January 24, 2019 – The American University in Bahrain (AUBH) aims to significantly change the landscape of higher education in this Arabian Gulf country by offering American-style university education. To get there, the school has retained Excelon Associates to recruit for faculty and administrative positions from highly experienced and successful industry and university professionals who wish to be a part of the pioneering team that will establish AUBH as a center of excellence in the region.
Excelon Associates, an executive search firm with expertise in higher education, said it will begin recruiting immediately.
“I’m thrilled to work with such experienced and formidable partners and investors as AUBH emerges with a newly-designed, world-class campus and top-quality faculty and staff,” said Susan E. Saxton, president of the American University of Bahrain. “Having previously worked with Susan Forman and Excelon Associates, with their extensive expertise in higher education, I’m confident that our recruiting requirements are in exactly the right hands.”
“We are excited about partnering with the American University of Bahrain, and recognize that it is a notable step for Excelon Associates as we expand the scope of our recruitment operations internationally,” said Ms. Forman, president and CEO of the search firm.
AUBH is a collaboration between Elm Al Bahrain and Laureate Education Inc., the world’s only publicly traded benefit company and a global leader in private higher education.
Excelon Associates, established in 2007, is headquartered in Chester, NJ, and concentrates on the education, healthcare and financial services sectors. Ms. Forman recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss the partnership.
Susan, explain the partnership and how it came about.
The American University of Bahrain’s president, Dr. Susan Saxton, and I have worked together previously. Several years ago, when she was serving as the interim CEO and chief strategy officer at Laureate Education, she called and asked if we could support a search she had with the University of St. Augustine. We accepted and we were very successful. When she accepted her new role with AUBH as university president, she called again and asked if we could assist her by recruiting executive leadership in Bahrain. Dr. Saxton shared that she wanted a grass-roots, entrepreneurial agency with an extensive educational network that could speak with deans and faculty around the world. We in turn took a few days to explore the opportunity, considering we have never recruited in Bahrain. Once we completed our research, we gladly accepted the retainer.
“Since we did not have previous experience working in Bahrain, we didn’t know what to expect. So far, we are finding exceptional talent eager for opportunities to live and work in Bahrain.”
Leadership Turnover Creates Surge in Searches for College Presidents
Turnover in the top leadership of colleges and universities across the country has been keeping executive recruiters who specialize in the academic sector busier than ever. In fact, there are at least 59 searches underway right now. Expert recruiters offer their perspective on what’s behind the trend and the challenges it poses. It’s another Hunt Scanlon Media exclusive!
Are there any difficulties in recruiting to this region and/or within the region?
Since we did not have previous experience working in Bahrain, we didn’t know what to expect. So far, the assignment has been fantastic and we are finding exceptional talent eager for opportunities to live and work in Bahrain.
Are there any nuances about recruiting for this type of educational institution vs. an American one?
No, there are no nuances beyond culture for the region, but please know this is an American-style university so the requirements remain the same.
What are some of the roles you will be filling for the university?
Currently, we are working on four dean positions for the following schools: College of Engineering, College of Business and Management (offer pending), College of Architecture and the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, we are recruiting for faculty for each of the schools within the university.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media