Buffkin / Baker Leading President Search for Chowan University

June 6, 2023 – Partner-led executive search firm Buffkin / Baker was recently selected by Chowan University  to lead its search for a new president. Kirk Peterson recently stepped down from the role to spend more time with his family. Partner Ken Carrick is leading the assignment.

The president serves as the chief executive officer of the university with responsibility for ensuring the success of Chowan’s mission, academic integrity, fiscal stability and sustainability, enrollment management, fundraising efforts, personnel development, and physical plant management, according to Buffkin / Baker. In doing so, the president works closely with the board of trustees in developing, communicating, and executing a strategy consistent with the overall mission and vision of Chowan. The president will provide innovative and visionary leadership in academic, fiscal, administrative, and professional matters, relative to all faculty, staff, and students at the university. They will be expected to develop, build/nurture, and maintain significant, productive, and trusting relationships with all stakeholders to appropriately advocate for resources, financial and otherwise, to meet the needs of the university.

The search firm is looking for candidates with a passion and enthusiasm for, and commitment to, the mission and vision of Chowan University and its identity as a Christian, liberal arts institution. They should be visionary, strategic, and creative thinkers who can think innovatively and explore new ideas especially in the areas of enrollment management, academic affairs, and fiscal affairs. They must understand the changing landscape in higher education, especially private higher education (ideally in rural and challenged socioeconomic locales). Candidates must have a proven record of successful leadership and managerial skills, whether within or outside of an academic environment. In addition, they should have the ability to give and receive constructive feedback and hold herself/himself and others accountable.

A Christian liberal arts university founded in 1848, Chowan is located in Murfreesboro, in northeastern North Carolina. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Chowan offers over 70 undergraduate academic programs among the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education and Professional Studies, and the School of Business and Design. Master’s degrees are awarded through the School of Graduate Studies. The Music Department is also individually accredited by NASM. An NCAA Division II member institution, Chowan offers 20 varsity sports, as well as co-ed competitive cheerleading and co-ed esports, and a junior varsity men’s basketball team.

Higher Education Specialists

Buffkin / Baker is a specialty boutique search firm composed of industry leaders in their respective fields and each has over a decade of retained search experience. Their focus as search professionals is to recruit leaders in digital marketing/advertising, technology, healthcare, media/entertainment, finance, higher education, and non-profit. The firm serves public, private, venture, and private equity-backed companies. Its office locations include Nashville, TN; New York; Washington, D.C.; and Winston Salem, NC, with affiliate offices in London.

Related: Buffkin / Baker Recruits Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of San Diego

Buffkin / Baker is a member of Panorama Search, an international federation of retained firms with 18 firms and over 30 offices globally. Buffkin / Baker formed in 2017 with the merger of the Buffkin Group and Baker and Associates LLC.

Recruiting Top-Notch Higher Education Leadership
In this brand new episode of ‘Talent Talks,’ Hunt Scanlon Media host Rob Adams is joined by Martin Baker, managing partner and Ken Carrick, partner from Buffkin Baker. Mr. Baker and Mr. Carrick take a deep dive into the current state of executive recruiting for the higher education sector and how this segment has been impacted by COVID-19. Listen Now!

Mr. Carrick has managed numerous search engagements throughout his more than 36 years as a search consultant while cultivating a diverse roster of clients in the education, retail, non-profit, manufacturing, healthcare, and government sectors. Before joining Buffkin / Baker, he served as president of a national retained search firm with dual headquarters in New York and Charlotte, NC.

Recent Search

Buffkin / Baker recently recruited Rear Admiral William G. Kelly as the sixth president of Christopher Newport University (CNU). Leading the assignment were Martin M. Baker, managing partner, and Chelsie WhitelockprincipalMr. Kelly was selected after a year-long rigorous, inclusive nationwide search. The board was unanimous in its decision, noting that Mr. Kelly’s life of public service and commitment to leadership, moral character, and honor mirror those same values at the heart of Christopher Newport. Mr. Kelly will take the helm of the university on July 1. “Admiral Kelly is an inspired choice,” said chancellor Paul S. Trible, who led Christopher Newport for 26 years as president. “His life of public service embodies the principles of leadership, honor, and service that define the Christopher Newport experience and I am confident that CNU’s best days lie ahead.”

A four-year public university in Newport News, VA, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Social Sciences, and the Luter School of Business.

Related: Buffkin / Baker Recruits General Counsel for the University of Missouri 

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

Share This Article


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments