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25 Higher Education Presidents to Follow on Twitter

Catch the most updated list of Higher Ed leaders to follow online here!

Higher Education institutions increasingly depend on digital communities to recruit, retain and continue to engage students (and alumni) which is why it’s so important for college and university presidents to establish an online presence.

Though there are plenty of general social media best practice lists, there aren’t many tailored to the unique challenges that higher ed presidents face. There are, however, other resources like Dan Zaiontz’s  book #FollowTheLeader that have incredibly valuable advice directly from actual Higher Ed CEOs.

In case you still weren’t convinced about integrating Twitter into your presidential persona, consider this: higher education executives are 10% more likely than corporate execs to be active on social media. Yes, you read that right. As it turns out, higher education is leading on social media rather than lagging behind the corporate world in adoption.

That’s partially what inspired me three years ago to put together this list of Higher Education Presidents who embraced Twitter and were using the platform to connect with their universities in new and interesting ways. These presidents were/are phenomenal examples of Twitter best practices for higher education professionals.

That brings us to today. A lot can change in three years, like job titles and Twitter handles, which is why I decided to release a new list of higher education presidents to follow. Some of the faces might be familiar to you, while others may be brand new. All of them are great examples of “tweeting presidential,” as Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University, put it in the latest episode of my podcast, Josie and the Podcast. Check out our conversation here:

The 25 Presidents to Follow on Twitter

This list is in no particular order. There’s something to learn from each and every one of these presidents and how they engage with the platform – especially with future, current and previous students. If you are reading this as a president on the list – thank you for your digital leadership!

1. Walter M. Kimbrough

President of Dillard University. 16.5k followers, 36.4k tweets. Yes, his tweets are just as awesome as his @HipHopPrez handle.

2. Santa J. Ono

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. 15.4K followers, 9,034 tweets. He may have changed his Twitter handle since my last list, but the quality of his content hasn’t changed one bit.

3. E Gordon Gee

President of West Virginia University. 95.4K followers, 5,052 tweets. Gee’s highly visual approach to tweeting mixes humor, heart, and lots of bowties.
https://twitter.com/gordongee/status/919318574241583105
https://twitter.com/gordongee/status/918996902875664384

4. Ángel Cabrera

President of George Mason University. 14.8K followers, 25.4k tweets. Cabrera celebrates and advocates in equal measures.

5. Renu Khator

President of the University of Houston. 65.7k followers, 4,796 tweets. Her daily tweets focus on engaging with her students and give us a behind the scenes look at the life of a University President.

6. Eric W. Kaler

President of the University of Minnesota. 10.9k followers, 3,612 tweets. Uses the platform to recognize campus achievements and keep his community updated.
https://twitter.com/PrezKaler/status/920654379904126978
https://twitter.com/PrezKaler/status/919340680010518529

6. Marcia G. Welsh

President of East Stroudsburg University. 4,914 followers, 18.4k tweets. Shows the campus she cares by generously retweeting posts from campus organizations and departments.

7. Joseph I. Castro

President of California State University, Fresno. 8,732 followers, 11.2k tweets. Promotes not only his campus but also the local Fresno community. Wish more presidents from California would follow his lead.

8. Biddy Martin

President of Amherst College. 6,729 followers, 2,245 tweets. Highlights achievements of individuals within her community in addition to wider community issues and events.

9. Alison Byerly

President of Lafayette College. 2,363 followers, 2,379 tweets. Byerly adds a personal spin to almost every retweet, and tweets engaging campus photos and media.

10. Timothy Law Snyder

President of Loyola Marymount University. 3,956 followers, 1,298 tweets. His tweets are filled with pride for the LMU community and even has an on-going series called #JacksonsLaws featuring his adorable pup Jackson.

11. Ronnie Nettles

President of Copiah-Lincoln Community College. 1,963 followers, 8,296 tweets. Regularly retweets other campus accounts, and tweets genuinely about his family and his job.

12. Joseph E. Aoun

President of Northeastern University. 8,596 followers, 1,677 tweets. Tweets more than he retweets, celebrating on campus and alumni experiences with a personal touch.

13. Neville G. Pinto

President of the University of Cincinnati. 5,169 followers, 447 tweets. Focuses on the people and the moments at his university who make his community great.

14. Kirk H. Schultz

President of Washington State University. 6,347 followers, 4,782 tweets. Replies genuinely and personally to questions, comments, and concerns about WSU.

16. Anthony Monaco

President of Tufts University. 5,762 followers, 2,076 tweets. Retweets a variety of media tweets, especially from other on-campus accounts, showing his support for on-campus social media initiatives.

17. W. Kent Fuchs

President of the University of Florida. 19.2k followers, 913 tweets. He’s not afraid to use Twitter as a platform for speaking out and promoting social good.

18. Brian W. Casey

President of Colgate University. 4,724 followers, 1,524 tweets. His tweets may be short, but they’re packed with personality and engagement with his university community.

19. Michael Crow

President of Arizona State University. 17.5k followers, 2,934 tweets. Paints a picture of Arizona State University by highlighting success stories and campus events.

20. Wallace D Loh

President of the University of Maryland. 54.9k followers, 3,941 tweets. His feed is full of shoutouts and highly personal engagement with the students and organizations of his university.

21. Rhonda L. Lenton

President of York University. 7,248 followers, 860 tweets. Notably celebrated the recent Liberal Arts and Professional Studies graduation by live-tweeting the event and congratulating all of the new grads.

22. John J. Rainone

President of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. 1,445 followers, 7,946 tweets. Shares articles and studies specific to community colleges, serving as an amazing example of higher education content marketing.

23. Eli Capulouto

President of the University of Kentucky. 12.8k followers, 1,905 tweets. It’s hard to find a tweet of Capulouto’s without visual content that tells a story about the University of Kentucky.

24. Michael Sorrell

President of Paul Quinn College. 5,067 followers, 16.7k tweets. Amplifies the voices of his community through generous retweets and mentions.

25. Beverly Warren

President of Kent State University. 7,799 followers, 2,229 tweets. Her tweets are straightforward, direct, and still manage to be personable and form community connections.

More Presidents to Follow

Of course, this is just a small selection of Higher Education Presidents that stand out on Twitter. For a curated list of all Presidents I have located on Twitter, please subscribe to this Twitter list. Feel other presidents should have been on this list? Add them in the comments below!

Hopefully, this list inspired you to look at how you’re using social media as a professional in higher education, whether you are a president, dean of students or program coordinator.

Ready to apply your professional experience, career ambitions, passions and even personality to your social media approach? My executive coaching packages will give you tools and confidence to harness social media in your leadership position or executive job search. For more information on what my coaching services can do for you, click here.
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Twitter is just one of many social media platforms Higher Education Presidents are using to connect with their communities. Instagram is another powerful platform, which is why I’m building a brand new list of presidents to follow on Instagram. Have suggestions? Let me know in the comments below and include their insta handles!

If you’re ready to connect with your campus, you’ll love this BRAND NEW resource that I’ve created called Get Connected: The Social Media Guide for Campus Leaders.
This guide shares the latest usage of young adults of social media and how campus leaders can genuinely connect with their campus community.
[button link=”https://www.josieahlquist.com//getconnectedguide/”]Request your free copy[/button]

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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