June 22, 2023 – Jay Lemons, Scott Flanagan, Jennifer Kooken, and Kate Cusimano of education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search was recently selected by Saint Michael’s College to lead its search for its 18th president. Lorraine Sterritt recently announced she was stepping down after becoming the first woman to lead the college.
Ideally, the college’s next president will be person of faith with a deep respect and enthusiasm for the Catholic faith and intellectual tradition, the Edmundites and their focus on social justice and service, and for stewarding these fundamental elements of the college’s identity, said the search firm. This individual should be a visionary leader with high energy and passion for the mission of Saint Michael’s, as well as an enthusiastic advocate for the college, ready for active and deep engagement in the campus community, in the Burlington region, and beyond. The president must also be a wise leader with financial acumen and the ability to allocate, steward, and grow resources – including enrollment, fundraising, and the diversification of revenue streams – in support of the mission of Saint Michael’s College.
Candidates should have a deep commitment to all students and a passion as well as a record of success in the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The college’s next president will be a forward-thinking leader who has the ability to nimbly explore and embrace new technologies and innovative teaching and business models that will enhance and expand academic programs, improve the student experience, and strengthen enrollment and institutional advancement results. They must be an accomplished, dynamic, and resilient leader with successful executive experience; the ability to proactively facilitate, manage, implement, and drive change; a track record of hiring, inspiring, managing, motivating, and retaining a strong team; and a demonstrated capacity for leadership in a complex and rapidly evolving environment.
Academic Search says it is seeking a gifted leader with superb interpersonal skills, high emotional intelligence, excellent communication and storytelling abilities, a transparent leadership style, a great sense of humor, and a zest for life. The firm is looking for a person of integrity and authenticity who has the courage to lead collaboratively, boldly, creatively, imaginatively, and with urgency in combination with the ability to inspire, build trust and confidence in others, and make and carry out tough decisions
Saint Michael’s College is a residential, coeducational, Catholic, liberal arts college in Colchester, VT. Founded in the Catholic intellectual tradition in 1904 by members of the Society of Saint Edmund, it remains the only Edmundite college in the world. The college has an enrollment of about 1,200 undergraduates, 190 graduate students, and more than 50 international students, and it boasts more than 20 NCAA Division II varsity teams. The college also employs more than 100 full-time faculty, the majority of whom have a doctorate or the highest degree in their field.
Higher Education Recruiters
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 hundreds of executive searches for higher education institutions and related organizations, for roles ranging from presidents to provosts to deans. Academic Search has a formal relationship to a premier leadership development program. As the subsidiary of the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), the firm provides substantial financial support to a number of leadership identification, development, and support programs across all sectors of public and private higher education. The firm is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Academic Search Places New Provost for New Mexico State University
Academic Search has placed the new provost and chief academic officer for New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces. Alan R. Shoho, dean and professor emeritus of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was selected for the position. The assignment was led by senior consultants Maria Thompson and Cynthia M. Patterson, along with associate consultant Lisa C. Rosenberg. “Dr. Shoho has tremendous experience both as an administrator and as a researcher in the fields of education and social justice,” said NMSU chancellor Dan Arvizu. “His vision for NMSU aligns with the progress we’ve made toward the goals outlined in our LEADS 2025 strategic plan, and I am sure he is the best fit to help elevate our research and social mobility initiatives.”
Dr. Lemons has been president of Academic Search since 2017, after serving for 25 years as a college president in both public and private higher education. A recognized leader in the academy, he has been particularly devoted to supporting leadership talent by working with new college presidents on the faculty of the new presidents’ programs of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges and through the professional development programs for aspiring leaders of the American Academic Leadership Institute. Dr. Lemons was president of Susquehanna University from 2001 to 2017, and prior to that served as chancellor of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) College at Wise, UVA’s public liberal arts college in southwestern Virginia.
Mr. Flanagan is a senior consultant and senior executive coach. He brings nearly three decades of accomplished leadership experience to his work assisting colleges and universities. Mr. Flanagan is known for being a trusted campus partner, engaging in searches at nearly every cabinet-level position along with the presidency and a number of roles in academic leadership. In addition to his work in search, he assists senior leaders and governing boards as a consultant and coach.
Ms. Kooken, consultant, joined Academic Search from Merrimack College, where she served as director of business school initiatives. Prior to that, Ms. Kooken collaborated with academic administrators and clients to develop engaging professional development programs for the Graduate Management Admission Council. She began her career in higher education as assistant director of graduate admissions for Babson College.
Ms. Cusimano, associate consultant, joined Academic Search in 2019. She has been involved in a variety of searches for both public and private institutions, inclusive of those with Carnegie R1 and R2 research classifications. These searches have included presidencies, provosts, and other cabinet-level vice presidencies, and deans of academic units.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media