About Susan Frost

Susan Frost serves as an executive coach and strategy consultant to university and college leaders on a range of topics, from helping them envision and execute a strategic agenda and developing its elements into specific fundraising targets to increasing individual management and leadership skills to assembling, inspiring and leading a top team to communicating powerfully. 

For 16 years she consulted with top private institutions Frost consulted at universities and associations including Georgetown, Yale, University of Denver, Swarthmore, Colorado College, Whitman College, the Associated Colleges of the South, and Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon.  In this practice, she helped presidents, deans and other leaders advance their strategic planning efforts and apply the concepts she and others have developed to higher education broadly.  Those concepts draw on her research interests including the cultures and structures of the American research university, the nature of intellectual community, the genesis and development of intellectual initiatives of faculty, and faculty careers and development. She often worked in China and other locations in Asia, helping clients think strategically about opportunities in those societies, establish new academic programs or evaluate offerings. 

Before that she contributed for 13 years to Emory University’s rise as a top-tier research university, serving as vice president for strategic development until 2004. She also taught at Emory, where she was an adjunct professor in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts.  While at Emory, Frost organized and developed the university’s first central institutional planning and research effort, designed and implemented major planning initiatives, and conducted comprehensive studies of faculty work and life at the university. Her studies of intellectual community and faculty work give the Emory faculty the distinction of being one of the most studied research faculty in the U.S. 

Susan Frost’s articles include “The University as Global City” (Change, March/April 2004) and “Chaos and the New Academy,” a work she shared with leaders and scholars as she developed it.   She has also authored Academic Advising for Student Success: A System of Shared Responsibility (1991); co-authored, with Ronald Simpson, Inside College: The Future of Undergraduate Education (Insight Books, 1993); and edited Using Teams in Higher Education: Cultural Foundations for Productive Change for the New Directions for Institutional Research series (1998). Frost’s articles appear regularly in such journals as Research in Higher Education and the Journal of Higher Education. She teaches graduate seminars on the culture and contexts in the American university, as well as planning and policy analysis in higher education.  She has served as a Senior Fellow in the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia, where she earned her doctorate in 1989. 

Meet Our Team

Olivia Smith

Senior Associate

Olivia has worked on strategic initiatives for public and private research universities and liberal arts colleges for 25 years.  She has extensive experience working with leaders in higher education on strategic planning initiatives including direct work with Board of Trustees, faculty committees, staff groups and special initiatives, such as creativity and the arts, work-life balance, residential life, and honorary degrees.  She has an M.A. in Women’s Studies from Emory University and an M.A. and B.A. in English from Western Kentucky University.