November 24, 2021 – Fordham University is beginning an important search to find a visionary, collaborative, and mission-driven leader to serve as its 33rd president. The school has called in Oak Brook, IL-based search firm WittKieffer to lead its search efforts. Spearheading the assignment are managing partner Robin Mamlet, senior partner Jean Dowdall, principal Ryan Crawford and associate Bree Liddell.
The new president will provide leadership for all aspects of the university, guiding its efforts to fulfill Fordham’s mission to deliver a “rigorous Catholic, Jesuit education to students across the nation and the globe.” Fordham’s next president will build upon the achievements of Joseph M. McShane, who helped transform Fordham from a national to a global institution, raising more than $1 billion, investing more than $1 billion in capital improvements, and overseeing the quadrupling of the university’s endowment to more than $1 billion.
The new president must be a seasoned executive with demonstrated leadership experience in higher education; a deep knowledge of, and ability to promote, the Catholic, Jesuit mission; and a clear sense of the diverse challenges of a New York City university with multiple campuses and with undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools.
According to WittKieffer, the ideal candidate will be a leader of uncompromising integrity and wisdom who brings a record of leadership and participation in the life of a complex, multiethnic, and global city; experience in international education; demonstrated accomplishment in improving diversity, equity and inclusion; and a record of academic achievement, including an earned doctorate or other terminal degree, that would qualify them to lead Fordham’s faculty.
Fordham University was founded as a Catholic institution in 1841 and was entrusted to the Society of Jesus in 1846. About 17,000 students are taught by nearly 750 full-time instructors on campuses in Manhattan, the Bronx and Westchester County in New York, and at Fordham’s London campus in the U.K. Both religious and lay candidates are encouraged to apply.
WittKieffer assists hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical schools and physician groups; biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical device companies; colleges and universities, and not-for-profit community service and cultural organizations with senior administrative recruiting assignments. With more than 100 search professionals nationwide, its consultants recruit CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CNOs, physician executives and other leaders.
WittKieffer’s education recruitment team identifies higher education and college preparatory school leaders who understand complex issues facing both public and private institutions: resource constraints; shifting national policy and increased scrutiny by boards, faculty, students and families. The education roles it recruits for include presidents; provosts; deans; officers for business and finance, advancement and development, student affairs, enrollment, IT; and more.
Ms. Mamlet leads WittKieffer’s education practice. A national leader on access and diversity recruitment, she joined WittKieffer after 23 years in academic administration, most recently as dean of admission and financial aid at Stanford University.
Ms. Dowdall specializes in senior executive searches for colleges, universities and other not-for-profit organizations. She became a search consultant in 1996 and since then she has carried out more than 250 searches for executive leadership, including over 60 searches for presidents and chancellors.
Mr. Crawford has more than 13 years of executive recruiting experience. He is adept at working with search committees to align goals and recruiting strategies with the expectations of faculty, students and campus stakeholders.
Ms. Liddell supports a range of WittKieffer recruitments for senior academic administrators – including presidents, vice presidents, provosts and deans. She looks for strong, diverse pools of candidates whose values align with those of the hiring institution.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media