Greenwood Asher & Associates Recruits President for Milwaukee Area Technical College

June 20, 2024 – Miramar Beach, FL-based executive recruitment firm Greenwood Asher & Associates has assisted in the recruitment of Anthony Cruz as the new president of Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). Tracey Weldon, Jim Johnsen, and Itza Walters led the assignment. The board made its selection during a special meeting following an expert-led national search. The process included a rigorous review of applications, two rounds of interviews, on-campus presentations, and consideration of supporting materials. More than 150 students, faculty, staff, administrators and community partners participated in person and virtually in sessions with each candidate. Board chairperson Mark F. Foley thanked all those who contributed for their participation, which helped shape this process from the beginning. Current president Dr. Vicki J. Martin announced her retirement in September 2023 after 35 years with the college, including a 10-year tenure as president. She will continue to remain fully engaged throughout the 2023-24 academic year. Her retirement will be effective June 30, 2024.

“District board members were particularly impressed by Dr. Cruz’s students first educational philosophy, his in-depth knowledge of MATC, and the high regard in which he is held by the students, faculty, and administrators with whom he has worked in the past,” Mr. Foley said. “In the coming days, you will hear directly from Dr. Cruz. We look forward to working with him to bring MATC to new heights of student achievement and contributions to everyone in the Milwaukee area. For now, please simply join me in congratulating our next president as we mark this new chapter in the history of a college that is vital to the community we share.”

The college conducted a competitive process to identify a search firm and selected Greenwood Asher & Associates, which brought 300 years of collective experience in executive searches for higher education and non-profit institutions. The search process included gathering input from 50 students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members who attended input sessions and 90 people who completed online surveys. More than 50 applications were received, reflecting a strong pool of highly qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Dr. Cruz currently serves as president of the Kendall Campus of Miami Dade College. During his 28 years of higher education experience, he has used his expertise to increase educational opportunities, enhance the student experience and bolster student success. Dr. Cruz has held leadership roles such as campus president, vice chancellor, vice president, and dean at several community colleges and universities. “These valuable experiences have given him a profound understanding of the complexity of the higher education landscape and the opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity of the unique backgrounds and perspectives of the students, faculty and staff that he has served,” MATC said. “He works collaboratively with community partners to build pathways and initiatives to remove barriers to student success. Dr. Cruz is committed to creating innovative approaches to reduce the skills gap and increase the number of college graduates.”

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

As Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College has provided education in the region since 1912. More than 30,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. ““Milwaukee Area Technical College plays such a pivotal role in providing affordable access to those seeking higher education and career advancement opportunities in the region,” said Ms. Weldon.

Serving the Education Sector

Greenwood Asher & Associates is an 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. The firm was acquired in 2020 by Kelly Education, a global leader in workforce management solutions offering staffing services to top companies.

The High Demand for Higher Education Leaders Continues
With a new school year approaching, a number of top colleges and universities have announced they are seeking new, high profile leaders to take them into new eras of fundraising, digitalization, sports and, in some cases, globalization. Several universities haven’t changed leaders in years or even decades, and their boards of trustees and search committees are finding an entirely new and highly competitive landscape as they set out. It is another reason why they’re calling in executive recruiters to assist.

Ms. Weldon is vice president of executive search at Greenwood Asher & Associates. She is former dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education at the University of South Carolina (USC). She also served as the inaugural diversity officer in the College of Arts and Sciences and was one of the original members and co-chairs of USC’s Council of Academic Diversity Officers.

As vice president of executive search, Mr. Johnsen serves Greenwood Asher & Associates and its clients by developing partnerships informed by his background in, and passion for, leadership in higher education, business, and government. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a senior fellow at the National Association of System Heads (NASH), lecturer in the School of Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, commissioner for the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, and Alaska representative to the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

As a senior executive search consultant, Ms. Walters’ responsibilities include outreach to potential candidates, organizing and presenting candidate documentation to search committees for review, facilitating the interview process, referencing finalists, and guaranteeing successful search closures.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief and Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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