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SVCC names new president

The next president of Southside Virginia Community College is Dr. Alfred A. Roberts of Emporia. 

Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, said Roberts will assume his new post on or about Aug. 1, replacing retiring president Dr. John Cavan.

 “I’ve known Al for a long time, and I have observed his leadership at SVCC for many years,” DuBois said in making the appointment. “I’m confident he will do a terrific job in taking the college to the next level.”

Roberts is currently provost of Southside Virginia Community College’s Christanna Campus in Alberta, a position he has held since 2012. He served as provost of the John H. Daniel Campus of SVCC in Keysville from 2010-2012.  Prior to that, he was vice president of workforce services at Southside Virginia Community College. His career at Southside Virginia Community College began in 1995 when he assumed the role of administrator for student support services.

“The Southside Virginia Community College Board unanimously supports Dr. Roberts as our next president,” said Dr. Charlette T. Woolridge, acting chair of the college board. “We are very pleased and excited to have a solid and experienced new president with proven leadership, expertise to advance educational and workforce development programs to prepare students for the 21st century economy, a commitment to working with the Southside Virginia community and leaders to strengthen our economy and more. We look forward to his leadership in our region.”

“We set a high standard and spent many hours in our search, with input from stakeholders at the state and local levels,” said Dr. Nancy Carwile, college board member and former chair. “In all areas, Dr. Roberts was first among well-qualified candidates. Our hearts were in this process and Dr. Roberts’ heart is also in this work as SVCC moves forward.”

Roberts says the presidency is “a great opportunity for me to give back to the community that has done so much for me.

“I have a real commitment to a high level of community engagement; to quality academic programs; and to workforce training and development,” he said. “It will be a challenge to follow in Dr. Cavan’s footsteps, but also a tremendous opportunity to advance the mission of the college and enhance its reputation as a world class, 21st century community college.”

Before joining Southside Virginia Community College, Roberts was program director for Sussex-Greensville-Emporia Adult Activity Services and also taught radio and television production classes at Norfolk State University. 

He received his doctorate from Old Dominion University, his master’s from Virginia State University and his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. 

The longest serving president in the VCCS, Cavan has presided over Southside Virginia Community College since 1983.