Weatherman to return as president of Lyon

Dr. Donald V. Weatherman left Lyon College 10 years ago as a professor of political philosophy. He will return in July as the 17th president of the college.

The Lyon College Board of Trustees approved Weatherman’s nomination as the next president of Lyon at its spring meeting today. He will succeed Dr. Walter B. Roettger, who is retiring in June after 11 years as the college’s president.

Weatherman served as the John D. Trimble Sr. Professor of Political Philosophy at Lyon from 1983 to 1999. He left Batesville to become vice president and dean of Erskine College in South Carolina. In 2003, he was promoted to executive vice president and dean. He also serves as a professor of politics at Erskine.

Dr. Terrell Tebbetts, who represented the Lyon faculty on the search committee, said, “Dr. Weatherman stood out from the other candidates because of the breadth of his leadership experiences, his knowledge of the Lyon community, and the respect the Lyon and Batesville communities hold for him.

“Because of his work at Lyon and in the Batesville community, Dr. Weatherman is returning to find a wealth of good will awaiting him,” Tebbetts said.

At Erskine, Weatherman is the chief academic officer and, int he president’s absence, the principal officer of the college. He is responsible for the faculty, curriculum, academic programs, library, academic records, institutional research, information technology, and an art center and museum. At various times, his responsibilities have included enrollment management (admissions/financial aid/retention), student services, and athletics.

At Lyon, Weatherman served as a division chair for several years and received the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching in1986.

He earned a Ph.D. in American government and political philosophy from Claremont Graduate University, and his master’s degree from the same institution. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University at Los Angeles, Calif., majoring in political science.

Weatherman was a Bradley Resident Scholar for The Heritage Foundation for six months in 1988. He was one of the first to participate in this program designed to bring academics to Washington, D.C.

Before coming to Lyon in 1983, Weatherman held faculty position at the College of St. Catherine, the College of Idaho, and California State University at San Bernardino.

He has been a member of many academic and civic organizations in both South Carolina and Arkansas. He was a weekly columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (1997-99) and the Batesville Daily Guard (1995-97). He has been a political analyst for The Index-Journal in Greenwood, S.C.

He has been an elder in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as well as a church school teacher.

When he and his family lived in Batesville, he was a member of the White River Medical Center Regional Advisory Board, a member of the Batesville City Planning Commission, and was a troop instructor for the Boy Scouts of America.

He is the author of a book, Endangered Guardians: Party Reform Within a Constitutional System (Rowman and Littlefield, 1994), and has written numerous articles on politics and government that have appeared in academic journals, reference books and general publications.

He is married to Lynn Weatherman and they have two children,  David, a law student at the University of Memphis, and Andrea, a Converse College graduate who plans to move to Austria to study German.

The search for a new president of Lyon began last fall with the appointment of a search committee, chaired by Frank Lyon Jr.,and composed of Bill Bristow ’72, Katee Castleman ’09, Bruce Johnston, SarahOquist ’93, Terrell Tebbetts, Robert Young III, and Ray LaCroix Jr., chair of the Board of Trustees.

The committee hired Academic Search Inc. to assist with the process. The committee received 90 applications for the job. The search committee met with seven semi-finalists in Little Rock last week.

“The candidate pool was unusually rich and varied and included senior administrative officers from other national liberal arts colleges, comprehensive colleges and universities, as well as the private corporate sector,” LaCroix reported in a memo to the campus community this week.

“After a complete discussion of each candidate, our consultant asked us to rank all seven so that we might focus on those candidates we might include in our invitation for campus interview,” LaCroix said. “This exercise brought about an interesting outcome. Voting by secret ballot, we discovered there was unanimous support for a single candidate, an event, according to our consultant, never experienced before in his nearly quarter century of work in academic search.”

As a result, the committee decided to invite only a single candidate – Weatherman – to visit the campus.  LaCroix said, “To do otherwise, wer easoned, would be disingenuous, for while there were two or three others in the pool for whom support was expressed, none came close to the candidate who had received our unanimous support.”

Weatherman met with campus constituents earlier this week. His name was placed in nomination to the Board of Trustees Friday morning and he was approved.