Independent colleges council president to retire
Robert B. Lambeth has headed council since 1983
The longtime leader of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia has announced his plans to retire.
Robert B. Lambeth Jr. has served as president of the organization, which represents 27 accredited nonprofit private colleges and universities, since 1983. During that time, he’s worked with more than 100 presidents from higher educational institutions and led the council’s government relations, business activities, joint institutional projects and marketed the accomplishments of members schools, according to a news release.
“I am very appreciative for the opportunity Virginia’s private colleges have given me to serve as the CICV president for almost 40 years,” Lambeth said in a statement. “It has been a rewarding, interesting and challenging job. It has been my pleasure to work for numerous private college presidents and senior college administrators, many of whom have become close friends. I have also enjoyed having a close working relationship with many legislators and government officials.”
Lambeth’s achievements include developing and expanding a tuition assistance grant program, which has helped more than 300,000 Virginia students at private colleges or universities. The program will provide a $4,500 grant to more than 20,000 Virginia students during the 2022-23 academic year totaling $90.8 million.
“Robert has been a tireless champion for Virginia’s independent colleges for decades,” said Ferrum College President and CICV Board Chair David Johns. “In his role, Robert has collaborated with lawmakers on all sides of the aisle to secure funding necessary to make students’ dreams come true. Likewise, through this work, Robert has been a champion and advocate for all who lead these colleges and universities. We are stronger and wiser thanks to Robert’s guidance and friendship, and we wish the very best in his retirement.”
Also during Lambeth’s tenure, the CICV developed a health insurance program for the employees of member institutions. The Virginia Private Colleges Benefits Consortium has provided health insurance for more than a decade and currently covers 3,300 employees and and 6,100 people total. He also led the creation of the a multiple employer retirement plan that provides retirement benefits to 16 CICV institutions and has more than $1 billion in combined assets. Lambeth also supported a federal program to promote solar energy at Virginia private colleges.
“Robert’s superb leadership of CICV for nearly 40 years has had a truly profound impact on the direction and value of private higher education in Virginia and well beyond,” said Robert Lindgren, president of Randolph-Macon College, a CICV member. “Robert is highly respected nationally, and his extraordinary creativity and perseverance have enhanced the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of students and their families in Virginia — all the while earning him the respect and admiration of those with whom he has interacted, from prospective freshmen and parents, presidents and faculty, to governors and legislators alike.”
Lambeth will continue in his role until a successor is selected. CICV has contracted with Academic Search to find his replacement, with plans to hire a new president as soon as possible. After retirement, Lambeth plans to support Virginia nonprofit organizations and pursue consulting.