Cal State University Picks Academic Search to Land Provost

October 31, 2016 – With the new school year well underway, education-focused recruitment specialist Academic Search has been retained by California State University Channel Islands (CI) to lead its search for a provost. Senior consultant Dr. Ann Die Hasselmo is leading the assignment.

The CI provost position opened up when former provost Gayle Hutchinson, Ed.D., was appointed president of California State University, Chico in 2016.  Isaacson, Miller led that search for the University, effectively leaving a management gap in place.

“We need somebody here who wants to help lead a young and ambitious institution that has accomplished a lot and is poised for yet more,” said professor Cynthia Wyels, Ph.D., chair of the provost search committee. “Someone who wants to make a difference in the lives of our students and our region, and have our campus serve as a national model.”

The provost serves as the chief academic officer for the University and provides leadership and guidance to faculty, staff, students, and the president’s cabinet in all areas relating to academic affairs as well as advice and counsel to the president and cabinet in all matters related to management of the campus. The incoming provost will be charged with the overall administration of all academic units in the context of the university as a whole.

CI, therefore, seeks a provost who exemplifies top brand leadership and management; fosters collaborative and data-informed planning, execution, and accountability; advances its region-serving purpose; embraces diversity; and enhances the school’s campus culture.

Specifically, CI expects the next provost will be an “indefatigable advocate” for quality in both planning and execution, for academic affairs and for the university. The incumbent, as a result, must value, sustain, and promote what CI has built, including the unique culture of the university as well as its mission-driven work. The individual most also demonstrate impeccable integrity, a strong work ethic, and a positive leadership style in all behavior, to lead and manage effectively the division of academic affairs, according to the published job specifications.

Founded in 2002, California State University Channel Islands (CI) is the newest campus in the 23-campus California State University system, the largest public university system in the U.S. The mission of the CSU includes preparing significant numbers of educated, responsible people to contribute to California’s schools, economy, culture and future. The original buildings on the CI campus date from 1934 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The campus itself represents a 40-year effort to bring a four-year public university to the region to serve its residents.

Academic Sector Search Leader

For over three decades, Academic Search has served as a leader in the design and implementation of search processes for presidents and senior administrators at colleges and universities throughout the country. The firm has completed more than 380 executive level searches for higher education institutions and related organizations for positions ranging from deans to provosts to presidents within the last five years.

Dr. Die Hasselmo, the recruiter handing the search, is president emerita of the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) in Washington, D.C. and of Hendrix College. Prior to becoming the founding president of AALI, she was the managing director of Academic Search Consultation Service (ASCS).

This past spring, Kansas State University retained the services of Academic Search to lead the search for its next president. Senior consultants John Hicks and Dr. Die Hasselmo are currently leading the assignment.

Provost & Chancellors In High Demand

The hunt for university leadership is heating up — especially the search for provosts and chancellors.

Just recently, Heidrick & Struggles was retained by Emory University to fill the college’s provost/chief academic officer position. Emory’s search committee is looking for a visionary to make it the go-to place for policymakers, students and researchers. The provost search advisory committee — co-chaired by professors Carol Anderson and Carlos del Rio — is working with search consultants from Heidrick to identify a slate of experienced candidates for Emory’s seventh provost and chief academic officer.

Isaacson, Miller has just taken on the chancellor search for The University of California, Davis. Past chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi resigned amid allegations that she used university money to eliminate negative online search results about the institution.

Executive search firm Greenwood / Asher & Associates just placed Robert Jones as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). With more than 30 years of experience in public higher education, Mr. Jones came the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) where he served as president.

Higher Education Recruiting

The market for executive search in universities and colleges has expanded dramatically over the last 25 years,” said Vivian Brocard, president of Isaacson, Miller, another leading recruiting specialist serving the needs of higher education institutional leadership.

The market expansion is a direct result of increased pressure on the economic model in higher education, said Ms. Brocard. “That pressure comes not only from competition, but also from reduced state funding, rising pressures on tuition, escalating student debt, and decreasing federal research funding.” All this, while the importance of leadership escalates steadily. “As a result,” Ms. Brocard continued, “universities use every method available to reduce the risk of failure and increase the likelihood of success; hence, the dramatic rise in the use of search.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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