AGB Search Assists Rhode Island College in Finding New President

February 23, 2024 – 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. Washington, D.C.-based recruitment firm AGB Search, which specializes in higher education leadership assignments, recently assisted in the recruitment of Jack Warner as the president of Rhode Island College after the Rhode Island Council on Postsecondary Education voted unanimously. The vote and announcement cap a nation-wide executive search, led by a diverse executive search committee guided by AGB, and with the counsel and participation of a community advisory committee.

“Dr. Warner is a deeply experienced postsecondary education expert with administrative and teaching expertise and as interim president of Rhode Island College he has delivered significant achievements,” said David Caprio, chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “The quality of the individuals that had applied for this position was impressive, making it a very difficult decision. There’s certainly demonstrated momentum by the state of Rhode Island and its leadership’s focus on education from K-12 through the college years.”

“Dr. Warner has been a tremendous partner to the state, especially with his leadership over the last two years at Rhode Island College,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Jack knows Rhode Island and has laid down a strong foundation for the college, the board, and its students to build upon. I congratulate him, his family, and all of Rhode Island College on Dr. Warner’s well-deserved appointment and I look forward to the continued success he will bring to Rhode Island College.”

“This search attracted a highly competitive pool of candidates for the Rhode Island College presidency, and we are confident that Jack Warner is — and remains to be — the best person to lead Rhode Island College at this moment in its history,” said Mr. Caprio. “On behalf of the council, I’d like to thank bishop Jeffery Williams and attorney Rachelle Green who devoted a great deal of time and expertise heading up the search committee, as well as all the members of the search committee and the members of the college community who contributed to the search process.”

Shannon Gilkey, Rhode Island’s Postsecondary Education commissioner said: “Dr. Warner, in the last 22 months, has performed superbly as interim president in laying a foundation for Rhode Island College’s future success. Under his leadership, Rhode Island College can continue to scale up its strengths, deploy a winning business model, and ensure that it is delivering education so that its students leave as engaged citizens and prepared for the changing economy.”

Past Experience

Dr. Warner was previously an associate professor of higher education in the educational leadership doctoral program at Johnson and Wales University and senior advisor at Education Strategy Group, a strategic consulting firm helping clients with strategies to improve career readiness, postsecondary transitions, and postsecondary attainment. Prior to these positions, he was executive director and chief executive officer (2009-2015) of the South Dakota board of regents, which provides governance and leadership for the six universities, three university centers, and two special schools in the state of South Dakota’s public higher education system.

Related: AGB Search Places President of West Liberty University

Prior to that, Dr. Warner spent seven years as commissioner of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, the governing board of the public research university, master’s comprehensive college and community college in Rhode Island.

AGB Search Tapped by Mount Saint Mary College to Find New President
AGB Search has been retained by Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY, to lead in its search for a new president. Current president Jason Adsit announced that he has decided not to seek a renewal when his current contract expires at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. The president is Mount Saint Mary College’s CEO and the chief ambassador of the college, reporting to the board of trustees. With a commitment to the process of shared governance, the president is responsible for strategic planning and management of the academic, personnel, fiscal, and student life policies and operations of the college.

“I’m honored to be entrusted by the Council on Postsecondary Education, the State of Rhode Island and our campus community to steward the proud history, dynamic present and bright future of Rhode Island College,” said Mr. Warner. “I have said since the beginning of my interim tenure that I am all in on RIC, and I look forward to doubling down on the momentum we’ve built now that I have the privilege of leading this institution for the long-term. With the talented leadership team we have in place, I’m confident that this will be an exciting time for our state’s first and oldest institution of public higher education.”

Rhode Island College was established in 1854 as the Rhode Island State Normal School, making it the second oldest institution of higher education in Rhode Island after Brown University. Academic programs at Rhode Island College are divided into five colleges: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Management, the School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work. These schools offer more than 90 undergraduate and 30 graduate programs for students.

AGB Search conducts searches for college and university presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans, university system heads, and CEOs of coordinating boards and related foundations. The firm was founded by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) in 2010.

Related: University of Alaska Anchorage Taps AGB Search to Find CIO

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

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