Academic Search Seeks President for Texas Wesleyan University

April 12, 2023 – Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search is seeking the 21st president for Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, TX. The next president will have the opportunity to lead this liberal arts university to its next level of success through a continued commitment to student-centered achievement; academic rigor; diversity, equity, and inclusion; community engagement; financial discipline; and the passionate articulation of its mission and values. Senior consultants Stuart Dorsey and Suzanne Mellon are leading the assignment.

The university seeks an energetic and inspiring leader who can build upon the momentum of the past decade, exploit its assets and unique opportunities and, most importantly, communicate a vision that inspires the campus, alumni, and philanthropic community. According to Academic Search, the next president will be expected to have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, build relationships with community leaders and donors, strengthen the Texas Wesleyan community internally, invest in the campus and community, secure the university’s finances, and share in the growth of the Metroplex region.

Fundraising and strengthening relationships with the philanthropic community must be a high priority for Texas Wesleyan University’s next president. Fort Worth boasts a significant philanthropic culture and resources. The university has begun to raise its visibility and funding from several private foundations that support higher education. The next president has an excellent opportunity to advance this momentum by successfully completing the $40 million comprehensive campaign, enhancing visibility and donor support and building long-term relationships with community foundations which will contribute to its visibility and meeting the needs of its students, said the search firm.

The next president must bring a successful track record of progressive leadership experience that demonstrates the ability to manage a complex organization and leading and developing an executive team, financial and business acumen, excellent communication skills, and success in meeting institutional/ organizational outcomes in alignment with the mission. A graduate degree is required with an earned terminal degree preferred.

The right candidates will have a demonstrated record of success as a change agent in progressive positions of authority and responsibility in higher education or another industry that is transferable to the university presidency. They should have the ability to build/develop and maintain a strong leadership team who work collaboratively and execute on initiatives with accountability. In addition, prospects must have a demonstrated ability to challenge the status quo and to make difficult decisions and taking appropriate risks when addressing challenges and opportunities. They should have demonstrated evidence of a commitment and advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion for a diverse student population with nearly 50 percent first-generation students.

Related: Academic Search Recruits President for United Lutheran Seminary

Texas Wesleyan University was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1890. The school places an emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills, and the university’s strategic plan requires faculty to develop measurable critical thinking, analytical reasoning and creative problem-solving skills in students based on academic proficiency and assessment metrics. Throughout its history, the university has remained closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The university maintains special relationships with several United Methodist congregations, and some of the trustees are representatives of the United Methodist Church.

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. The firm is led by Jay Lemons, who has served as president since 2017, after serving for 25 years as a college president in both public and private higher education.

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 will begin his new role on April 17. “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. Dorsey was appointed president of Texas Lutheran University in 2011. Prior to that, he was associate professor of economics at West Virginia University; professor, department chair, and academic dean at Baker University; vice president for academic affairs at the University of Evansville; and president of the University of Redlands. Dr. Dorsey also served for three years as chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where he supported the work of the committee on fiscal policy, tax reform and trade.

Dr. Mellon is president emerita of Carlow University, a masters comprehensive private university in Pittsburgh, PA, where she served as president and professor from 2013 to 2021. She has had a distinguished career in higher education administration for the past 23 years. Dr. Mellon joined Academic Search in 2021 and is transitioning to a senior executive coach. She has held leadership positions and served on regional, state, and national organizations in higher education and healthcare.

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

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

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