Frank Shushok Jr., vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech, has been named the 12th president of Roanoke College. Shushok will succeed Michael C. Maxey, who will retire at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.

The Roanoke College Board of Trustees confirmed Shushok’s presidency at a special board meeting held Monday.

“I feel deeply connected to Southwest Virginia and the New River and Roanoke valleys,” Shushok said. “A robust, diverse, and thriving higher-education ecosystem is vital to our region’s flourishing. While Virginia Tech and Roanoke College each represent a distinct expression of our higher education ideals, they share a commitment to launch into the world graduates who are ready to tackle big problems, pose important questions, and strengthen our collective well-being.”

“As a national thought leader in residential education and student well-being, Virginia Tech has been fortunate to have Frank Shushok as our vice president for student affairs,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “He exemplifies the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), and that will be a great benefit to the faculty, staff, and students of Roanoke College. We appreciate his dedicated service, and while he will be greatly missed at Virginia Tech, higher education in the commonwealth has gained a talented new leader and we wish him all the best.”

Shushok, who has served as vice president for student affairs since April 2020, has led a division known for investing heavily in deepening and expanding student well-being and its support services, as highlighted by Virginia Tech’s No. 1 ranking for Best Counseling Services in The Princeton Review and its most recent recognition as one of the healthiest college campuses in the nation by Active Minds. Prior to his role as vice president, Shushok served a decade as associate and senior associate vice president.  

“There are simply no words to capture the impact that the Virginia Tech community has had on my life and on my family,” said Shushok. “The sense of purpose, care for humanity, and pursuit of goodness that I found at Virginia Tech are etched on my heart and will travel with me to Roanoke College.”

Among the many highlights during his tenure at Virginia Tech, Shushok championed a culture of inclusivity, belonging, and well-being, and he promoted a strong holistic approach to student learning and development.

Under Shushok’s leadership, Student Affairs launched ExperienceVT — an initiative that empowers students to plan and track their Virginia Tech experience and to fully realize the opportunities available to them at the university. Student Affairs equipped faculty and staff members with ExperienceVT concepts and tools, leading them to consider how they can help students set goals, identify their strengths, offer pathways, and encourage progress. Student Affairs also facilitated workshops for academic affairs attendees, increasing their ability to integrate ExperienceVT into the campus culture.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the division was instrumental in supporting public health and helping to maintain an on-campus experience for students. Collaboration between the Schiffert Health Center, Housing and Residence Life, Dining Services, the New River Health Dis­trict, and other partners was critical for the successful management of student isolation/quarantine and education during the height of the pandemic.

“I very much appreciate Frank’s dedicated service to Virginia Tech – his exemplary leadership, unwavering support for student wellness and success, commitment to co-curricular education, and his dedication to serving the needs and best interests of our entire university community," said Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke. "In addition to his administrative excellence, he is a scholar and is recognized nationwide for his innovation in student affairs. His knowledge and experience as a leader in higher education will position him and Roanoke College for future success. I wish him and his family the best of luck in this new endeavor.”

Student affairs will launch its Residential Well-being model in the fall of 2022. The model will implement Shushok’s divisional vision to meet the needs of a student’s mental, emotional, and social well-being by integrating a student’s living experience with Hokie Wellness, Cook Counseling Center, the Dean of Students, Living-Learning Programs, Housing Services, Learning Partnerships, and through partnership with Student Affairs’ Chief Inclusion and Belonging Officer.

More about Shushok's appointment to Roanoke College can be read on the college's announcement.

An interim vice president for student affairs will be announced soon, along with the plans to recruit a successor.

Share this story