Higher Education Leadership Search Seeks Deans for Auburn University at Montgomery

September 21, 2018 – Higher Education Leadership Search is spearheading searches for two deans for Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) in Alabama.

Consultant Larry Benefield is leading the search for the next dean for the College of Sciences while consultant Alan Medders is in charge of finding the new dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Both roles serve as chief academic and administrative officer for their respective college and report directly to AUM’s provost and senior vice chancellor.

The ideal candidate for the College of Sciences role is an innovative, energetic individual, with demonstrated leadership skills, a terminal degree and record of scholarly work sufficient to qualify for tenure in the college at the rank of professor in one of the college’s four departments: biology and environmental science, chemistry, mathematics and computer science, and psychology. Familiarity with all the disciplines in the College of Sciences is required, said Higher Education Leadership Search.

Candidates should have a proven record of envisioning, developing and sustaining innovative programs that foster excellence in teaching, research and service; demonstrated capacity to stimulate growth in recruitment and retention of students; understanding of the future trajectory of academia as it pertains to the departments within the college; and strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate education with an emphasis on excellence in teaching, research and scholarship, said the search firm.

A Strong Commitment

The role also calls for a strong commitment to fostering leadership development within the college while upholding the vision and mission of the university; demonstrated ability to identify, recruit and retain strong faculty; demonstrated ability to connect the college with important areas of opportunity within the University; ability to effectively collaborate and communicate with multiple constituencies and enable partnerships with other colleges and universities, government agencies, stakeholders and corporations.

The ideal candidate for the role of dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is an innovative, energetic individual with demonstrated leadership skills, a terminal degree and record of scholarly work sufficient to qualify for tenure in the college at the rank of professor in one of the college’s eight departments: communication and theater; criminal justice; economics; English and philosophy; fine arts; history and world languages and cultures; political science and public administration; and sociology, anthropology and social work. Familiarity with all the disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is required, said Higher Education Leadership Search.


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Prospects for the role should have a proven record of envisioning, developing and sustaining innovative programs that foster excellence in teaching, research and service; demonstrated capacity to stimulate growth in recruitment and retention of students; understanding of the future trajectory of academia as it pertains to the departments within the college; strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate education with an emphasis on excellence in teaching, research and scholarship; and strong commitment to fostering leadership development within the college while upholding the vision and mission of the university.

AUM is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges-accredited, comprehensive public university whose mission is to provide quality and diverse educational opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels through use of traditional and electronic delivery systems, and to foster and support an environment conducive to teaching, research, scholarship, and collaboration with government agencies, the community, and other educational institutions.

A Top Ranked University

Founded in 1967, AUM is ranked among the South’s top universities by U.S. News and World Report and was named one of the best colleges in the Southeast by the Princeton Review.

Related: Harris Search Taps Dean for University of Toledo College of Law

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: Zingaro, Fidler, Wolfe and Co. Joins Forces with Deans Executive Search & Consulting

Dr. Benefield is internationally recognized for his research in biological treatment processes. He is equally known for his commitment to furthering and enhancing engineering education. In 2012, Dr. Benefield retired after a distinguished career of more than three decades at Auburn University. He joined the institution as a faculty member and retired as dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

Experienced Recruiters

As dean, Dr. Benefield led the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering to significant advances, attracting the attention of peer institutions and moving Auburn engineering to the highest rankings in its history. Under his leadership, the college successfully completed a $154-million facility enhancement program and launched the nation’s first undergraduate degree in wireless engineering. The college also added minors in automotive manufacturing engineering and nuclear generation systems.

Related: JBK Associates Places Admissions Dean for Brooklyn Law School

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: Buffkin / Baker Tapped by UNC to Find Dean

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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