May 29, 2020 – The Insight Group, a Sydney, Australia-headquartered executive search firm, has been enlisted to find the next provost for Griffith University in Queensland. Leading the assignment are director Rohan Carr and principal Emily Witts.
The provost, chief academic officer of the university, is a member of the executive group and also serves as standing deputy to the vice chancellor. The provost has executive responsibility for providing leadership and strategic direction for operations across academic groups through the portfolios of the group pro vice chancellors and the end-to-end student lifecycle from marketing to graduation, said The Insight Group.
As a member of the executive group, the provost plays a key role in driving the implementation of the university’s strategic plan, with shared accountability for all strategic commitments and individual ownership for delivering the key actions and outcomes related to the Griffith student experience, said The Insight Group.
The provost also chairs a number of university committees, including the academic committee, senior promotions committees for professors and associate professors, and the equity committee.
Candidates must have appropriate academic qualifications and standing (or equivalent) for appointment as a professor of the university, said The Insight Group. Also required is prior executive academic leadership experience at a university, with a proven record of achievement in engaging with and leading diverse, senior teams in the delivery of high-level goals and objectives. Deep knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues and trends in the Australian higher education sector, as well as the broader global context and the application of same into university strategies and business plans, is also necessary.
Griffith University wants candidates to have a demonstrated ability to develop, drive and implement strategy in a large and diverse organization. Experience in developing strong relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including senior executives, and effectively engaging them to successfully drive business and cultural change throughout an organization is also required.
Desirable qualifications for the provost role include prior senior academic leadership experience at a global top 200 university, demonstrated impact related to Griffith’s core values, a track record of successfully implementing experience-centered (especially student-centered) thinking and improving collaboration throughout a large organization, and a proven commitment to ongoing professional development of academic and professional staff.
Since opening in 1975, Griffith University has grown from one campus and 451 students to become a comprehensive, multi-campus institution, with 50,000 students and more than 200,000 graduates. Griffith is one of Australia’s leading comprehensive research universities, with strengths ranging from the creative arts, social sciences and humanities through to the physical and natural sciences, engineering and IT, health and medicine.
The Insight Group, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, was established in 1994 by Malcolm Duncan and Peter Nisbit. Its specialties include: higher education, government and not-for-profit, professional services, financial services, health and technology, property, construction and engineering, retail, manufacturing and supply chain, family and private enterprises.
Mr. Duncan works principally in the areas of government, professional services, non-profit and with leading industrial companies. He also serves local and global venture capital groups. His work has involved identifying senior executives to run start-up businesses and to provide assessment of teams and organizational reviews in relation to merger and acquisition activities. He also undertakes independent management assessment of board members and senior executive teams.
Mr. Nisbit has over 25 years executive search experience. He has considerable depth of experience assisting clients both within Australia as well as international markets. This expertise covers a wide range of industries including professional services, manufacturing, infrastructure, health, financial services and outsourcing. He has made numerous C-suite appointments across these sectors as well as other highly specialized roles. A key focus of his consulting activity also involves working with family and private businesses.
Dr. Carr has a background of more than 20 years in the executive search industry and held earlier positions in the financial services and corporate advisory sectors. He has particular expertise in the education sector working with universities, research institutes, schools, colleges and other organizations. He began his executive search career at The Insight Group as an associate before joining Heidrick & Struggles where he spent three years as a consultant. In 2002, he returned to The Insight Group as a director, where he consults to a range of private and public organizations across a variety of industry sectors at senior executive and board level.
Ms. Witts has extensive experience providing consulting advice in relation to executive search assignments across a wide range of industries and for many different senior management roles. She began her career as a researcher for a boutique executive search firm before joining the Sydney organizing committee for the Olympic Games where she worked as a manager, running the Leisure Center at the Athlete’s Village. In 2000, she joined Russell Reynolds Associates where she undertook executive search assignments for some of Australia’s largest organizations. She moved to Melbourne in 2005 with Talent Intelligence, a talent management and succession planning organization as an account manager, managing work for several large clients in the retail and telecommunications sectors. With The Insight Group since 2009, Ms. Witts applies her research and consulting expertise to a range of senior executive search assignments, primarily specializing in searches with the education sector.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media