Gainesville, Georgia


Brenau University’s mission is clear: preparing students to live extraordinary lives of personal and professional fulfillment. Brenau provides an education that is not only of the highest quality, but is demonstrably life-changing. Brenau exists as a dichotomy. It is simultaneously progressive while honoring its 140 years of heritage and tradition.

BRENAU 2025 is the Strategic Plan to establish and sustain an innovative and exciting educational experience, transforming Brenau students’ lives and their world. The Strategic Plan is the blueprint for the creation and application of a unique curriculum designed to establish undergraduate and graduate programs that are in demand by students and are simultaneously responsive to the needs of society. It plans to equip the University with advanced information technology, physical facilities, and distance learning and teaching expertise and to make international experiences accessible for all students, ensuring that they have a global perspective.


Founded as the Georgia Baptist Female Seminary by Dr. W.C. Wilkes, Brenau University is a non-sectarian, private, not-for-profit institution. In 1900, it was named Brenau College. Today, Brenau University consists of The Women’s College of Brenau University, the Undergraduate School of Brenau University (coeducational) and the Sidney O. Smith Jr. Graduate School. The Women’s College, located in Gainesville, has provided excellence in single-gender education since 1878. Brenau initiated coeducational studies in 1972 and, in 1992, Brenau became a university. For 140 years, Brenau has been governed by nine presidents and has a rich tradition of providing a rigorous, high-quality education. Today, the University has campuses throughout Georgia and Florida, as well as a strong online presence.


The members of the Brenau University Board of Trustees are responsible for the governing policies, selection and oversight of the President, and for financial stability of the University. The the academic and daily operational affairs of Brenau are conducted by executive management under the policies and supervision of the Board. It is the duty of the Board of Trustees to select and appoint the President, to monitor the President’s performance, to approve the mission of the institution, to approve long-range plans, to approve general policies of the institution, to ensure financial strength to achieve the mission, to defend the autonomy of the institution, to enhance the public standing of the institution, to assess its own performance and engage in its own development, and to assist in the acquisition of such financial resources and assets as may be necessary to implement the educational programs of the institution.

Currently, the Brenau Executive Team includes the President, Executive Vice President, seven Vice Presidents, the Chief of Staff and the Athletic Director.

Brenau at a Glance

Brenau University is strong, prestigious and expanding, quantitatively and qualitatively. Brenau is seeking a forward-thinking leader to maintain and enhance its progress and stature. From its 55-acre historic Gainesville campus to additional locations and campuses statewide and in Florida — along with the global reach of its many online programs — Brenau annually enrolls more than 3,500 students in unduplicated headcount as reported through IPEDS.

Brenau students come from 48 U.S. states and 17 countries. The student body is 87.4 percent female, 12.6 percent male, 46.9 percent Caucasian, 35.6 percent African-American, 6.9 percent Hispanic, 2.4 percent Asian and 8.2 percent from other demographics. More than 85 percent of the University’s students receive financial aid from some source, private or public.

A central focus of the Gainesville and Hall County, Georgia, community, Brenau has an annual economic impact of approximately $147.5 million. In 2018, the University successfully concluded its $40 million ForeverGold campaign, surpassing the goal with a total committed and collected of $42.39 million. The campaign was targeted to address the major points of BRENAU 2025.

As a result of the campaign, scholarships were added, a new Residence Hall and four new Sorority Houses were constructed for The Women’s College and University undergraduates, and the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program was added and equipped with the most technologically advanced facilities, graduating its first cohort in May 2018. At the time, it represented the University’s third doctoral program. Subsequently a fourth doctorate, in Teacher Education, was added.

Academic Structure

The University provides a different learning experience than those traditionally offered. Brenau’s existing liberal arts and pre-professional educational approach gives a new and richer means of understanding and accessing the world around us. We describe this evolutionary learning experience as Brenau’s “Portals of Learning” — doorways or entries into transformational environments where individuals experience understanding of, adaptation to and prospering in a fast-paced, information-centric, scientifically demanding and culturally diverse global society. The University’s programs and activities are designed to push students well beyond personal comfort zones as they discover their own unique capabilities and gifts.

Academically, Brenau comprises four colleges: the Ivester College of Health Sciences, the College of Fine Arts & Humanities, the College of Business & Communication and the College of Education. The Ivester College of Health Sciences includes undergraduate natural sciences and exercise science degree programs as well as master’s programs in clinical psychology and gerontology. The college is home to the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, the School of Physical Therapy and the School of Occupational Therapy.

