Who is Brian Noland, the man recommended to be the next president of East Tennessee State University?
Born in Sterling, Va., Noland, 43, has been married 13 years to his wife, Donna. They have a 6-year-old son, Jackson.
Noland was named chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in 2006. Prior to that he held various roles at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, where, among other things, he worked on the Tennessee lottery scholarship.
He has received degrees from West Virginia University in political science and public policy. His doctorate was in political science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
“I firmly believe in the power of higher education to transform the lives of students and communities,” Noland wrote in his cover letter that accompanied his curriculum vitae when he applied for the chance to be the ninth leader of ETSU.
But what do the people he will supervise as president think of him?
“I expect good things from him,” said Thomas Schacht, Faculty Senate president. “I think the faculty will get behind Dr. Noland and do everything possible to make his presidency successful.”
Noland will be formally recommended to the Tennessee Board of Regents Monday afternoon by Chancellor John Morgan. The board will then vote on Noland’s candidacy. If approved, Noland will replace Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. as the ninth president of ETSU after Stanton retires Jan. 14.
Morgan plans to present a resolution to the TBR at its quarterly meeting Dec. 8 making Stanton president emeritus.
Schacht was glad to know Stanton, who has been president since January 1997, could be around as president emeritus to help in whatever way he may be asked.
Schacht was also pleased Noland seemed truly interested in being at ETSU for a long time.
“I think we’re looking at somebody who’s looking to make a long-term commitment,” Schacht said.
Zack Walden, vice president of the Student Government Association, said Noland connected very strongly with students during his on-campus visit in late October.
“Everyone’s very excited about it,” Walden said. “Everyone feels he’s a very strong candidate. I think that’s what everyone wants.”
Noland is young for a university president at 43, and Walden said that means he has the potential to be a long term, energetic president, and a knowledgeable one.
“He had definitely done his homework before coming into the interviews,” Walden said. “He knew a lot about ETSU, despite never having been here.”
It seemed to Walden that Noland genuinely wanted to reach out to students.
Walden also was glad to hear Stanton will likely stay on to advise Noland and that Noland seemed interested in working with Stanton.
Stanton has known Noland for about 12 years through his work at THEC and via other higher education business.
“I’m very pleased with (the recommendation of Noland) and I think the choice, when approved Monday, is a good one,” Stanton said.
“He’s really strong, very bright, very family-oriented and determined wherever he works to do an excellent job and I’m confident he’ll do the same for us,” Stanton said.
Stanton said it will likely take a few months for Noland to get properly situated in the presidency and to learn all the nuances of the campus.
Stanton reiterated his desire to work a few days a week in emeritus status and said he would make himself available to Noland when asked.
“I think he’s the type of person who will properly ask for advice when needed,” Stanton said.
Stanton said Noland will make a good impression on the region.
“I think the community will love him,” Stanton said.