LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — More than nine months after Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman announced his intention to retire, the college has released the name of his replacement.
According to Randolph College, Sue Ott Rowlands will bring a wealth of experience and background in teaching and administration when she assumes the role of president on July 1.
“On behalf of the Randolph College Board of Trustees, I am extremely pleased that Sue Ott Rowlands has been chosen to serve as our 11th President,” said Hank Hubbard, Board Chair. “In addition to a strong administrative and academic success track record, Sue brings a high level of energy, a great sense of humor and, most importantly, a focus and successful track record with student success. We We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Sue to continue the positive trajectory that Bradley W. Bateman has set for the College over the past nine years.Sue looks forward to becoming an active member of the Randolph and Lynchburg communities.
Officials say Ott Rowlands has a diverse background in higher education and the arts, including experience in private and public institutions, as well as small and large institutions.
She served as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs from 2014-2021 at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), where she is currently a professor of theater arts in the School of Arts.
Prior to her tenure at NKU, Ott Rowlands was Dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Humanities and Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as Professor and Chair of the University’s Theater and Film Department. . from Toledo, Ohio. She was also the acting/directing program chair at Ohio State University and acting program manager at Webster University in St. Louis.
“It is my great joy to join Randolph College at this special time when the College is poised for growth and continued excellence,” said Ott Rowlands. “I was drawn to Randolph by a number of things, including its rich tradition as a college for women, its academic innovation in the TAKE2 program model, its reputation for having a dedicated faculty and staff, the range of athletic programs, its location and beautiful campus, and the diversity of its student body.
“I would like to support Randolph College in new enrollment growth, fiscal stabilization, and creative solutions to the issues facing liberal arts colleges in today’s higher education landscape,” he said. -she adds. “In my mind, Randolph College has all the ingredients to make it a strong and competitive institution. I look forward to helping the College’s aspirations come true.
Randolph College says Ott Rowlands was born in Oklahoma, earning her undergraduate degree in education with a major in speech/drama from Oklahoma Christian College and her terminal degree, a master’s degree in comedy and directing, from l University of Oklahoma. In addition to his long career in higher education, Ott Rowlands has acted and directed professionally in New York and Washington, DC and is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association.
“Sue Ott Rowlands has stood out as the person who will put the concerns of all Randolph voters at the center of everything she does,” said Presidential Search Committee member Jaelyn Evans ’22. “I’m confident she will advance Randolph in key areas for the College, such as diversity, equity and inclusion, and improve the overall Randolph experience.”
The nomination of Ott Rowlands comes after a lengthy and competitive presidential search led by the Presidential Search Committee, which was made up of trustees – including several alumni, faculty, staff and students – and was guided by Isaacson, Miller , a national executive search firm.
“The search for Randolph College’s 11th president has been thorough, rigorous, at times grueling and exciting,” said Karen Campbell ’77, co-chair of the Presidential Search Committee and board member, adding that the process included more than 50 hours of virtual conversations, presentations and interviews, as well as in-person visits to campus. “The efforts of the search committee, the Isaacson, Miller team, and the Randolph College community have produced an exceptional and diverse pool of applicants.”
Betsy Crighton ’67, Search Committee Co-Chair and Board Member, added, “Randolph is truly fortunate to welcome Sue Ott Rowlands as the College’s next President. In a group of superb candidates, Sue stood out as a gifted and exceptional leader, well prepared to move the College forward. She has a deep understanding of higher education and a strong track record of accomplishments in areas critical to the College: enrollment, diversity and inclusion, budget management, and fundraising.
For more information on Ott Rowlands and the search for Randolph College’s 11th President, click here.