Academic Career & Executive Search Seeking CHRO for Massachusetts College of Art and Design

March 19, 2024 – A number of universities have recently turned to search firms to find new chief human resources officers. Academic Career & Executive Search (ACES) was recently selected to recruit the next chief human resources officer for Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The search is being led by managing partner Jennifer Muller. This is a vibrant period for the school and a unique opportunity to lead at a distinguished institution as the college commemorates its 150th anniversary. The successful candidate will be an informed decision maker who capitalizes on opportunities to promote the organization’s mission, vision, and values actively.

The CHRO plays an integral role in driving the organization’s commitment to strengthening its position as a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. Reporting to the vice president of administration and finance, this executive attracts, develops, engages, and retains top talent. The CHRO sets the tone for the employee experience, advises the senior leadership team, and leverages the human capital that supports organizational advancement. They will join the senior leadership team, serving as a member of the president’s executive cabinet and as a strategic partner to the team in order to forward MassArt’s position as the nation’s first and only, public independent college of art and design. The individual will be an informed decision maker who capitalizes on opportunities to promote the organization’s mission, vision, and values actively.

The CHRO will work with operational leaders to forecast future workforce requirements, proactively advance organizational leadership and development, and maintain MassArt’s core values in a rapidly changing higher education environment, while also being a driving force for operational efficiency and service excellence.

The next CHRO will be committed to promoting a culture of inclusion, teamwork and cohesion, accountability, and high performance within the human resources organization. Candidates will have five to eight years directly related human resources experience of which a minimum of three to five years must be at the director or higher level. In lieu of an earned Bachelor’s degree, applicants with 10 or more years of directly related human resources of which a minimum of five years must be at the director or higher level shall be required, according to ACES.

Prior experience working in a unionized work environment as well as experience in developing and maintaining a positive environment for employees, a highly engaged workforce and developing creative solutions that foster employee retention is preferred. Experience with recruiting, applicant tracking systems, and the complex legal framework surrounding hiring and daily operations of the human resources Office is also desired.

Related: Academic Career & Executive Search Taps Founding Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for University of Pittsburgh-Bradford

Founded in 1873, Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the nation’s first and only independent, free-standing public college of art and design. It is an inclusive community of thinkers, doers, makers, educators, innovators, and leaders striving to shape the future through art and design. Located in Boston’s hub of arts and culture along the Avenue of the Arts, MassArt enrolls 2,000 students and offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in 18 disciplines, as well as continuing education and youth programs.

Serving Higher Education Institutions

Academic Career & Executive Search focuses on executive search services, career planning, and candidate coaching. Specializing in challenging faculty to senior administrative positions, the firm offers six a la carte services spanning full search, candidate generation, interim, multi-hire, and contingency search. Candidate support services include webinars, career planning and candidate coaching. Its team has served in virtually every capacity in higher education including president, vice president, provost, dean, chief human resources officer, and faculty members across all types and sizes of institutions.

Navigating the Insular World of Academic Recruiting
Passionate about higher education, recruiters for the academic sector face a range of challenges than those in other areas are unlikely to see, says Shawn M. Hartman, of Washington, D.C.-based Academic Search. Widespread input from across an institution’s community, lengthier searches and state sunshine laws are just some of the issues that executive recruiters working for institutions of higher learning must deftly navigate.

Ms. Muller has more than 20 years of research and development experience in higher education and Fortune 500 companies. She has led over 70 higher education searches both domestically and internationally spanning presidents, vice presidents, associate chancellors, deans, directors, chairs, and faculty level positions. She is former vice chair of the American Council on Education (ACE) Executive Search Roundtable and serves as an advisor in the numerous ACE leadership development forums.

Recent Search

Academic Career & Executive Search recently placed Chris Culbertson as the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State University (K-State). Dr. Culbertson, interim dean for nearly a year, has also served as a professor of chemistry and associate dean of research and graduate studies. He was appointed to the post by Charles Taber, provost and executive vice president. Ms. Muller led the assignment for the search firm.

“Dr. Culbertson brings a wealth of experience in leadership, research, teaching and service to the dean role,” said Dr. Taber. “His passion for research excellence, student success and university engagement will serve the college and the university well. We look forward to his continued strategic vision as he leads the College of Arts and Sciences into the future.”

Related: Academic Career & Executive Search Places Dean of College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State University

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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