In July of 2020, President Garren will be stepping down from his position and the University of Lynchburg will be instating Dr. Allison Morrison-Shetlar as the new president.
As the first female president of the University, Dr. Morrison-Shetlar said, “ I am delighted to be making history on campus and it is very important to me that I represent the institution. Being the first woman is drawing attention to the University, and that is something that is really important […] as an institution that supports diversity. I am the first woman, and I am also from Scotland. It is very exciting for me to come in.”
After the events of last semester’s racist “Fiesta,” the student body has demanded action to prevent future shows of cultural misappropriation.
President Garren said, “I had a meeting with some of the students who had taken part in that walkout on December the 4th. Prior to that time, I had gotten a list of their concerns that had been put together by some of the people that had been in that group. […] I was glad they did, because it gave me a chance to sit back and think about what their concerns were. I did not realize that there were some concerns about different things and not just about a party or an event that had taken place. […] I got up and addressed their concerns, their demands, if you will. And to me, they were all valid concerns and so after I responded to each, I went through each individual one and said, basically, I agree with this. I agree with this.”
Since April of 2019, there has been an ongoing search for the next University of Lynchburg president. According to the University of Lynchburg website, the first rounds of interviews for presidential candidates occurred in October, and the final interviews will happen in November.
Vice President and Dean for Student Development, Dr. Aaron Smith, who acts as an ex-official member is serving in the diversity and inclusion role to ensure an equitable process on the search committee.