AGB Search Seeks President for Ohio University

November 11, 2022 – Washington, D.C.-based AGB Search, which specializes in higher education leadership assignments, has been chosen to help find the next president of Ohio University. Hugh Sherman, who previously served as dean of the university’s College of Business, will be completing his two-year term in the role next year. Sally Mason, Larry Ladd, and Garry W. Owens are leading the assignment.

The next president of Ohio University will be expected to be a transparent and collaborative leader who instills confidence and builds trust by articulating clear vision and priorities, said AGB Search. The individual must be deeply committed to supporting teaching and learning, which is at the center of the university’s mission and purpose. He or she will be charged with fostering innovation across the enterprise with a focus on continually enhancing the student experience and student success.

The new leader must retain, recruit, and effectively collaborate with capable leaders who appreciate and embrace Ohio University’s vision and values and share a strong commitment to students and their success, holding each of them accountable for the role they play in ensuring the university continues to thrive. The president will work to foster a strong sense of belonging across the diverse university community, ensuring all students, faculty, and staff feel supported and recognized for their value to the institution.

Ohio University wants its next president to be a superb communicator, capable of effectively sharing the school’s vision with external stakeholders including
alumni, donors, partners, and legislative leaders, said AGB Search. He or she must also be a trusted partner to the board of trustees, ensuring the board has visibility into both opportunities and challenges impacting the university’s future.

Five Strategic Areas

In addition to supporting ongoing enrollment and fundraising success, the next president of Ohio University must place particular emphasis on select strategic imperatives. As such, the university is particularly interested in candidates with demonstrated experience in five strategic areas: fiscal oversight, talent management, academic profile enhancement, innovation and the pace of change, and affordability and access.

The next president must have significant experience managing complex financial portfolios, including a demonstrated understanding of the financial landscape of public institutions to ensure the university’s strategic plan has the budgetary framework to be successful, said AGB Search. The individual must be instrumental in key decisions related to tuition, enrollment, research funding, fundraising, and other revenue streams and should bring to the role significant experience making difficult decisions that balance multiple interests and layered outcomes.

Established in 1804, Ohio University has 14,684 undergraduates and 2,194 graduate students enrolled at its main Athens campus. The students come from all of Ohio’s 88 counties, 49 different states, and 101 countries. Five regional campuses extend university access across southern Ohio. Ohio University offers more than 250 areas of undergraduate study. On the graduate level, the university grants master’s degrees in nearly all of its major academic divisions and doctoral degrees in selected departments.

Serving Universities

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: AGB Search Assists Gonzaga University in Finding CHRO

Dr. Mason, senior consultant and senior fellow, served as the 20th president of the University of Iowa from 2007 through 2015. Trained as a cell developmental biologist, she also holds a full professorship in the department of biology in the college of liberal arts and sciences. Dr. Mason is the author of many scientific papers and has obtained a number of research grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Wesley Research Foundation, and the Lilly Endowment.

Cultivating the Higher Education Leadership Pipeline 

In this brand new episode of ‘Talent Talks,’ Hunt Scanlon Media host Rob Adams is joined by Rod McDavis, managing principal of AGB Search and Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor Emerita of the State University of New York system. In this podcast, Dr. McDavis and Dr. Zimpher share recent trends in higher education leadership including diversity and how AGB’s Institute for Leadership & Governance is changing the game. Listen now! 

Mr. Ladd, senior consultant, has served for over 20 years as an advisor on governance, strategy, and finance to over 100 colleges, universities, and university foundations: financially strong and financially challenged, large and small, public and private, not-for-profit and for-profit. His prior executive experience includes serving as director of budget and financial planning at Harvard University, chief operating and financial officer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, dean of administration and the dean of the College of Special Studies at Tufts University, assistant provost at Boston University, and assistant to the president of Duke University.

Dr. Owens joined AGB Search in 2011 after working five years as a senior consultant with another Washington, DC-based search and consulting firm. Since 2006, Dr. Owens has completed nearly 80 searches for presidents, vice presidents, provosts, and deans in public and private colleges and universities, as well as in church-affiliated schools, specialized colleges, and the for-profit sector. Dr. Owens served as an academic administrator for 17 years, notably as founding dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Texas Tech University, among other key roles at other institutions.

Related: AGB Search Selected by University of North Dakota to Find Provost

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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