Members of the Presidential Search Committee remark upon some of the qualities that Alison Byerly brings to Carleton as our next president.


Carol A. Barnett '86

“Alison brings a wonderful combination of candor and energy as Carleton’s 12th president. Those twin strengths, combined with her dedication to liberal arts excellence and her commitment to seeing Carleton as a place where all can thrive, generate new enthusiasm for Carleton’s future.”

—Carol A. Barnett ’86, Vice Chair of the Carleton College Board of Trustees
Adriana Estill

“What gets me excited about an Alison Byerly presidency is the energy and intensity that she brings into any room, even a Zoom room, that alerts everyone to the fact that she cares, deeply, about everyone at the table. In her past positions, she has demonstrated that she has the strength to work under challenging circumstances and make Carleton better. Finally, I won’t ever forget the way that, as a candidate, she wrapped up a speech about how she envisioned Carleton’s future with a metaphor about our new geothermal system, demonstrating both her knowledge of Carleton and also her ability to tell us a story about ourselves in a new way—and it was both true and insightful.”

—Adriana Estill, Professor of American Studies and English, and Director of American Studies
Lucas Demetriades ’22

“Alison is clearly a brilliant, rapid analyst, but she somehow combines that speed with obvious patience and consideration. I think students will appreciate how fiercely yet compassionately she advocates for our College and its students. She has exactly the sort of leadership voice I think would serve Carleton well at this moment.”

—Lucas Demetriades ’22
Leslie B. Kautz ’80

“Alison wowed us with her passion for liberal arts, her accomplishments as an academic and leader in higher ed, and her sense of urgency and accountability in creating an even more inclusive, equitable, and diverse college. I’m excited to get down to work with her on Carleton’s next chapter.”

—Leslie B. Kautz ’80 P15
Molly Zuckerman ’22

“Alison approaches problems, especially the ones we face at Carleton, with empathy but also with a sense of urgency. I think her directness, attention to student concerns, and approachability will serve us really well here at Carleton. I could not be more excited for our new president!”

—Molly Zuckerman ’22
George Shuffelton

“Alison’s combination of energy, experience, and humility seems ideally suited for the challenges Carleton faces. She’s shown courage and dedication in her drive to expand college access. She’s also shown a willingness to hear criticism and use it as a way to remind us of our deepest commitments.”

—George Shuffelton, Professor of English and President of the Carleton College Faculty
Jeninne C. McGee '85

“What stands out for me is Alison’s enthusiasm for the Carleton student community. She was able to show that she understands what makes Carleton a special place and is determined to not just maintain our unique experience for students but to also ensure all students have access to an outstanding Carleton education.”

—Jeninne C. McGee ’85, Trustee
Jane A. Rizzo P24

“Alison brings to Carleton a wealth of experience, excitement and admiration for our community, and an energy and focus for the work ahead. She will be fantastic as Carleton’s next leader.”

—Jane A. Rizzo P24, Director of Budgeting and Financial Analysis
Amy M. Bevilacqua '89

“Alison will be simply terrific. She energized the group of alumni volunteer leaders who spoke with her—we were struck by her tremendous love and appreciation for Carleton, her centering on the student (and alumni!) experience, and her ability to imagine wonderful futures for the College. We can’t wait to partner with her and look forward to welcoming her to the Carleton family.”

—Amy M. Bevilacqua ’89, President of the Carleton Alumni Council
John F. Harris '85

“Alison conveyed a vivid sense of understanding Carleton—both the things that make us special, and the ways in which we need to push ourselves to meet the demands of this moment. This announcement makes Carleton history, and I believe President Byerly is going to summon the entire community to write a new chapter of Carleton history in the decade ahead.”

—John Harris ’85, Trustee
Martha-Elizabeth Baylor

As someone who is from the east coast, I appreciate Alison’s directness and candor. It will be a challenge to some of Carleton’s midwestern sensibilities, but it will push us in ways that we need to be pushed. This, combined with her demonstrated ability to quickly take in multiple perspectives, sift through the fluff, get to the heart of the matter, synthesize the most essential issues, and propose solutions that respect different positions will help Carleton move in the directions we want to go. Finally, Alison has been committed to IDE throughout her career, including at Lafayette, and I am excited to see her bring the concrete lessons she has learned over the years to help inform this needed work at Carleton. She brings a lot to the presidency at Carleton, and I hope we are ready to take full advantage of what she has to offer.

—Martha-Elizabeth Baylor, Associate Professor of Physics