February 5, 2018 – Academic institutions continue to pump big fees into the coffers of executive search firms nationwide. Many academic recruiting specialists say 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.
In recent months, a number of top schools have announced that they are looking for new, high-profile leaders to take them into new eras of fundraising, digitalization, sports and, in some cases, globalization. Some universities that are looking for new leaders after a long spell without turnover are discovering a vastly different and highly competitive landscape. It is all the more reason for institutions of higher learning to turn to recruiters for help.
Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search, for one example was recently tapped by Mount Saint Mary College in Newburg, NY, to lead its search for a new president. Senior consultant Nancy Suttenfield is heading the assignment.
Mount St. Mary College’s next president is expected to provide visionary leadership that builds on the traditions of its founders’ vision and its excellence in liberal arts, professional and graduate education, said the search firm. The incoming leader must have a significant track record of leadership in higher education or entities with a similar mission. The successful candidate is required to have a high level of integrity and personal energy, and demonstrate a combination of leadership qualities, experience and practical expertise
Recruitment of Academia Presidents Rising
Reduced state funding, rising tuition costs, soaring student debt and decreased federal research funding have all contributed to a dramatic rise in the role search firms are playing in the recruitment of university presidents and chancellors.
The right candidate should also have the capacity for, and preferably a record of, both “friend raising and fundraising,” said the search firm, and the skills to connect with donors, such as long-time and potential friends, alumni, corporations and foundations. The incoming leader should have the ability to expand the magnitude and demographics of the Mount St. Mary College’s financial and donor support.
In addition, the right leader will have experience in recruiting, mentoring, developing and retaining exceptional senior leaders and professional staff, said Academic Search. The individual is also charged with being attentive to the needs, concerns and resources that help all members of the school’s community to support the mission and contribute to growth, success and stability.
Mount Saint Mary College is a private, independent coeducational institution guided by the Catholic and Dominican traditions, committed to providing 2,400 students a year with a liberal arts education that prepares them for lives of leadership and service. The school has 50 undergraduate programs.
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.
Academic Search is currently working on 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.
Ms. Suttenfield is an accomplished, nationally regarded higher education executive. She brings diverse experience and insights based on nearly 25 years as a chief financial officer at several leading public and private research universities and the nation’s foremost museum complex. She also has extensive experience communicating with governing boards, campus leadership and constituencies, ratings agencies, and both federal and state government officials about a wide range of policy and financial matters.
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