October 23, 2017 – In the wake of its launch earlier this month, Academic Career & Executive Search has added former Tuskegee University president Dr. Gilbert L. Rochon to its team. He brings 30 years of experience in academia to the West Hartford, CT-based recruitment firm.
Jennifer Muller, ACES managing partner and lead consultant, said Dr. Rochon brings both depth and broad experience to his role. “His ability to see the ‘bigger picture’ then hone in on the challenges and work required is evidenced not only in his experience as university president, but in all of his accomplishments,” she said. “He is a great addition to our team. His domestic and international experiences, his strong working relationships with HBCUs and his internal drive to get things done make him an invaluable resource to universities looking to find the right talent.”
Dr. Rochon was formerly AVP for collaborative research at Purdue University. He has also been both director and chair of Urban Studies and Public Policy at Dillard University. He has also held adjunct faculty appointments at Tulane, the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He has held federal appointments with NASA, DoD NAVOCEANO, USDA Forest Service and the EPA. He has also served on the Association of Public & Landgrant Universities’ board, on committees of NAFEO and UNCF and chaired the Council of 1890 Universities, among other accomplishments.
Dr. Rochon received his doctorate from MIT, master of public health degree from Yale, and bachelor’s from Xavier University of Louisiana.
Newly Launched Higher Education Specialists
Ms. Muller launched ACES earlier this month as a higher education search firm focused on high precision, flexible executive search services, career planning and candidate coaching. “Over the years I’ve learned institutions need more flexible search services,” said Ms. Muller. “Our new model offers six unique levels. For even greater flexibility, we’ve added contingency search services ideal for certain types of positions like difficult to fill IT roles.”
The ACES model focuses more on candidates for better fits and longevity, according to the firm. “By understanding a candidate’s academic and non-academic priorities, career goals, and lifestyle preferences, the selected candidate is a more precise fit not just for the institution but the community, too,” Ms. Muller said. “This more comprehensive approach leads to high accuracy placement and longer-term stability.”
Ms. Muller has 20 years of experience in research and development for higher education and Fortune 500 companies. She has led higher-education searches both domestically and internationally for presidents, vice presidents, associate chancellors, deans, directors, chairs and faculty-level positions. Previously, she built the executive search business for Academic Keys, a higher education source for faculty, senior administrators, researchers and adjuncts.
The firm’s search consultants include former district vice chancellors, presidents, provosts, student affairs leaders, deans, CHROs, leadership in healthcare and Fortune 500 companies spanning public, private, two and four-year institutions.
Plucking Talent From Universities
The education sector has been a hot area for executive recruiters. Today, some 150 recruiting specialist organizations are serving just the academia sector alone. To meet demand, search firms have been bolstering their staffs with talent from the education sector. Here are a few from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Philip Tang has joined executive search firm Witt/Kieffer as a consultant in its education practice. He has nearly 15 years of university administration experience at one of the nation’s leading universities. Mr. Tang previously served as vice provost for academic services at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Isaacson, Miller named Ericka Miller as a vice president and partner in its Washington, D.C. office. An expert in K-12 education and education policy, Dr. Miller most recently served as chief of membership, governance, and higher education at The College Board. In 2013, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the assistant secretary for postsecondary education in the U.S. Department of Education.
Wheless Partners appointed Dr. Robert Witt, University of Alabama System chancellor emeritus, as a senior advisor to the firm’s higher education search practice. “Given the numerous challenges higher education faces today, leadership for public colleges and universities has never been more imperative,” said Mike Wheless, CEO of Wheless Partners.
Saxton Bampfylde added Dr. Jennifer Barnes to its consulting team where she works across the firm’s global higher education and arts & culture search practices. Dr. Barnes brings has a broad range of experience from higher education, business and the arts. Most recently, she was pro-vice chancellor and deputy vice chancellor at the University of Cambridge.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media