May 23, 2019 – Macon, GA-based Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting is seeking a new provost for Methodist University. Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Jennifer Barfield, senior vice president, are spearheading the assignment.
The Fayetteville, NC university wants a provost who will be a partner in moving its academic offerings into the future, said Myers McRae. The new provost must be an academic leader with proven experience in assessing the market for trends and emerging fields and building new programs, particularly for adult learners and the online environment. This administrator will be expected to be an innovator, who is future-oriented with a creative vision of higher education and an innovative approach.
“The provost will be an inspirational change agent, who is able to earn and maintain the respect of the faculty while accomplishing ambitious and transformative goals within the university,” said Myers McRae. “A leader as well as a team member, this senior administrator will understand and value the milieu of a small, young, modestly endowed university, while also realizing the wealth of opportunities and possibilities that are available for development through ingenuity.”
The provost is charged with providing motivational and inspirational leadership for all academic programs to facilitate appropriate program development, said the search firm. The individual must also assess the job market and industry for emerging trends and quickly build new online certificate and degree programs, especially professional and health sciences programs. Increasing the financial literacy among deans and department chairs is also important.
A Range of Duties
Other responsibilities include: collaborating with the vice president for business affairs to create an incentive-based budget allocation mode; strengthening the university’s relationship with active duty military, military families and veterans through new programs and increased enrollment; ensuring systematic review of majors to ensure quality and current course content; formulating, maintaining and implementing a high-quality curriculum; and providing leadership in matters of academic policy and administration and advising the president on these matters.
Candidates must hold an earned doctorate and have progressive experience as an academic leader, said Myers McRae. Experience as a student, teacher or administrator in a large or small university will be an asset. The ability to earn and maintain the respect of the faculty is essential.
The ideal candidate will thrive in a high-energy work environment. He or she should also have: an innovative and creative vision of higher education, a demonstrable track record as an effective change agent, a love of the intellectual life, the ability to communicate effectively with different constituencies, the ability to establish and maintain excellent rapport with the faculty, and the ability to motivate and inspire others.
Recruitment of Academia Presidents Rising
Reduced state funding, rising tuition costs, soaring student debt and decreased federal research funding have all contributed to a dramatic rise in the role search firms are playing in the recruitment of university presidents and chancellors.
Chartered in 1956 as Methodist College, Methodist University today is an independent four-year institution of higher education with over 2,200 students from 41 states and 53 countries. The school offers over 80 majors and concentrations, 100 clubs and organizations, four master’s degree programs and 19 NCAA III intercollegiate sports. The student body includes persons of diverse ages and nationalities, with more than 40 states, the District of Columbia, and 77 foreign countries represented. Methodist University has graduated more than 12,700 students. While the university has alumni in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and abroad, more than 5,700 of the school’s graduates reside in North Carolina.
Myers McRae serves colleges, universities, independent schools and other not-for-profit institutions. Nearly all of its search professionals have a minimum of 20 years of experience in higher education. The majority of the firm’s searches have been for presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans and other senior academic and administrative leaders. Myers McRae recently placed the president of Judson College, provost and dean at the Citadel and director of development at Piedmont College, among other roles.
Ms. Myers has led Myers McRae since 2008. As the firm’s executive officer, she has broadened the firm’s scope and modernized processes, emphasizing responsiveness, timeliness, effectiveness and affordability. While utilizing new technology in the executive search process, Ms. Myers said she remains committed to the firm having person-to-person connections with candidates and that clients stay at the center of every search.
Known for her leadership expertise and commitment to excellence, Ms. Myers brings to the firm’s searches her extensive firsthand knowledge and experience in higher education administration. For most of her career, she served as senior vice president of university advancement and external affairs at Mercer University.
Ms. Barfield works directly with colleges and universities on the recruitment and evaluation of candidates to fulfill their search needs. She brings more than 20 years of experience in education in fundraising, public relations, program development, strategic planning, and alumni and donor relations to our clients. Her career ranges from a private college-preparatory school, First Presbyterian School; a private university, Mercer University; and a state university, Middle Georgia State 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