Barton College named Douglas N. Searcy, Ph.D., as its 12th president on January 9, 2015, and officially welcomed him into office on July 1, 2015.
Dr. Searcy’s first year as President of Barton College has been centered on the development of a bold strategic plan for the College’s future, focusing on five campus-centric themes: deepening student learning and heightening student success; expanding the College’s physical and technological infrastructure; growing the College in size, well-being, and visibility; increasing the quality and consistency of the Barton Experience; and focusing on solution–centered engagement. With this strategic plan now in place, Dr. Searcy is leading the campus in the implementation of initiatives to support Barton’s priorities and advance the campus community.
Prior to Dr. Searcy’s appointment as President of Barton College, he served the University of Mary Washington as Vice President of Student Affairs. He led broad, transformative institutional initiatives and planned, implemented, and evaluated university-wide, outcomes-centered programs and services. He spearheaded curricular and co-curricular offerings, including the creation of an innovative, faculty-led Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service and the development of living-learning communities and faculty-in-residence initiatives.
Earlier in his professional career, Dr. Searcy served as Dean of Student Affairs at Wingate University and also held administrative staff roles at Elon University, Gardner-Webb University, and Appalachian State University. He served on master planning and strategic planning committees of multiple institutions, coordinated assessment of university fiscal and facility resources (including more than $100 million in construction initiatives), engaged campus and community leaders in visioning and planning processes, helped design and implement accreditation processes including Quality Enhancement Plans for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and championed co-curricular programs and services.
Dr. Searcy’s academic credentials include a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Leadership in Higher Education from the University of Nebraska with a dissertation emphasis on presidential leadership during strategic transitions. He earned his Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Public Relations and English from Mars Hill University, where he was named a Marshbanks-Anderson Scholar and graduated cum laude.
He and his wife, Beth, have been married for 19 years. They have a son, Carter Gray, who is a junior at Fike High School, and a daughter, Caroline Faith, who is an eighth grader at Toisnot Middle School. A native of Hendersonville, N.C., Dr. Searcy is the son of Faith Searcy and the late Emerson Searcy of Hendersonville.
Dr. Searcy has empowered the Barton College community to think creatively and act intentionally – to advance the College, inspired by a shared vision and intently focused on student learning and success. Dr. Searcy expects Barton to be bold, echoing Harry Pritchard, an early Disciples of Christ leader, who said of the College “… our best days are ahead … We are expectant and alert. A new day is at hand.”