About Us

Leadership. Impact.

For four decades, Academic Search has served as the leader in the design and implementation of search processes for presidents and senior administrators at colleges and universities throughout the country. The firm has built a dossier of premier clients and earned a reputation for integrity, confidentiality, and quality. Since its inception, the firm has completed more than 700 presidential searches, and in the past three years have conducted more than 50 provost and 60 dean searches. Academic Search prides itself on the following five-year retention rate for individuals they have helped place: 91 percent of all presidential searches; 81 percent of all vice-presidential searches; and 89 percent of all dean searches.

What further distinguishes our firm from other agencies is our commitment to leadership on behalf of our clients, which extends to our dedication to leadership development.   Based in Washington, D.C., Academic Search is the wholly owned subsidiary of the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), a not-for-profit organization that provides leadership identification, development, and support programs to academic leaders in various administrative positions across all sectors of higher education, but particularly for members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the organizations that founded AALI.  This relationship strengthens the ongoing commitment by Academic Search to leadership development as well as the identification of outstanding candidates for positions.



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Every search firm has distinguishing credentials. The firm believes it is unique in its commitment to both identifying and developing leadership. As the subsidiary of the American Academic Leadership Institute, the firm provides significant funds each year to deliver professional development programs to more than 80 educators who have been nominated by their campuses to enhance their leadership potential. Furthermore, many of our consultants volunteer each year to assist other organizations in their leadership programs.

Our mission statement is very clear and focused: they’re here to provide the highest level of search to our clients, and to assist in enriching the pipeline of potential leaders for higher education.

Solutions And Expertise

  • Assessment
  • Board Services
  • Executive Coaching
  • Executive Search
  • Leadership Develop.
  • Mgmt. Consulting
  • Succession Planning
  • Associations
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Cultural Arts
  • Education
  • Faith Based
  • Foundations
  • Non-Profit
  • Board/Governance
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • General Management
  • Human Resources

News Briefings

Economic Climate Creating Challenges for Recruiters

After years of shifting economies and a move towards candidate-centric strategies, many people believe we are at the dawn of a new era of recruiting. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in October, reaching a record low point not seen since 1969, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It may be a

Gonzaga University Picks Academic Search to Lead Provost Search

Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search has been selected by Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, to lead its search for a provost. President and senior consultant L. Jay Lemons is heading the assignment along with senior consultant Ann Die Hasselmo and consultant Christopher Butler. This is a new role for Gonzaga, which is revamping its administrative structure.

Academic Search Adds Three Former HBCU Presidents to Roster

Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search has expanded its ability to attract top leadership talent to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with the addition of the founders of TM2 Education Search to the firm. TM2 was established in 2016 to identify and place candidates in top administrative posts at HBCUs. John Garland, Dorothy Yancy and Sidney Ribeau,

Academic Search Places General Counsel at Brown University

For many academic recruiting specialists, business has never been better. Even smaller recruiting outfits have multiple assignments running concurrently, all at the senior levels. With so much activity, it seems, talent demand is far outstripping the supply. Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search, for one example, recently placed Eileen Goldgeier as vice president and general counsel of Brown

Press Releases

Academic Search Assists with Ivy League Leadership Searches

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 2017 — Academic Search, Inc., celebrated its 40th anniversary of conducting higher education leadership searches in 2016. Now it starts 2017 by celebrating some Ivy League successes. On February 1st, Cornell University announced that it was appointing Madelyn F. Wessel as the next University Counsel and Secretary of the Corporation. Academic Search’s Vice

Utah Valley University Appoints New Dean

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2017 — Utah Valley University has appointed Saeed Moaveni as the new dean of the College of Technology and Computing, effective May 1. Moaveni comes from Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he has been serving as professor of mechanical engineering. “Dr. Moaveni is an accomplished engineer and academic administrator with a commitment to

Mount Mary University Appoints President

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 30, 2016 — Dr. Christine Pharr, a higher education administrator with more than 20 years of experience, has been named the twelfth president of Mount Mary University. Dr. Pharr will assume her duties as president in July 2017 when President Dr. Eileen Schwalbach steps down; Dr. Schwalbach served as president since 2008. For the

CSU Chico Appoints Provost

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 23, 2016 — California State University, Chico has named Debra Larson as its new provost and vice president for academic affairs, following a three-month nationwide search. Larson will begin her position March 1. Larson has previously served with distinction as an educational leader at two institutions of higher education. She comes to CSU, Chico from

Lyon College Names New President

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6, 2016 — The Lyon College Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. W. Joseph (Joey) King will become the 18th president of Lyon. He will succeed Dr. Donald V. Weatherman, who is retiring. King and his family will move to Batesville next summer, and he will begin work July 1. “The Board of

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