Higher Education Leadership Search Finds New Provost for Northeastern State University

Higher Education Leadership Search Provost Northeastern State University

July 13, 2018 – Higher Education Leadership Search has helped place Debbie Landry as the new provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah, OK. Dr. Landry served as the interim provost for nearly a year. Consultants Bill Meehan and Alan Medders led the assignment.

“For over 13 years, Dr. Landry has served our institution with integrity, a strong work ethic and a commitment to improving the academic and overall work environment,” said NSU president Steve Turner. “In each of the roles that she has held since coming to NSU in 2004, she excelled, provided strong leadership and accomplished many important priorities. I have every reason to believe that she will provide great leadership in the division of academic affairs and provide the continuity we need in the years ahead.”

Prior to her role as interim provost, Dr. Landry served as dean of the NSU College of Education.

Vast Experience

Beyond NSU, Dr. Landry is a member of the Governor’s Education Advisory Committee, a national program reviewer for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and she served as the Oklahoma Legislative Committee chair for Oklahoma Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (OACTE). She is a former state president for OACTE, has served as a team member on the Board of Examiners for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and is a former member of the State Department of Education Task Force.

Related: Academic Search Places President at St. Mary’s University

The provost is the chief academic officer for Northeastern State. As such, the school was looking for a vibrant, creative and engaged leader to guide the leadership team in all areas relating to academic affairs, said the search firm. The provost reports directly to the university president. The individual is charged with working collaboratively to set the academic vision and provide creative and adaptable leadership and direction for all aspects of Northeastern State’s academic programs.


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Candidates were expected to hold a doctorate or other appropriate terminal degree and have a distinguished record of scholarship and teaching, said Higher Education Leadership Search. They were also required to have eligibility for a tenured appointment at the rank of full professor, as well as successful experience in higher education at senior management and leadership levels. Prospects were also required to have a record of successful and innovative experience in higher education leadership, administration and teaching.

Recruiting University Leadership

Founded in 1909 on the educational heritage of the Cherokee Nation, Northeastern State University is the fourth-largest public and also oldest institution of higher education in Oklahoma. It provides its diverse communities with lifelong learning through a broad array of undergraduate, graduate and professional doctoral degree programs. In addition to its main campus in Tahlequah, the school has branch campuses in Muskogee and Broken Arrow, in addition to online.

Higher Education Leadership Search is an Anniston, AL-based recruiting firm that offers what it describes as a new model of higher education search: matching talented candidates with distinguished positions in the most cost-effective, streamlined and efficient manner. With search consultants from a variety of academic and administrative positions, the firm offers universities and candidates a variety of services: profile development, position advertising, candidate support and recruiting, facilitation of the interview process, as well as complete Internet and social-media vetting.

Related: Haley Associates Selected to Find Next President for Methodist University

Dr. Meehan served as president of Jacksonville State University (JSU) in Alabama from 1999 to 2015. After completing his bachelor of science and master’s degrees at JSU, he joined the faculty as a full-time biology instructor. Dr. Meehan served in several roles for JSU before becoming president, including coordinator of medical technology, director of academic advisement, assistant to the vice president for academic affairs, acting vice president for academic affairs, associate vice president for academic and student affairs, and acting vice president for institutional advancement.

A Knowledgeable Recruiter

Dr. Medders was previously president of Myers McRae Executive Search, serving as consultant on over 30 public and private institutional searches for academic affairs, advancement and business & finance vice presidents, advancement officers, academic deans and directors, state and national executive directors, nursing and cybersecurity faculty.

During his academic career, Dr. Medders served as vice president for advancement at Columbus State University and executive director of the CSU Foundation, vice president for university advancement at the University of North Alabama and executive director of the UNA Foundation, and vice president of development at Campbellsville University in Kentucky.

Related: Coleman Lew + Associates Seeks Leader for Gardner-Webb University

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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