The University offers Doctorates, Masters, Education Specialist, Bachelors, Associates and professional certifications in more than 50 areas of study. Known for its small class sizes and individual attention to students, the average student-faculty ratio is 11:1. Approximately 80 percent of Brenau classes have fewer than 20 students.

External Recognition

For 140 years, the University has provided prestigious higher education centered around its value of small class sizes, personal attention to individual students and reasonable costs. These values were nationally acknowledged in September 2018 by U.S. News & World Report, which listed Brenau in several of its Best Colleges rankings. Brenau climbed 10 places to No. 47 on the list of Best Southern Regional Universities, ranking No. 3 in the state of Georgia and above all nearby peers. It was also listed nationally as No. 8 Best in Ethnic and Economic Diversity and No. 31 Best Colleges for Veterans. The private, not-for-profit institution’s emphasis on reasonable costs factored into its inclusion in the Regional Best Value listing.

College Choice ranked Brenau as the No. 11 Best Women’s College, above nearby peers and all others in Georgia, and included the University in its list of Best Southern Regional Universities. Meanwhile, The Chronicle of Higher Education has routinely named the University in its list of Great Colleges to Work For and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution among Atlanta’s Top Workplaces.


The Women’s College at Brenau University athletic teams, known as the Golden Tigers, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Women’s sports include basketball, competitive cheer, cross country, competitive dance, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball. The Golden Tigers joined the Appalachian Athletic Conference for the 2017-18 academic year after leaving the Southern States Athletic Conference, where they were a founding member in 1999.

A greater emphasis on developing the University’s athletic department came in 2002, when Mike Lochstampfor became head coach of the soccer team. Beginning with Lochstampfor, who became Athletic Director in 2009, and credited to the support of President Schrader, the university’s athletic program would more than triple in size over the next 15 years. Today, more than 220 student-athletes compete on Brenau’s 13 varsity and two junior varsity teams.

City of Gainesville, Georgia

Located along the shores of Lake Sidney Lanier and at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Gainesville, Georgia, is the tourism and economic center of Northeast Georgia. The city sits halfway — about an hour each direction — between the Appalachian Mountains and the city center of Atlanta. Home to over 35,000 people, Gainesville’s pristine Lake Lanier shoreline made the city host of several 1996 Olympic Games events. An NBC broadcaster covering the rowing/kayaking event referred to Gainesville as “the Hospitality Capital of the World.” Today, the city and its Lake Lanier Olympic Park remain a popular destination for rowing and kayaking events. Single-family living is moderately priced and readily available.

Responsibilities of the President

The President of Brenau University:

  • Serves as the Chief and compelling spokesperson for Brenau University’s distinctive position of regional leadership in social, humanities, artistic and health sciences education
  • Demonstrates an appreciation for and understanding of the traditions and values of Brenau University
  • Advances the mission of the University as an institution of higher learning, renowned for its uniquely personal approach and distinguished for its teaching
  • Supports and advances Brenau University’s collaborative international education initiatives
  • Personally leads Brenau’s efforts in fundraising and institutional advancement
  • Serves as the official agent of contact between the Board of Trustees and the University
  • Prepares and submits to the Board of Trustees reports on the conditions of the University, progress on the strategic plan, and any recommendations as may be expedient
  • Assesses, evaluates and directs University operations and practices to increase efficiency, sustain shared resources, and thrive in the competitive higher education landscape
  • Continues Brenau’s distinction as a university in which ethics, service and the promotion of justice are key elements of the student experience
  • Confirms that all policies established by the Board are implemented fully and that all legal requirements are met
  • Builds on, promotes cohesion within, annually assesses and develops the skills of existing executive leadership and the executive team
  • Appoints and/or dismisses such officers, deans, faculty members, management and staff as may be deemed necessary for the efficient conduct of the University
  • Appoints and/or disbands councils, committees, and task forces as may be deemed necessary for the efficient conduct of the University
  • Supervises development of all official documents of the University
  • Develops and supervises plans for campus and building improvements
  • Represents the University to its internal and external constituencies, to educational organizations, foundations, corporations and the general public.

