Sue Ott Rowlands was named the 11th president of Randolph College in March 2022 and assumed office on July 1, 2022. We sat down with Ott Rowlands to get to know her a little better and learn more about her top goals and projects for the upcoming year.
Get to Know Sue Ott Rowlands
Sue Ott Rowlands brings a diverse background in higher education and the arts, including experience in private and public, as well as small and large institutions. She served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) between 2014 and 2021, and she also was a professor of theatre arts in the School of Arts there. Prior to her tenure at NKU, Ott Rowlands was the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Toledo in Ohio. She has also served as chair of The Ohio State University’s acting/directing program in the Department of Theatre and head of the acting program at Webster University in St. Louis. Learn more about Ott Rowlands’ background HERE.
What Upcoming Goals are you Most Excited about for Randolph College?
Randolph College is looking to grow and increase its enrollment to 800-1,000 students. We will make this happen by adding new academic and athletic programs, as well as renovating the Martin Science Building. We also hope to improve student retention by increasing our brand recognition and improving our visibility across the country. Randolph has such a rich history as a liberal arts college, and we want to make that history more widely known and recognized. I’ve also talked a lot since I arrived about making sure that we are a “student-ready” campus. I want everyone on our faculty and staff to see themselves as “educator leaders.” We are here for our students, and it’s my goal to do all I can to make sure that we provide them with the best college experience possible.
What Programs and Projects are you Excited to See Grow at Randolph College?
Our new academic programs include computer science and criminology majors that will start in the fall of 2023. Additional new programs will be announced soon. We also are adding new athletic programs in men’s volleyball and women’s STUNT, which is a new sport that is quickly becoming very popular on campuses around the country. All of these new programs have been announced and are creating lots of excitement on campus
Can you tell us a little more about the Take2 Program?
TAKE2 continues to prove itself as a creative curriculum model. Students and faculty alike have embraced this model, which allows students to focus on two courses at a time throughout the academic year. The response to TAKE2 has been very positive. Many of our incoming students tell us that they chose to come to Randolph because of TAKE2.
What is a Little-Known Fact or Interesting Story about Randolph College that you have Learned so Far?
The College has many traditions dating back to its years as a women’s college. I’ve enjoyed learning about these and exploring them. Last fall, I participated in my first Pumpkin Parade as president, which was great fun, and I’m currently anticipating the upcoming “show” later this month—a faculty and staff production that only takes place every four years.
What is your Favorite thing about Living in Lynchburg so Far?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the robust arts scene in Lynchburg as well as the city’s growing restaurant offerings. I’ve tried to take full advantage of both.