Academic Career & Executive Search Adds Former President of U of Maine

Academic Career & Executive Search Dr. Robert A. Kennedy

January 2, 2018 – West Hartford, CT-based Academic Career & Executive Search (ACES) has expanded with the addition of Dr. Robert A. Kennedy as an executive search consultant.

Dr. Kennedy has over 40 years of experience in academia, including six years as president of the University of Maine. He also served as executive vice president and provost at the University of Maine; vice president for research and associate provost for graduate studies, Texas A&M University; VP for research, University of Maryland; at the National Science Foundation; and in numerous faculty positions with the University of Iowa, Washington State University and Ohio State University.

In addition, Dr. Kennedy has served as a consultant to the Minnesota House of Representatives’ Higher Education Committee on Finance and Policy, and as a consultant on research and economic development for the state of Minnesota.

Dr. Kennedy is also committed to sustainable energy, promoting the development of the world’s leading offshore wind energy research and technology laboratory for full-scale commercial deployment, said ACES. He is also nationally recognized for research and programmatic leadership in sustainability and alternative energy.

“Bob is an innovative and wise individual with an incredibly varied and diverse background,” said Jennifer Muller, managing partner and lead consultant of ACES. “He’s served leadership roles in R1, land-grant institutions, advised government bodies and even served on the board of advisors to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. Bob is a trusted colleague and friend for many years and I’m delighted he’s joined our team. He has great knowledge and sage counsel for candidates and an excellent network when conducting searches.”

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 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 as of late. Today, some 150 recruiting specialist organizations serve only the academia sector. To meet demand, search firms have been bolstering their staffs with talent from the education sector. Here are a few examples 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

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