Characteristics of the President

The President of Brenau University:

  • Exemplifies the values of Brenau University with integrity and vigor
  • Manages the affairs of the institution pragmatically
  • Is a decisive but considerate administrator
  • Understands: the importance of women’s education and voice especially in Southern culture; the lifelong value of liberal arts education; societal needs in health care education; Brenau’s institutional commitment to international learning experiences; the nature of continuous change in higher education
  • Easily builds relationships
  • Communicates and collaborates with many constituencies, communities and cultures
  • Empowers others and is a servant leader
  • Is strategic, dynamic and synergistic
  • Has a high level of energy and enthusiasm
  • Is visionary
  • Is respected and respectful
  • Has a reputation for honesty, leadership, accountability and inclusiveness
  • Has a proven record of community leadership
  • Has respect for tradition
  • Is warm, compassionate and genuine
  • Is transformative and innovative and promotes these traits in others
  • Is a decision-maker
  • Is transparent and collegial
  • Has a personality that easily engages
  • Values people as individuals
  • Has a genuine and natural sense of humor

Preferred Experience and Skills

  • Flexible, creative and approachable, but sincere and honest
  • Building and maintaining international partnerships and support of collaborative international learning among institutions
  • Experience preparing and managing budgets for operations or enterprises in excess of $50,000,000
  • Strong appreciation for liberal arts
  • Understanding of innovative single gender education or the evolving nature of leadership in a women’s college environment
  • Experience leading adult education at the undergraduate, graduate and degree completion level
  • Experience leading health care education, especially at the graduate levels
  • Commitment to online education as an effective teaching and learning platform
  • Proven record working with a Board of Trustees
  • Proven record in managing a not-for-profit, diverse independent University, preferably at the CEO level
  • History of integrity, compassion, inclusivity and social civility
  • History of executive leadership or equivalent in nonacademic setting
  • Supportive of faculty and staff development and available to student comments and conversations
  • Support for and willingness to learn the nuances of international existing relationships, particularly those with the University’s Chinese partnerships


  • An earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree/credentials from a regionally accredited institution
  • A commitment to sustain the mission, culture and values of the University
  • Senior-level academic and/or organizational leadership experience that indicates initiative, motivation and innovation
  • A thorough understanding of higher education administration
  • Executive administrative accomplishments encompassing resource development, fiscal planning and management, and strategic and long-range planning in academic or nonprofit institutions
  • Experience of successful management of $50+ million operations for multiple years, including at least VP- or COO-level direct responsibility for financial, personnel and operations oversight
  • Personal fundraising experience and direct responsibility for a minimum of a cumulative $10 million within one institution
  • Strong intellectual, interpersonal and ethical qualities that inspire individual respect among internal and external constituents
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively and foster supportive relationships with faculty, students, staff, trustees, alumni, donors and the community

A Letter From Trustee Pete Miller

Following 15 years of dynamic and entrepreneurial leadership, Brenau University’s highly respected President Dr. Ed L. Schrader has begun the transition to retirement. The Board of Trustees of Brenau University is engaged in the exciting but challenging endeavor of discovering a new leader to build on Dr. Schrader’s accomplishments.

The next President will find a financially strong, academically excellent and culturally rich institution celebrating its 140th year and eager to enter the next phase of its global mission. The vigor and vitality of Brenau University has never been greater as we continue to build market-driven and academically-rigorous programs meeting society’s needs today and tomorrow. As is evidenced by our successful and recently concluded $42 million ForeverGold campaign, Brenau enjoys the support of its alumni, friends and a host of philanthropic foundations and is considered to be a signature institution of learning in Georgia and the eastern United States.

These are exciting days at Brenau University, and we appreciate your interest in our future. If you are the right person yourself as a candidate for President, let us know or perhaps nominate someone who would be a great candidate.

In the information that follows, you will learn more about the vitality and potential of Brenau and the qualities, characteristics and experience we are looking for in our next President.

Warm regards,
Peter D. Miller, Chair
Board of Trustees
Brenau University

Brenau University 2-color vertical logo

Application Processs

Brenau University has retained the firm of Hyatt – Fennell to assist in the search process. Inquiries and nominations should be directed to the firm. Application materials should be submitted via email to Applications include a letter of interest, a current résumé/CV and contact information for five professional references and should be submitted in separate documents. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should be submitted prior to Dec. 17, 2018, to receive full consideration. All applications and nominations will be considered highly confidential.

Brenau University – EOE


Cheryl Hyatt | +1-724-242-0476 |


Application deadline:

Dec. 10 2018

Committee review of candidate applications:

January 2019

Interviews with selected candidates:

January-February 2019

Board decision and appointment:

March 2019

Start date:

July 2019

General inquiries:, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions:, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100