Robert Holyer

Robert Holyer joined AGB Search in 2011. He has assisted in nearly 50 executive searches for both public and private institutions, with over 50 percent for repeat clients. His experience covers a wide range of executive positions including those of president, provost, dean of arts and sciences, dean of business, dean of communications, dean of education, dean of health and human services, and dean of libraries, as well as several vice -presidential searches in advancement, enrollment management, and student affairs.  

Most recently, he has completed searches for:

  • State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo - Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • University of Pittsburgh, Bradford & Titusville (PA) – President
  • Southern Connecticut State University - Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies; Vice President for Advancement

Prior to joining AGB Search, Dr. Holyer accrued 35 years of experience in higher education at five different institutions, serving as a faculty member, department chair, director, provost, and acting president. He has written, spoken, and consulted 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 and led or was involved in more than 150 searches for faculty, staff, and senior administrators.

Dr. Holyer served as provost at Lyon College, Randolph-Macon College, and Presbyterian College. He has been active at the national level in various associations for higher education and academic administrators, serving as a board member and chair of the board of the Wye Seminars; as co-chair of the New Chief Academic Officers Workshop, sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges; as a member of the board of the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD); and as a regular participant in the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Annapolis Colleges.  Dr. Holyer also served for six years on the Visiting Committee of the University of the South. As a regular presenter at national higher education meetings, he has organized workshops for ACAD on “Becoming a chief academic officer” and “Succeeding in the search process.”’ 

His writings have been published in Change, Liberal Education, Trusteeship, and Inside Higher Ed.  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. Most recently his essay, “Non-disclosure agreements: be cautious”, was published in the Career Advice section of Inside Higher Ed. 

Dr. Holyer received a Bachelor of Arts from Bethel College (MN), a Bachelor of Divinity from Yale Divinity School CT), 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.