ALMA — Raymond Barclay, an accomplished higher education professional with a 25-year career that stretches across a diverse array of academic, planning, enrollment, and innovation initiatives has been named chief operating officer (COO) and senior vice president at Alma College. His appointment is effective March 1, 2022.
“I’m enthused by the wealth of experiences that Raymond brings to our campus, and believe he will be an enormous asset as we move forward with our dynamic plan for Alma,” said Jeff Abernathy, president of Alma College. “Raymond has a deep understanding of the higher education landscape and what Alma must do to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. I look forward to our partnership. His unique experience in strategy development, data sciences and analytics, community engagement, and academics brings a helpful integrated lens to the work of the COO as we consider ways to leverage and build on our assets and creatively move the college towards developing new opportunities to further our mission.”
A strategic advisor to the president, the chief operations officer oversees the college’s operating budget and focuses upon strategic matters of the college’s operations and systems such as financial analysis, debt structure, new revenue and innovation efforts, efficiency and sustainability initiatives, and capital projects.
The COO also oversees the college’s finance and administration sector, which includes financial services, facilities management, information technology services, mailing and printing, food services, and auxiliary services.
“I’m thrilled to join the Alma College community, where President Abernathy has provided the stable leadership necessary to create a compelling vision for the future,” said Barclay, a native of Beaver County, Pa. “The idea of a liberal arts college coming together with the community to create a new, unified vision for Alma is powerful and was one of the main attractions for me in pursuing his role. I hope to leverage my skills and experiences through a collaborative leadership approach, deep engagement with the college’s governance structures, and integrated with the strategic planning process to see this vision come to fruition.”
Barclay currently serves as the chief planning officer at Albion College, where he leads the college’s campus planning, institutional effectiveness, capital projects, purchasing, information technology, instructional technology, strategic space management, sustainability and resiliency efforts, and strategic alliances, partnerships, and innovation efforts. Prior to joining Albion, he served as president of Enrollment x Design LLC, an enrollment and academic planning consulting firm in Princeton, N.J., which he founded in 2017.
But his experiences in higher education go back much further than that. Barclay previously served as associate provost for academic budgets and planning/assistant vice president for strategic enrollment management planning and analytics at the New School; as well as associate vice president for analytics and decision support at Stetson University; associate vice president at the College of Charleston; vice chancellor for institutional planning in the University of North Carolina system; director of institutional research and assessment at the College of New Jersey; and policy and planning analyst at Burlington County (N.J.) Community College.
Barclay received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, then obtained a master’s in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also holds a master’s in sustainable design from the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology at Temple University.
He is married to Judith Barclay, who has been a global talent and learning development practitioner for more than 25 years. Judith Barclay is also certified in instructional design from the University of Illinois. She currently manages the learning and development function for the U.S. at Ashfield Health, headquartered in London. They have a son, Jon-Patrick, who attends St. Mary’s Preparatory High School in Orchard Lake, Mich.
Barclay joins Alma College at a time of dynamism and transformation across campus. The college last year unveiled “Evergreen,” a dynamic plan to give each member of the campus community a clear direction and focus on the institution’s shared priorities and goals amid an ever-changing world. Also in 2020, the college launched its first master’s degree program, as well as the Center for College and Community Engagement, an organization dedicated to fostering partnerships between the college and the local area. Just this past month, construction began on the learning commons renovation, a project that will culminate in a new hub for learning and collaboration for the entire campus community.
Barclay takes over from Alan Gatlin, who has served Alma well and moved the college forward on many fronts as the chief operating officer and vice president for finance and administration since 2017. Gatlin has announced his intent to retire from the college this summer.