When accepting the position as president of Southside Virginia Community College in 2014, Dr. Alfred Allison Roberts committed to serving in this capacity for five years. As the end of that period approaches, he has announced his plans to retire on July 1, 2019.
“When I arrived at SVCC 23 years ago, I found the place where my professional values and personal values converged. Since that time, I have aggressively supported the College’s mission of access and opportunity while serving in a variety of roles,” he said. “I have done my best to add to the legacy of this great institution and position it for a prosperous future.” SVCC serves the largest region of any community college in Virginia, a total of 4,200 square miles covering ten counties and the city of Emporia.
During his tenure, Dr. Roberts has overseen the development of the extremely popular Power Line Worker Program. He has opened the Center for Information Technology Excellence at Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and the state-of-the-art welding lab at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Greensville County. Dr. Roberts has also worked diligently to secure funds for and guide the construction of the new Learning Resources and Student Services Center on the Christanna Campus. He also established a far-reaching Strategic Plan for the college on the premise of One College, One Mission, a six-year plan for enhanced provision of services to the students and community.
Perhaps one of his more stellar accomplishments is leading the team for re-accreditation of the college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Glenn Dubois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System said, “Al Roberts began making his mark long before he was a community college president. A service-minded leader from a family of educators, Al knew that our success is measured one student at a time. As president, Al made Southside Virginia Community College a leader in workforce development training. Short-term training opportunities like the colleges’ power line training program—the first in Virginia—are filling critical industry needs while attracting individuals into life-changing careers. We are grateful for Al’s many contributions and wish him the best in a well-earned retirement.”
Elizabeth B. Sharrett, SVCC Local Board Chair, noted, “Dr. Roberts has served the college and the constituents’ excellently in an earnest and committed manner. His pursuit of quality in all aspects of the institution are evident and appreciated. While the college will miss his leadership and resolve, we wish him the best in this well-deserved chapter of his life.” In his announcement to the college, Dr. Roberts said, “I am sincerely thankful to the Local Board and to VCCS Chancellor DuBois for the opportunity to lead SVCC and for providing support and guidance throughout my tenure. I am equally appreciative of the support and friendship shared with the colleagues of my Southside Virginia Community College family. It has been an honor to work alongside them in making SVCC the best that it can be. I am also grateful for the many partnerships and relationships built with the communities of southern Virginia that have allowed us to betterserve this region.”
When he became president, Dr. Roberts was serving as provost of SVCC’s Christanna Campus in Alberta. He was provost of the John H. Daniel Campus from 2010 to 2012 and prior to that, he was vice president of workforce services at the college. His career began at SVCC in 1995 when he assumed to role of administrator of student support services. A national search to hire the next SVCC president will begin in early 2019 and is expected to take six to eight months to complete.