Higher education is at a major inflection point. Large universities typically oversee billion-dollar budgets and an extensive intellectual property portfolio. At the same time, however, the university’s traditional business model of passive consumers choosing from a fixed menu of offerings is markedly out of step with the customer-centric, on-demand orientation that dominates larger and larger swaths of society. Matters are further complicated by the fact that the academic universe is a rankings-based environment that promotes continual competition, even for institutions at the top. This complexity requires leaders who can innovate amid uncertainty, work at scale, and unite a broad range of stakeholders with competing agendas.

At Egon Zehnder, our Academia and Education Practice works closely with boards of trustees and search committees to help them rethink evolving role specifications, organizational structures, and candidate pools. Our leadership solutions help great colleges and universities continue their mission while adapting to tremendous change.