Robert Holyer joined AGB Search in February, 2011. He has assisted with searches for a variety of academic affairs positions including those of provost, dean of arts and sciences, dean of business, dean of communications, dean of education, and dean of health and human services. He has also assisted with several enrollment management and student affairs searches. He has been active at national meetings, offering sessions and workshops intended to help prospective candidates understand and succeed in the search process.
In addition to his work at AGB Search, Dr. Holyer has 35 years of experience in higher education at five different institutions, serving as a faculty member, department chair, director, provost, and acting president. He writes, speaks, and consults on issues of curriculum development and assessment, planning, faculty development and personnel issues, and academic affairs staffing. A major part of his work as a provost was devoted to improving search and hiring procedures; he led or was involved in well over 150 searches for faculty, staff, and senior administrators.
Dr. Holyer served as provost at Lyon College, Randolph-Macon College, and Presbyterian College. At all three institutions, he has worked significantly on curriculum development and assessment, increasing student-faculty research, strengthening international education, changing institutional culture, and strengthening faculty governance. Dr. Holyer has been active at the national level in various associations for higher education and academic administrators. He served as a board member and chair of the board of the Wye Seminars; he was a co-chair of the New Chief Academic Officers Workshop, sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges; he was a member of the board of the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD); he was a regular participant in the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Annapolis Colleges. He also served for six years on the Visiting Committee of the University of the South. He has been a regular presenter at national higher education meetings. For the past two years he has organized a workshop for ACAD titled “Becoming a chief academic officer.”
He has published in Change, Liberal Education, and Trusteeship. Most recently, his essay, “The qualities of an effective chief academic officer,” was included in the Resource Handbook for Academic Deans, Third Edition, published by Jossey-Bass. Dr. Holyer received a Bachelor of Arts from Bethel College (MN), a Bachelor of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He has taught at the University of Virginia, Converse College, and Lyon College. His academic specialty is the philosophy of religion.