Higher Education Leaders Join Academic Search’s Board

December 19, 2023 – Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search recently elected Berenecea Johnson Eanes as chair, Kathy Wilson Humphrey as vice chair, as well as Damián J. Fernández and Cynthia Teniente-Matson as new board members. “As we usher in these esteemed new members, we also bid farewell to accomplished colleagues who have dedicated years of service to advancing higher education through their roles on our board,” said Jay Lemons, president of Academic Search. “We want to thank the following departing board members for their service: Katherine Bergeron, Scott D. Miller, and Deborah F. Stanley.”

“We are grateful to each for their service to Academic Search and to AALI, for which Deborah served as chair for the past two years,” Dr. Lemons said. “As well, we owe Scott a debt of gratitude for 11 years of service to Academic Search and 10 years of service as our chair. During that time Academic Search experienced unprecedented growth with a tripling in the size of our practice, our reach, and our service to higher education.”

“We welcome our new board members with anticipation and gratitude while bidding farewell to departing members with heartfelt appreciation for their invaluable contributions,” said Dr. Lemons. “This diverse group of leaders underscores our commitment to advancing higher education and empowering the academic community.”

New Board Members

Dr. Eanes currently serves as president of York College, CUNY. She was recently appointed to serve as president of California State University, Los Angeles, a post she will assume in January 2024. Dr. Eanes has a rich history serving higher education in various roles, including seven years as vice president for student affairs at California State University Fullerton. In her time at York College, she has accomplished several long- and short-term goals including: the completion of York’s Strategic Plan, launching the One York Emergency Fund to support students during the pandemic, and achieving record fundraising campaigns. Dr. Eanes represents York College on the Greater Jamaica Development Corp.’s board and the CUNY York Athletic Conference on the NCAA Division III Presidents Council. She is also a member of the Millennium Leadership Initiative Executive Steering Committee; a Council of State representative for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and co-chair of the JFKR Advisory Council Education committee.

Dr. Fernández is the 10th president of Warren Wilson College. A Cuban immigrant who grew up in Puerto Rico and a first-generation college student, he brings more than 30 years of experience in teaching and leadership positions at both private and public institutions. Prior to joining Warren Wilson, Dr. Fernández served Eckerd College, where he raised more than $38 million, enrollment reached its highest point, the annual fund set a new record, and the board approved a strategic plan that prioritized innovation in the liberal arts, community engagement, diversity equity inclusion and belonging, and financial and environmental sustainability. Dr. Fernández is a National Science Foundation grant recipient, and he sat on the board of the American Council on Education and on the Association of Governing Boards Council of Presidents.

Related: Academic Search Recruits President for United Lutheran Seminary

Dr. Humphrey has more than 35 years of experience in higher education and currently serves as the 11th president of Carlow University. Dr. Humphrey, who was a pell-eligible student herself, is passionate about helping students from all walks of life gain access to higher education. She has been recognized for her work in the academy and has received numerous awards including the Courier’s “Women of Excellence” award; the YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award; and the Martin Luther King Jr. Creating A Just Community award. She also has an award named after her: The International Student Federation of Saint Louis University named the organization’s diversity award the “Kathy W. Humphrey Award for Diversity.”

Academic Search Places New Provost for New Mexico State University
Academic Search has placed the new provost and chief academic officer for New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces. Alan R. Shoho, dean and professor emeritus of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was selected for the position. The assignment was led by senior consultants Maria Thompson and Cynthia M. Patterson, along with associate consultant Lisa C. Rosenberg. “Dr. Shoho has tremendous experience both as an administrator and as a researcher in the fields of education and social justice,” said NMSU chancellor Dan Arvizu. “His vision for NMSU aligns with the progress we’ve made toward the goals outlined in our LEADS 2025 strategic plan, and I am sure he is the best fit to help elevate our research and social mobility initiatives.”

Dr. Teniente-Matson serves as the 31st president of San José State University. An internationally recognized Latina leader, she is a champion of student success initiatives; diversity, equity, and inclusion; civic engagement; and experiential learning. Prior to her appointment at SJSU, Dr. Teniente-Matson led Texas A&M University-San Antonio from 2015 to 2023. As the second president in the university’s history, Dr. Teniente-Matson spearheaded the growth of the campus into a comprehensive master’s university while earning the U.S. Department of Education Hispanic Serving Institution designation and the Seal of Excelencia, awarded to 24 universities nationwide.

For over three decades, Academic Search has been a leader in designing and implementing search processes for leaders of colleges and universities across the country. The firm has completed hundreds of executive searches for higher education institutions and related organizations, for roles ranging from presidents to provosts to deans. Academic Search has a formal relationship to a premier leadership development program. As the subsidiary of the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), the firm provides substantial financial support to a number of leadership identification, development, and support programs across all sectors of public and private higher education. The firm is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Related: Academic Search Recruits CEO for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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