Heidrick & Struggles Seeking Provost for Georgia Tech

May 15, 2020 – Jackie Zavitz and Ellen Landers of Heidrick & Struggles have been retained by the Georgia Institute of Technology to lead in the school’s search for a new provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Georgia Tech recently said the search is moving forward with some accommodation for the logistical challenges imposed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Georgia Tech seeks as its provost an innovative and creative academic leader who will promote continued excellence and innovation for the institute and is deeply committed to inclusion, supporting diversity in all forms, and promoting the well-being of the academic community,” said Heidrick & Struggles. “The next provost will step into this role during a time of great opportunity and an exciting future for the institute. Since his arrival, president Angel Cabrera has launched a strategic planning process, ‘Designing the Future,’ in which the provost will play a significant role in shaping the goals and moving the strategy forward.”


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President Cabrera named an 18-member advisory search committee comprised of faculty and staff, as well as students from the undergraduate and graduate student government associations.

Two town halls were held on March 9 and March 10 for students, faculty and staff to hear about the search process and provide feedback on the candidate considerations. A virtual town hall is scheduled for today (Friday) at 1 p.m.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting directly to the president, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs is the chief academic officer and is charged with the formulation, direction and oversight of all academic units including the colleges, the library and professional education. The provost will also work closely and collaborate with a strong leadership team at Georgia Tech.

In consultation with the president, the provost will set the long-term vision and strategy for the institute, to ensure and advance academic excellence, said the search firm. The individual will oversee the implementation of this vision, including promoting the development of lifelong education and research programs that improve the human condition through advanced science and technology.

He or she will also be expected to manage the academic organizational structure of the institute and articulate the roles and responsibilities of the major academic leaders within that structure along with milestones and measures against which progress can be measured. Through oversight of the academic support units, the provost will set academic policy, and ensure the quality of academic support services and enrichment programs for students, among other responsibilities.

Job Qualifications

Heidrick & Struggles said the successful candidate must have a terminal degree in a discipline represented within Georgia Tech and a record of outstanding scholarship, which would allow the candidate to have both full professor rank and tenure in one of the school’s academic departments.

Desired qualifications and experience include: a strong administrative record in a complex organization working effectively with multiple constituencies, including superior management experience leading a highly talented administrative leadership team; exceptional financial acumen and strategic financial management skills; and outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Founded in 1885, Georgia Tech offers an innovative education to more than 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students through more than 130 majors and minors across six colleges and 28 schools. Georgia Tech offers degrees through the colleges of computing, design, engineering, sciences, the Scheller College of Business, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. It has more than 100 centers focused on interdisciplinary research.

A Leading Recruiter

Heidrick & Struggles’ higher education specialty practice is one of the best equipped in the search business. The search firm pioneered work in the sector dating back several decades. Heidrick uses its global network of partners to identify and place leaders who bring the management skills and creativity required to accomplish educational missions. The practice conducts higher education searches at public and private colleges and universities, including system head, chancellor, president, vice chancellor, vice president, provost, vice provost and deans, as well as functional roles to include chief financial officer, chief information officer, vice president of human resources, vice president of advancement and general counsel.


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Ms. Zavitz is the partner-in-charge of Heidrick & Struggles’ Philadelphia office and a member of its social impact practice. She focuses on searches for leadership transitions in higher education, non-profit organizations, foundations, and corporate clients. Prior to joining Heidrick, Ms. Zavitz was a principal in the global educational practice with another executive search firm. Before her career in executive search, she spent eight years at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she held a number of senior roles in the administration.

Ms. Landers is a senior advisor in Heidrick & Struggles’ Atlanta office and a member of the social impact practice. She works closely with boards and senior leadership teams at mission-oriented organizations to provide counsel on executive leadership, organizational strategy and board effectiveness. Ms. Landers has been with the firm since 1996 and has conducted a wide range of searches for universities and colleges, including chancellors, presidents, provosts, functional vice presidents, general counsels, and deans. She also works with foundations, government agencies, associations, and other non-profits on executive level assignments and related consulting.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into 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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