Academic Search Places General Counsel at Brown University

August 6, 2018 – For many academic recruiting specialists, business has never been better. Even smaller recruiting outfits have multiple assignments running concurrently, all at the senior levels. With so much activity, it seems, talent demand is far outstripping the supply.

Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search, for one example, recently placed Eileen Goldgeier as vice president and general counsel of Brown University, effective Oct. 1. Earlier this year, her successor, Beverly Ledbetter, announced her plans to retire. William Howard, vice president and senior consultant for Academic Search, led the assignment.

Brown president Christina Paxson said Ms. Goldgeier’s knowledge, expertise and judgment helped her to stand out among an outstanding pool of candidates. “Not only does she bring deep experience managing the spectrum of legal and strategic issues directly relevant to a major research university, Eileen Goldgeier will provide clear, creative and collaborative leadership to advance Brown’s priorities,” Dr. Paxson said. “She offers a national presence as a highly esteemed general counsel. As an alumna, she also brings a direct connection to the Brown community.”

Brown Alumni

Ms. Goldgeier, who earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Brown, is an accomplished university attorney and advisor with more than 26 years of experience. She has been vice chancellor and general counsel at North Carolina State University since 2010. In that capacity, she has served as chief legal counsel, advised university leaders and members of the board of trustees and managed a staff of seven attorneys and five support staff.

Among her accomplishments, Ms. Goldgeier collaborated with the chancellor’s cabinet in leading an enterprise risk management process, developed an office of general counsel strategic plan, advised on the creation of an organizational compliance and integrity program, and handled numerous First Amendment and Title IX issues.

From 2003 to 2010, Ms. Goldgeier served as general counsel at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington (UNCW). Before that, she was associate general counsel at UNCW for six years. She has also worked in the general counsel’s office at Johns Hopkins University and at the Venable, Baetjer & Howard law firm in Baltimore. Ms. Goldgeier received her law degree from Emory University.


Academic Search Finds General Counsel for Dartmouth College
Academic Search placed Sandhya Subramanian as general counsel of Dartmouth College. VP for communications, Justin Anderson, who chaired the search committee, said: “Sandhya distinguished herself among a deep and talented pool of exceptionally qualified candidates.


Ms. Goldgeier said that through the search process, she learned that Brown has greatly evolved since her days as a student, pointing to its research portfolio, economic development and entrepreneurial activities, diversity and inclusion initiatives and more. “I look forward to bringing a collaborative approach to supporting campus partners from a legal perspective while they pursue and develop many dynamic relationships that bring risks, rewards and opportunities,” she said.

Related: Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts

Ms. Goldgeier will serve as Brown’s chief legal officer, advising the university’s senior officers and members of the faculty and staff on a broad range of legal and strategic matters, as well as leading the team of attorneys and other staff members in the office of the VP and general counsel.

Recruiting University Leadership

For over three decades, Academic Search has been a leader in designing and implementing search processes for leaders of colleges and universities across the country. The firm has completed more than 380 executive searches for higher education institutions and related organizations, for roles that have ranged from presidents to provosts to deans.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

Academic Search is currently conducting, or has completed, senior assignments for Westminster College, Xavier University of Louisiana, Washington & Jefferson College, University of Maine, College of Saint Rose, Southern Methodist University, Midwestern State University Texas and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, among others.

Mr. Howard, the recruiter in charge, has over 25 years experience in higher education, and has worked directly with or for over 80 colleges and universities, at two diverse public systems and two large private research universities. Mr. Howard and Academic Search have also assisted in the selection of general counsels for several Ivy League schools, including Cornell and Dartmouth. They have led searches for the senior vice president and general counsel at Rutgers and chief counsel at UConn Health. Mr. Howard is currently assisting the University of New Mexico in its search for a chief legal counsel.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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