BETHANY, W.Va. — Upon the departure of Bethany President Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg on December 31, 2021, the Bethany Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Jamie Caridi as interim president and embarked on a search to identify the next president of Bethany College.

A fourteen-month nationwide search was spearheaded by a broad-based search committee, co-chaired by Bethany Trustees Jhamal Robinson, Carmina Hughes, and Thad Allen. The committee included a wide variety of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, coaches, trustees, and students. To support the committee’s work, we retained RH Perry & Associates, a nationally recognized higher education executive search firm.

The search generated nearly 90 applicants from across the country. Those candidates were carefully vetted by the search firm and members of the search committee to identify individuals who most closely matched the presidential position description. The search committee created a short list of 10 candidates which they interviewed in person.

Eventually, the list was reduced to four finalists whose qualifications and experience most closely matched Bethany’s needs and the position description the college created.

The four candidates were interviewed virtually and in person by the search firm, representatives of the search committee, and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. The leading candidate visited campus in January for meetings with more than 100 stakeholders.

Unfortunately, at the conclusion of the process, the consensus among the board of trustees is that none of the candidates are the dynamic leader Bethany currently needs as we continue to focus on executing the strategies and tactics of the BUILD for a Lifetime Strategic Plan and move Bethany successfully into the future.

Therefore, the Bethany College Board of Trustees has decided to pause the presidential search for a year and has asked Dr. Caridi to continue in his role as interim president until a permanent president is identified.

Bethany is at a critical crossroads in its history. Dr. Caridi has proven himself an effective leader who has earned the respect of trustees, faculty, staff, coaches, students, and alumni as he runs the college’s day-to-day operations and implements the BUILD strategic plan.

Under Dr. Caridi’s leadership, enrollment is up, the college’s operating deficit has been slashed, charitable giving is at a record high, new academic programs have been put into place and Bethany has embarked on an ambitious effort to renovate and update its housing, athletic facilities, and academic buildings.

The progress Bethany is making is palpable. Everyone is committed to completing the strategic plan on time and identifying Bethany’s next president. As we fulfill the vision of a stronger Bethany, we are fortunate to have Dr. Caridi in place, as our interim president, consistently and purposefully advancing the college’s mission.

~ Ken Bado, Chair, Board of Trustees