March 4, 2016 – Central European University (CEU) has tapped Isaacson, Miller to lead its search for a new president. Chairman John Isaacson is leading the search with senior associate Katie Rockman.
“We did this search eight years ago and now our hire is retiring, so we are returning to the role,” said Mr. Isaacson. “I think the original assignment back then was a harder search. The university was considerably less well-established. It now has a far more prominent role in the social sciences globally so we have been able to attract a strong pool. We are looking for people from the humanities or the social sciences, especially people who have done scholarly work on the underpinnings of democratic and autocratic regimes or who have studied the transitions.”
The University, according to documents, seeks candidates with intellectual gravitas, diplomatic acumen, moral fortitude, and a global perspective.
“Our firm is certainly interested in global work, and the world of the academy which is our focus is increasingly international,” said Mr. Isaacson. Isaacson, Miller recently completed an executive director search the work for the new Schwartzman Scholars program, a partnership with Tsinghua University in Beijing.
“It is always difficult to get candidates, in any search, to pick up and move — and these very internationally-focused searches can pose that difficulty,” he said. “As in this current search, not everyone wants to move their family to Hungary. The same applies to many of the English speaking, but international, universities.”
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CEU is a privately endowed graduate university based in Budapest. The school has developed a distinct academic and intellectual focus, combining the comparative study of the region’s historical, cultural, and social diversity with a global perspective on good governance, sustainable development, and social transformation. CEU has approximately 1,400 students and 370 faculty members from more than 130 countries.
Isaacson, Miller is currently engaged in more than 200 active searches, including leading president searches for a number of brand educational institutions, including Marist College, Mills College, Washington State University, Loyola University, Converse College, DePauw University, San Jose State University, and Wellesley College, among them.
Academic institutions also come to the firm for a host of other search mandates. Curry College retained the firm recently to lead its search for a new chief human resources officer (CHRO). Vice president Alan Wichlei is leading that search with managing associate Liz Vago. Amherst College also recently picked Isaacson, Miller to lead its search for a chief diversity officer. Bud Moseley, a vice president in the firm’s Boston office, is leading this search along with Donna Cramer, a senior associate.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media