Greenwood Asher & Associates Places President and CEO for University of the District of Columbia

September 8, 2023 – After an extensive, seven month search, Miramar Beach, FL-based executive recruitment firm Greenwood Asher & Associates has placed Maurice D. Edington as the new president and CEO of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Marion Frenche, associate vice president of executive search and practice leader for diversity, equity, and inclusion, led the assignment for the search firm, guided by the university’s board of trustees-appointed presidential search committee.

Dr. Edington most recently served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Florida A&M University (FAMU). He succeeds Ronald Mason Jr., UDC’s longest-serving president, who remains a faculty member at the university’s David A. Clarke School of Law.

UDC’s new leader’s areas of focus are to include increasing student success, increasing support for faculty, expanding academic program offerings, increasing research productivity, enrollment and degree production, fundraising, external relations, and economic development.

“Dr. Edington’s academic and leadership acumen, fundraising abilities, and passion for supporting students and faculty make him uniquely qualified to guide the University of the District of Columbia to the next level,” said Christopher D. Bell, chair of the university board of trustees. “He will inherit an exceptional foundation that will grow the university into an even greater, more successful educational environment that will have a lasting impact on students, faculty, staff, and the greater District community.”

A Strong Track Record

UDC’s new leader is an accomplished scientist, educator, and university administrator with a proven track record of success in improving student retention and graduation rates. He brings more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience to his new role.

During his tenure at FAMA, Dr. Edington also served as provost and vice president for academic affairs, where he oversaw academic programs, activities, and services for 14 colleges/schools, and all institutional and specialized accreditation activities. Among other positions at FAMU, he also served as vice president for strategic planning, analysis, and institutional effectiveness, where he was responsible for overseeing the university’s assessment, accreditation, academic program quality, institutional research, reporting, and strategic planning functions.

Dr. Edington is a physical chemist by training with a research specialty in ultrafast laser spectroscopy. He conducts research and provides training to faculty in STEM education, focusing on using active learning instructional strategies to enhance critical thinking skills.

Related: The High Demand for Higher Education Leaders Continues

The University of the District of Columbia is the only public university in the nation’s capital and the only exclusively urban land-grant university in the U.S. It is a historically black university committed to a broad mission of education, research, and community service.  Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, UDC offers workforce training, professional certification, and more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Proven Search Firm

Greenwood Asher & Associates is a women-owned executive search firm with a diverse consulting team and extensive experience in executive search, consulting, and training for education markets including elementary, secondary, higher education, university systems, campuses and non-profit organizations including associations, service, and cultural institutions.

In Changing Times, Higher Education Sector Seeks New Types of Leaders
Colleges and universities face many challenges post-pandemic. In particular, turnover for leaders is high, resulting in more executive-level searches in the sector than at any time over the past decade. Weighing in on what search leaders are facing are: Tobin Anselmi of The Christopher Group, Shahauna Siddiqui and Kenny Gregor of DHR Global, Shawn M. Hartman of Academic Search, Jane Griffith of Griffith Group, and Gordon Lobay and Erik Jackson of Perrett Laver.

The firm, led by founders and partners Jan Greenwood and Betty Turner Asher, was acquired in 2020 by Kelly Education, a global leader in workforce management solutions offering staffing services to top companies.

Dr. Greenwood is a pioneer in U.S. higher education, as the first woman president of a public four-year and graduate institution in Virginia and as among the first to hold multiple presidencies for both public and private institutions. The library at one of these institutions is named in her honor. She was one of the earliest executive recruiters focused on education and non-profit organizations. Dr. Greenwood is a licensed psychologist with experience as a psychometrist and with post-doctoral training in group methods. She brings these skill-sets to her work with clients, candidates, and search committees.

Dr. Asher, who is also vice president and managing partner of Kelly Education, was one of the first women to serve as president of a flagship institution. She brings to executive search, consulting and training a unique background of leadership service at all levels of higher education institutions and systems, in academics and student affairs and in public and private institutions. She has been a leader in executive search, consulting and training for the past two decades. Ms. Asher has led more than 500 searches, most at the president/CEO level.

Ms. Frenche has worked in executive search since 1998 and has managed searches with three international executive search firms. She has completed over 500 searches for executives in higher education, K-12, healthcare, academic medicine, and information technology. These positions have been in public and private higher education institutions and system offices, K-12 schools and systems, academic health and healthcare organizations, and non-profits. Ms. Frenche also has considerable search experience serving mission-driven organizations such as associations and foundations and in higher education board development.

Related: Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Non-Profit & Higher Education Search Firms

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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