AGB Search Tapped by University of Guam to Find New President

March 20, 2018 – Academic institutions continue to pump big fees into the coffers of executive search firms nationwide. Many academic recruiting specialists say business has never been better. Even smaller recruiting outfits have multiple assignments running concurrently, all at the senior levels, and if there’s any slowdown coming it is to be found at the talent identification stage. With so much activity, it seems, talent demand is far outstripping the supply.

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. Several universities haven’t changed leaders in years or even decades, and their boards of trustees and search committees are finding an entirely new and highly competitive landscape as they set out. It’s another good reason why they’re calling in recruiters to help.

The University of Guam (UOG) is the latest highly regarded college to launch a search for a new leader, turning to academic leadership recruiting specialist AGB Search to help find its next president. Executive search consultant Richard A. Wueste leads the assignment.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

The Micronesian-based school is seeking an accomplished, innovative leader who will build on president Robert Underwood’s “Good to Great” campaign, implementing a progressive and evolving strategy for excellence and growth, said the search firm. The next president is expected to possess the experience, skills and drive required to shape the future of UOG, while exemplifying the character and ethics expected in a highly visible and trusted university and community leader.


The next president will be responsible for ensuring that plans to reach out to adult learners, provide educational alternatives to military personnel stationed on the island, expand the online portfolio and improve retention come together to form a coherent strategy for managing and growing enrollment, said AGB Search. The individual will be charged with leading by example, listening and learning from colleagues, personally setting the tone for discourse and will be an effective steward of natural, human and financial resources.

Witt/ Kieffer Named to Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Roster
Witt/ Kieffer was recognized as one of the leading academic search specialists on Hunt Scanlon Media’s “Top 50 Non-Profit/Higher Education Search Firms” list. It is the first-ever roundup of leading recruiters across both sectors. Check out these top 50 trailblazers.

Top 50

In addition, the president will be a champion of academic rigor, innovative scholarship and effective teaching, said the search firm. The individual will be expected to endorse the intellectual value of non-academic programs, promoting the idea that learning takes place in a variety of environments. The president will serve not only as an institutional leader, but also a community leader and spokesperson.

Related: Myers McRae Recruits President for University of Charleston

Founded in 1952, the University of Guam serves its learners and the communities of Guam, Micronesia and the neighboring regions of the Pacific and Asia. The school offers 34 undergraduate and 11 graduate degree programs.

Hunting Down University 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. It recently placed presidents at Sierra Nevada College, Central Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University and the University of the District of Columbia. The firm was recently recognized as one of the leading academic search specialists on Hunt Scanlon Media’s Top 50 Non-Profit / Higher Education Search Firms list published in its newsletter ESR.

Related: Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates Seeks President for University of Oklahoma

Dr. Wueste has spent more than 30 years in higher education as a student, teacher and administrator. He formerly served as president of Adams State University. His experience includes service as an executive in human resources, procurement, advancement, student services and enrollment management, government, public and community relations, auxiliary services, financial services and risk management.

New Leadership

At the end of last year, AGB recruited former Ohio University president Roderick J. McDavis to be its CEO. Dr. McDavis was the university’s first African-American president and only the second alumnus to lead the school in its 212-year history

Michigan State University Close to Picking Search Firm for Top Role
In the wake of the sex abuse scandal involving sports doctor Larry Nassar, which forced the president of Michigan State University (MSU) to step aside, the school now faces the challenge of finding a new leader.

“We knew Rod had stellar qualifications and numerous impressive accomplishments,” said Joyce Roche, chair of the AGB Search board of directors and vice chair of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges board of directors. “But what differentiated him were his energy and passion. He expressed a willingness to take risks and explore new territory that will take AGB Search to the next level. And he truly wants to make a difference for students.”

Related: Russell Reynolds Associates Places First Non-Jesuit President at Fairfield University

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

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