R1) research university, with a major medical school. Dr. Whitefield was formerly with Duke University and Wayne State University as provost. Additionally, the firm recently recruited Pete Gallego as the president of Sul Ross State University, part of the Texas State University System. Gallego, served as a U.S. representative for the 23rd Congressional District. Following a nationwide search conducted by Anthem Executive, the University of Michigan board of regents approved Sonja Feist-Price as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of the University of Michigan-Flint. Recruited from the University of Kentucky, Ms. Feist-Price directed both the African-American studies and research institute and graduate studies in rehabilitation counseling in the department of early childhood, special education and rehabilitation counseling. Anthem Executive completed a search for the Georgia system on June 3rd as the Board of Regents Chairman Sachin Shailendra and University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Steve Wrigley have announced Dr. T. Ramon Stuart, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fort Valley State University, as the sole finalist for president of Clayton State University.
“Dr. Stuart is a veteran leader in higher education who has done an outstanding job over his career of keeping a focus on how to help more students stay on track and succeed in attaining their college degree,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “His experience makes him an excellent candidate to lead Clayton State as it continues to increase student success, grow its campus community and expand its academic reach across metro Atlanta and Georgia.”
Stuart has served in his current position since 2016. An experienced higher education administrator, Stuart is responsible for the Academic Affairs division at FVSU including the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology. He also has leadership responsibility for Student Success, Retention Services, the Hunt Memorial Library, Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness and the Quality Enhancement Plan, among other departments. Thanks to his significant role in enrollment and retention efforts, FVSU has elevated its student retention rate to the mid-70th percentile and increased the graduation rate by 15 percent.
“Dr. Stuart is a proven leader who can help Clayton State University and its students, faculty, staff and alumni succeed, and I am grateful to the members of the campus-based Presidential Search and Screen Committee for the time they took in this important effort,” said Regent Cade Joiner, chair of the Regents Special Committee which also helped with the search.
Prior to joining FVSU, Stuart was a faculty member and key leader at West Virginia State University. His accomplishments there included developing an engineering 2+2 degree program, aiding in increasing retention by almost 10% in three academic years, serving on the self-study reaffirmation steering committee responsible for achieving a 10-year reaccreditation and helping to increase overall enrollment by expanding international recruitment. He also assisted in increasing the number of students earning dual credit while in high school and expanding college access for TRIO (Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Service) participants.
“It is an honor to be considered for the presidency of Clayton State University, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help it fulfill its potential and achieve even greater success,” Stuart said. “Tremendous work has already gone into making sure the university’s academic programs and support systems are strong and give students, faculty, staff and alumni what they need to thrive. There are extraordinary things ahead for Clayton State, and I appreciate having a chance to be a part of that momentum.”
Stuart earned his doctorate in higher education administration from the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education at Ohio University. He earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University.
The Board of Regents will take action on the position at a future board meeting, no sooner than five days from naming a finalist. Current Clayton State President Tim Hynes has announced he is retiring at the end of June.