First finalist for Emporia State president to visit campus

Allison D. Garrett, executive vice president at Abilene Christian University
Allison D. Garrett, executive vice president at Abilene Christian University Courtesy of Abilene Christian University

The first finalist for the top job at Emporia State University is Allison D. Garrett, executive vice president at Abilene Christian University, officials announced Monday.

Garrett will meet with campus and community groups Tuesday and Wednesday, the university said in a written statement.

The community is invited to meet the candidate at an open forum at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at Albert Taylor Hall, in Plumb Hall, 1 Kellogg Circle, on the Emporia State campus. The forum will be followed by a reception from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. in the rotunda of Plumb Hall.

For the past three years, Garrett has overseen admissions, student life, financial services and more at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, which has more than 4,500 students.

Before that appointment, she served as senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Okla.; associate professor of law at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala.; vice president of benefits and compliance and vice president and general counsel for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

A native of Neosho, Mo., Garrett received her law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law and a bachelor of arts in English from Oklahoma Christian College.

Garrett serves on the board of directors for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature. While teaching law at Faulkner University, Garrett served as the faculty adviser to the law review and was voted Professor of the Year in 2006.

During her visit to Emporia she will be accompanied by her husband, Chip Garrett.

To share your input after the on-campus forum with Garrett, go to The survey will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

A second presidential finalist is scheduled to visit the campus Thursday and Friday. Details on that finalist will be announced later this week.

For more information about the search process, visit:

Following campus visits, the Kansas Board of Regents will conduct interviews and make a final selection. The new president will assume office on or about Jan. 1.

The new president will replace Michael Shonrock, who became president of Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Mo. Jacqueline Vietti is serving as interim president.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.