McAllaster Named Acting President

On Monday, June 9, the Board of Trustees appointed former dean Craig McAllaster to serve as acting president.

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

At a special meeting on June 9, 2014, the Board of Trustees of Rollins College appointed former Dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business Craig McAllaster to serve as acting president until a new president is selected. The normal cycle for a presidential search is a full academic year.

McAllaster, who recently retired as dean to return to the faculty, brings to the position 20 years’ experience at Rollins as an administrator and faculty member. He has served on a number of local corporate boards and has consulted on leadership with many corporations. He holds two master’s degrees and received his Ed.D. from Columbia University, where his dissertation won a national competitive research award. The Board of Trustees finds McAllaster to be a strong collaborator, communicator, and decision maker. He also has a solid understanding of the higher-education accreditation process from his service on more than 20 AACSB accreditation site visits.

Rollins trustees spent several weeks with the College’s major constituencies determining expectations, attributes, and issues for the acting president’s focus while continuing to move forward the Board’s vision for the College. The Rollins community wants an acting president who is not just a caretaker, but who can build on the momentum of the last few years. The acting president needs broad knowledge of the College and the ability to engage faculty and staff to make Rollins attractive and desirable for students. Rollins has a long tradition in the liberal arts and innovation in learning, a growing reputation for international and community engagement experiences, and a focus on the individual student. Like all of higher education, Rollins must build a sustainable, strategic budget model that can support attractive educational programs; access for a diverse, talented student body; and the ability to retain and attract great faculty and staff. During the 2014-15 academic year, the College community has an opportunity, through the SACSCOC accreditation-reaffirmation process, to learn the College’s strengths and identify areas for improvement. An immediate focus is the commitment to career and life planning and preparing graduates for successful careers. The accreditation process is under the strong leadership of Provost Carol Bresnahan and her dedicated staff.

The Board of Trustees congratulates the students, faculty, staff, and administration on all the successes of the 2013-14 academic year. The College has strong incoming classes in all schools, and the generous financial support of alumni, parents, and friends continues to allow the College to honor its traditions and to advance. The trustees sincerely appreciate McAllaster’s willingness to serve the College as acting president and ask that, in the year ahead, the members of the College community work together, with respect and trust, toward the goal of making Rollins the best institution for our students: one college, one purpose, one mission.