Frank Shushok (Photo by Christina Franusich/Virginia Tech)

The Roanoke College Board of Trustees has appointed Frank Shushok Jr. as the 12th president of Roanoke College, according to a release from the school.

Shushok, current vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech, will succeed Michael Maxey, who will retire as president of Roanoke College in July, after serving for 15 years. 

Shushok has 30 years of work experience in higher education, the past 13 at Virginia Tech in posts that include associate vice president, senior associate vice president and vice president for Student Affairs. He is also a tenured associate professor of Agricultural Leadership & Community Education at Virginia Tech. 

“Throughout the Presidential search, Dr. Shushok inspired us with his spirit, energy and centered dedication to student learning,” said Malon Courts, chairman of the Roanoke College Board of Trustees and a 1992 Roanoke College graduate in a statement. “Dr. Shushok’s background aligns with the most important needs of the College, and he understands the value of who we are, our culture, people and traditions, including the importance of our rich Lutheran heritage. He will propel us forward, embracing innovation while respecting history and tradition to make Roanoke College an even greater institution.”  

As Virginia Tech’s vice president for student affairs, Shushok provides overall leadership for one of the nation’s largest student affairs divisions, where he directs 25 departments and units. Shushok leads the maintenance and renovation of more than 30 percent of Virginia Tech’s physical campus, is a member of the president’s cabinet, and serves on many other boards and organizations at the university. He is especially known for his passion for integrating academic and student life and championing the role of faculty in the holistic development of students, according to a release from Roanoke College.

“As a national thought leader in residential education and student well-being, Virginia Tech has been fortunate to have Frank Shushok as our vice president for student affairs,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in a statement. “He exemplifies the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), and that will be a great benefit to the faculty, staff, and students of Roanoke College. We appreciate his dedicated service, and while he will be greatly missed at Virginia Tech, higher education in the Commonwealth has gained a talented new leader and we wish him all the best.” 

Prior to his work at Virginia Tech, Shushok served at his alma mater, Baylor University, in several capacities, including dean for student learning and engagement, and associate dean for Campus Living and Learning. While at Baylor and Virginia Tech, Shushok has been a formidable fundraiser, a prolific author, and a passionate partner to underserved and underrepresented student populations, according to a statement from Roanoke College.  He authored and co-authored multiple in-depth studies, helped bring in millions of dollars in gifts, and led a re-organization that addressed the systemic pattern of residence hall racial segregation.  

In 2017, Shushok was named a Fellow of the American Council on Education and took up residency at Wake Forest University, where he focused on fundraising, alumni engagement and enrollment strategy. “Frank Shushok is inquisitive, a great listener, and thinks creatively about educating the whole person, linking the academic life of students to their entire collegiate experience,” said Nathan O. Hatch, president emeritus of Wake Forest University in a statement. “I can think of no one better to lead Roanoke College in their aim to help students build lives of meaning and purpose.”  

Shushok holds a B.S. in history from Baylor University, an M.A. in higher education and student affairs administration from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in higher education policy, planning and analysis from the University of Maryland, College Park. 

The Roanoke College Board of Trustees’ unanimous vote on March 21 confirming Shushok follows a five-month nationwide search conducted by a search committee of trustees, faculty, staff and students. Academic Search, a Washington, D.C.-based executive search firm, partnered with the College to conduct the search. The search produced a pool of more than 100 applicants of diverse backgrounds.