Dr. Allison Garrett has been named the president of Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas.
Garrett has served as executive vice president of ACU for the last three and a half years and will transition out of her current role in December. Garrett will begin at Emporia State on Jan. 4, 2016.
“When I came here, Dr. Schubert and I talked. He knew I had aspirations to be a president,” Garrett said. “I’ve been in the corporate world as a vice president, a full-time professor, a provost for 5 years, and been on business side at ACU, so it was kind of a logical next step.”
Garrett was interviewed by a national search committee and then moved on to the finalist stage for the presidency. Last Wednesday, Garrett and her husband met with the Emporia State Board of Regents in Topeka, Kansas, and then traveled to the university campus where the live vote took place.
Emporia State University, with a campus population of 6,094 students, is slightly bigger than ACU.
“In some ways, not only because of the campus but the people, Emporia State reminds me of what I love about ACU,” Garrett said. “It’s a school with faculty who are highly engaged with students, and a school that’s really serious about academics and sports. I think I will really enjoy being a part of that campus culture and serving the students, faculty and staff of Emporia State.”
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of ACU, said he knew Garrett would make a great president someday.
“I’ve known since I interviewed Allison the first time that she had aspirations to be a president and I think she’ll be a great one,” Schubert said. “She’s multi-talented and has a tremendous breadth of experience and a lot of amazing skills and abilities that will help her.”
Before Garrett moves to Kansas in December, she is working to wrap of a few projects here in Abilene.
“The biggest project that I won’t totally finish is the transition into Division I athletics,” Garrett said. “We are currently in year 3 of the 5-year process and I am chairing a steering committee that is doing a self study on ACU athletics. My hope is by the time I leave in December we will have a pretty good working draft of the self-study done that is actually due next May.”
Schubert expressed his confidence in the administrative team during this next phase of transition.
“It’s great to be in a place that we have a talented enough team that we’re producing professionals of the caliber to be presidents of other institutions,” Schubert said. “It really speaks well of ACU.”
As for finding a new executive vice president, Schubert said he wants to take time to evaluate and assess what would be best for campus.
“Anytime you have a transition that’s at a responsibility level that’s as broad as Allison’s was, you want to take time to think through it,” Schubert said. “A lot of times you craft jobs around people. I’ve never been one to have structure trump personal qualifications, so we might decide a different organizational structure is in order.”