EFL Associates Seeks Provost for Ottawa University in Kansas

June 1, 2022 – Executive search firm EFL Associates, a CBIZ Inc. company, has been called in by Ottawa University (OU) in Ottawa, KS to lead its search for a new provost and chief academic officer. Steve Waldron, the recruitment firm’s managing director—legal practice and higher education practice, is leading the assignment.

The new provost must be an articulate spokesperson for the relevance of the liberal arts as they relate to undergraduate, graduate, professional, and adult and online programs across a dynamic, multi-state university system. The search firm says that this individual will be expected to have immediate credibility through a record of outstanding teaching and scholarship coupled with a focus on student success. The successful candidate will be expected to build trust within the Ottawa community by listening carefully, responding directly to issues of importance, advocating for students, faculty, and staff, and building a consultative, collaborative, and timely decision-making process. Likewise, this leader will encourage colleagues to be at the forefront of academic innovation and creativity and will be responsible to ensure individuals and departments are meeting their agreed upon goals.

Candidates should have successful senior administrative experience that provides a strong foundation for the complex and wide-ranging responsibilities. They should also have knowledge of and commitment to communicate the university’s mission and identity to faculty, staff, and students to promote the values and goals of higher education in teaching, learning, and scholarship.

Ottawa University has a 155-year heritage of educating adults and students of traditional ages for lifetimes of faith, service, leadership, and significance. In addition to the main campus in Kansas, Ottawa University has a residential campus in Surprise, AZ and adult campuses in several locations around the country. From its founding in 1865 in Ottawa, the university has grown to an institution today that serves nearly 5,000 students through its residential campuses, adult, and graduate studies campuses and online.

EFL recently placed Craig Kispert as vice president and chief financial officer of Ottawa University. Mr. Kispert has more than 33 years financial experience to OU, most recently as the SVP for finance and administration at Seattle Pacific University. “After more than a quarter century at one of America’s leading Christian universities, Craig Kispert brings a wealth of experience in higher education finance and operations to OU,” said Bill Tsutsui, president and CEO of Ottawa University. “I am impressed by Craig’s skills and smarts, but just as importantly, by his genuine embrace of Ottawa University’s mission. I am excited to welcome him to the leadership team and to get right down to work with him on a range of projects critical to OU’s ongoing growth.”

Related: Recruitment of Academia Presidents Rising

EFL also recently assisted in the recruitment of Dr. Tsutsui as president and CEO of Ottawa University. The board announced in January that it had hired EFL Associates to conduct a nationwide executive search, orchestrating a carefully planned succession process a full year before Kevin Eichner’s official retirement. “Our comprehensive, nationwide search attracted significant interest from a diverse group of impressive candidates,” said Lucky DeFries, chairman of the board of trustees. “We were very gratified at the quality of the talent, experience, and the enthusiasm of those who applied. After careful deliberation, the board agreed that Dr. Tsutsui represented the best fit for ensuring the continued momentum of the university.”

Veteran Consultants

Founded in 1978, EFL Associates provides executive search services from offices in Kansas City, Denver, St. Louis, and Raleigh, NC. The firm specializes in the following areas: finance and banking, higher education, non-profit, life sciences, energy, construction and engineering, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, public pension organizations, chief financial officers, and board services.

Mr. Waldron has nearly 35 years of leadership, organizational structure, strategic planning and litigation experience in the practice of law, higher education, and the U.S. Marines. This combination of knowledge and personal understanding gives him a unique perspective on talent.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

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