Isaacson, Miller Assists Holy Cross in President Search
February 18, 2021 – Isaacson, Miller recently assisted the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, in the recruitment of Vincent D. Rougeau its 33rd president, the first lay and first black president in the history of the college. Vivian Brocard, president of Isaacson, Miller, led the assignment along with partner Anita Tien and associate Jenna Sattar Kwiatek. Mr. Rougeau was chosen after a thorough nationwide search and will assume the role on July 1. He will succeed Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, who announced in September that he would be leaving his post at the end of June.
“We are thrilled to welcome Vincent to the Holy Cross community and look forward to his leadership in building on the college’s success of the past decade,” said Richard Patterson, chairman of the board of trustees. “Vincent brings the strategic vision, deep experience as a faculty member and administrator, and commitment to liberal arts education that will allow him to lead Holy Cross in meeting the many challenges facing higher education today. Both his scholarship and his leadership demonstrate his profound dedication to Catholic social teaching and to educating students toward seeking justice and making a meaningful difference in our world.” Mr. Rougeau has been dean of the Boston College Law School since 2011. During his tenure, he has led a reorganization in leadership structure to support a more holistic approach to student services, expand the school’s national and international recruitment of a diverse student body, and enhance the school’s commitment to experiential learning and global engagement. He was recently named the inaugural director of the new Boston College Forum on Racial Justice in America, a meeting place for listening, dialogue, and greater understanding about race and racism in America. Prior to his role at Boston College, Mr. Rougeau was a tenured professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, and served as their associate dean for academic affairs from 1999 to 2002.
Holy Cross, founded in 1843, encompasses the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of 3,000 undergraduate students, over 300 full- and part-time faculty, 800 staff and nearly 40,000 alumni. Holy Cross is one of 27 Jesuit institutions of higher education in the U.S., and the only exclusively undergraduate liberal arts college. Holy Cross is one of 27 Jesuit institutions of higher education in the country, and the only exclusively undergraduate liberal arts college.
Holy Cross is also seeking a strategic and collaborative leader for the role of CHRO. This top HR professional will be responsible for establishing and executing a strategic human capital vision that complements the financial and operational plans for the campus, while ensuring a high level of innovation, transparency, collaboration, and accountability. Isaacson, Miller is also handling this assignment. Partner Rebecca Kennedy is leading the CHRO assignment with associate Berlinda Mojica.
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The Holy Cross community is defined by “cura personalis,” a Latin phrase meaning “care for the whole person.” Without exception, Isaacson, Miller said that the CHRO will be expected to be a humble and engaged leader that fosters deep relationships to build understanding and respond to the ever-changing needs of the college’s employees. The individual must work collaboratively across campus to integrate the office throughout all facets of the institution as a trusted resource and proactive partner on all matters related to human resources.
A nationally recognized search firm focused on recruiting transformational leaders for mission-driven organizations, Isaacson, Miller has conducted thousands of placements over more than three decades. More than half of the firm’s work has been in academia, involving university presidents, college chancellors and deans. The firm has filled top leadership posts at Wellesley College, Washington State University, Miami University, Howard University, Bowdoin College, Dartmouth, NYU, Virginia State University, and the University of North Carolina, among others. John Isaacson, the firm’s chair, founded Isaacson, Miller in 1982.
Ms. Brocard joined Isaacson, Miller in 2003 following nearly 20 years of executive search experience in business and technology. She joined the firm’s executive committee in 2010, and in 2016, she assumed the role of president. Working closely with the chair, the executive committee and the management committee, Ms. Brocard guides firm strategy and execution and oversees firm-wide operations. Over her tenure at Isaacson, Miller, Ms. Brocard has built a highly regarded national practice focused on leadership roles in higher education, healthcare, and research with particular expertise in engineering, science and technology. She has served universities, colleges, academic medical centers, research institutes, advocacy groups and related organizations, and her clients have spanned public and private institutions across the U.S.
Isaacson, Miller Appoints New President and CEO
The board of directors of Isaacson, Miller has appointed Ericka Miller as the firm’s next president and CEO. She will officially start her term on July 1, 2021, upon the retirement of current president Vivian Brocard. “As one of the first women of color to lead a major national executive search firm, Ericka brings a deep and lifelong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, consistent with Isaacson, Miller’s core values,” the search firm said.
“Ericka has done an excellent job of building and leading our PreK-12 education and education improvement practice, chairing the promotions committee, and serving as an indispensable member of the board of directors,” said John Isaacson, founder and chair of Isaacson, Miller. “She distinguished herself with her colleagues on the board and was their unanimous choice for president and CEO,” Mr. Isaacson said. “They are both proud and grateful to welcome her as the successor to Vivian. Vivian has led the firm skillfully and leaves an outstanding legacy. She and Ericka will manage the transition together.”
Ms. Tien conducts searches for leadership at arts and cultural organizations, foundations and colleges and universities. Within higher education, her practice includes presidents, provosts, deans of colleges of arts and sciences, the fine and performing arts, computer and information sciences, and chief information officers.
Ms. Sattar Kwiatek joined Isaacson, Miller as an associate in 2019. Prior to joining the firm, she worked eight years in the office of residential life at Boston College.
Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media