October 14, 2020 – A number of colleges and universities across the country are opening searches that, if all goes to plan, will provide high-profile leaders to steer them through a new era of fundraising, digitalization, sports and, increasingly the case, globalization – not to mention a pandemic.
One national recruiting outfit, Washington, D.C.-based AGB Search, was recently selected by the University of North Dakota (UND) to lead in its search for a provost and vice president for academic affairs. Consultants James H. McCormick and Janice Fitzgerald are leading the assignment.
The provost reports directly to the president and is responsible for academic coordination and quality, fostering research and public service, and guiding all aspects of teaching and learning in support of student success. AGB said that the provost “must engage with the internal and external UND communities to foster an environment of collaboration and innovation in support of the university’s student-centered focus and mission.”
The provost must empower and delegate effectively and efficiently to implement solutions and perpetuate development for the entire University of North Dakota community, said the search firm. The individual will be expected to pursue and engage others toward building a trusted and healthy shared governance environment.
For minimum qualifications, candidates must have a terminal degree from an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited or with equivalent international recognition, and at least 10 years of progressively increasing administrative responsibility.
Preferred candidates for the provost role must also have the following attributes (in no particular order):
- Be an advocate for the academic mission in all decision making.
- Demonstrate experience supporting faculty and staff with curriculum and program development and delivery.
- Bring a passionate appreciation for scholarship and maintain a vibrant research culture.
- Support an inclusive and equitable environment, and strive for a diverse and representative population of faculty, staff and students through recruitment and retention.
- Provide respectful guidance and empower participation in strategic planning and innovative policy delivery for the deans and their respective colleges.
- Have an established record of commitment to the principles and practice of shared governance.
- Bring a sound, practiced knowledge of budget model planning and oversight, with demonstrable experience in both programmatic investment and prioritized expense reduction.
Located in Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota’s 137-year history carries a unique profile, advancing its mission on a foundation of six core values: community, discovery, diversity, inclusivity, liberal arts and lifelong learning. More than 2,400 faculty and staff teach, support and guide a student population of 13,615 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The school offers degrees in 225 fields of study, including 39 doctoral programs.
Finding Higher Education Leaders
AGB Search, which specializes in higher education leadership, 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.
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.
AGB Search recently launched a variety of top leadership searches for Arizona State University, Bennett College, Dunwoody College of Technology, LeMoyne-Owen College, Saint Mary’s College of California, Des Moines University and a host of others. For this search firm and a raft of others the remaining months of 2020 look to be busy, even while the academic sector is being hit from all angles as a result of the current crisis.
Dr. McCormick joined AGB Search in 2011. His work in over 50 searches has focused upon public higher education leadership for universities, colleges, and community colleges and state system heads. Dr. McCormick has filled top positions for Valley City State University, Iowa State University, Montana Technological University and Harry S Truman College, among others.
Ms. Fitzgerald has been an AGB Search consultant since 2011. Her work in more than 50 searches has focused upon public higher education leadership for universities, colleges, and community colleges and state system heads. Ms. Fitzgerald has assisted clients including Malcolm X College, University of the District of Columbia, Valley City State University and Helena College, among others.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media