New leader tasked with transformation of academics, enrollment & fundraising for West Virginia’s oldest private college
BETHANY, W.Va. (December 2, 2021) – Ken Bado, Chairman of the Bethany College Board of Trustees, today announced the appointment of Jamie Caridi, PhD, as interim president of the college, effective Jan. 1, 2022.
“Jamie possesses the leadership skills, strategic vision and execution excellence Bethany needs to transform the institution and align it with the needs of the students and families it serves,” Bado said. “As interim president, the Board of Trustees has asked him to innovate, optimize and drive changes to the college’s operating model that will elevate Bethany’s reputation and secure its place among the ranks of the best small colleges in America.”
Through his work with Bethany, and during the interim presidential interview process, Jamie clearly demonstrated an intimate knowledge of – and passion for – Bethany and its rich history. More importantly, he is leading the soon to be completed high-level strategic understanding of the state of the college, that will be the foundation for a comprehensive, detailed, ambitious 36-month plan to transform the Bethany experience.
“For over 180 years, Bethany College has had a profound impact on society by graduating extremely gifted men and women who care deeply about their families, their faith, their professions, and their communities,” Caridi said. “As interim president, I look forward to working with the board and senior leadership team to continue this mission and position the College for future prosperity.”
Caridi is the founder and president of Terra Firma Consulting Services in Columbus, Ohio, a full-service firm specializing in faith based higher education management, strategic planning, academic planning and institutional renewal and turnaround. He and his company have been working with Bethany’s trustees, staff and faculty since May 2021, helping to assess the state of the college and develop and implement a three-year strategic plan that will impact virtually every aspect of the college in the years ahead.
Based on his client work and higher education professional experience and leadership, Caridi is well-positioned to assume the reigns of Bethany College. He has more than 20 years of experience in higher education, including having served as Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Retention at Ohio Dominican University, Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students at Saint Vincent College and Adjunct Professor, Master of Arts in Higher Education, at Geneva College.
He also has extensive private sector experience. He served as the lead executive for the Columbus office of IMG where he oversaw an expansive, multi-million-dollar portfolio of 150 Fortune 500, national, regional and local corporate partners for The Ohio State University and its Department of Athletics. In this role, he worked closely with CEOs and their leadership teams to develop comprehensive sales and marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, lead generation, and profit.
“I and the Board have made it clear to Jamie, the faculty, the staff, alumni and donors that his mission is to serve as a ‘change agent’ tasked with implementing much needed reforms to the college’s academic offerings, enrollment process, fundraising objectives and campus footprint through development and execution of the strategic plan,” Bado said.
In early 2022, the Board of Trustees, with the assistance of an executive search firm, will begin a national search process to identify the next permanent president of the college. Given the importance attached to the selection and the need to identify the best possible candidate during an ongoing academic year, there is no specific timetable for naming the next president.
Caridi succeeds President Tamara Rodenberg, who announced on Sept. 1 her intent to step down on Dec. 31.