Buffkin / Baker Retained by Oklahoma State University to Lead Provost Search

May 27, 2022 – Executive search firm Buffkin / Baker has been called in by Oklahoma State University to lead its search for a new senior vice president and provost. Leading the assignment is Martin M. Baker, managing partner and Chelsie Whitelock, principal. The provost serves as the chief academic officer of the university and reports directly to the president of the OSU system. This executive is expected to: plan, implement, and coordinate academic programs; foster the academic growth and development of faculty, staff, and students; plan and execute academic policies; budget and administer academic programs and related activities; and manage fiscal priorities. In this capacity, the provost will have a major responsibility in communicating with and coordinating academic activities on all campuses in the OSU system and leading the university in fulfilling its mission as a land-grant university.

Buffkin / Baker is seeking candidates with an exceptionally strong academic background and a distinguished record of professional accomplishments in scholarship and academic pursuits. Candidates should have academic credentials and previous faculty teaching experience that merit a tenured appointment at the rank of professor in an academic unit within the university.

They should have a demonstrated history of promoting ethical behavior and social responsibility, and the capacity to lead, work, and communicate effectively with faculty, students, alumni and leaders in business, government, and other educational agencies and institutions. In addition, candidates should have an appreciation of the need for diversity of academic disciplines associated with a comprehensive university. They should also have a demonstrated commitment to the recruitment, retention, and success of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body, as well as diverse academic disciplines associated with a comprehensive research university.

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!

Oklahoma State University is a comprehensive research and land-grant university with statewide, national, and international responsibilities. Founded in 1890 as the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, Oklahoma State has grown to become a premier modern land-grant university serving more than 35,000 students across a five-campus system. OSU offers more than 350 undergraduate and graduate degrees and options, as well as professional degree programs in medicine and veterinary medicine. OSU has 13,942 total employees, including 2,167 faculty.

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

Last year, Buffkin / Baker assisted in the recruitment of Kayse Shrum as Oklahoma State University’s 19th president. The placement of Dr. Shrum followed an extensive national search involving representatives from across the OSU system, including faculty, students, staff and alumni. “Dr. Shrum is well known and respected by the Regents and our university community,” said Mr. Davis. “Her leadership has transformed our medical school in Tulsa, and her efforts have taken us to new heights we could only imagine a few years ago.”

A Specialty Boutique Firm

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.

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.

Based in Winston Salem, Mr. Baker has been in executive search for more than 22 years. In addition to his role as managing partner, he is also head of the firm’s higher education practice. He previously worked in the Atlanta office of Korn Ferry, where he developed search strategy and executed searches for numerous senior-level appointments.  He began his career as a research associate with Saxton Bampfylde, an executive search and management assessment firm in London. He has conducted searches for the positions of CEO, CFO, CIO, provost, dean, director and professor, having worked on over 350 searches throughout his career.

Ms. Whitelock is a key member of the firm’s higher education practice. She joined the firm from Vanderbilt University where she had a number of roles, including overseeing the Chancellor’s Faculty Fellows Program, managing the administrative staff of the Faculty Senate Office and leading the recruitment of staff within academic affairs. Prior to Vanderbilt, Ms. Whitelock was faculty recruitment manager in the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.

Related: Buffkin / Baker Recruits CFO for PE-Backed Digitech

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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