February 12, 2018 – The University of Charleston (UC) in West Virginia has named Martin S. Roth as its 26th president following a national search conducted by David Gring of recruiting firm Myers McRae. He succeeds Edwin Welch, who will be retiring in June.
The selection of Dr. Roth followed an extensive search conducted over the past six months. A committee of 11 members of the UC campus community including trustees, alumni, students, faculty and staff managed the search process with the help of the nationally recognized search firm.
“This was a very rigorous search process and I am gratified at the large number of very accomplished people who were interested in serving as president of UC,” said Pat Graney, leader of the search committee. “This confirms to me that the reputation UC has established as a leader in higher education extends far beyond this community.”
Dr. Roth currently serves as dean of the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford. In that role, he has guided increases in enrollments, program innovation, corporate partnerships, alumni engagement and fundraising. Dr. Roth was previously chair of the international business department and the chief innovation and assessment officer at the University of South Carolina. His career includes assignments as associate director of research at the Pittsburgh Research Institute for Studies in Marketing, assistant professor of marketing at Boston College and consulting work with CSX, Nissan, Verizon, Xerox and other global firms.
“I am confident that we have selected a strong new leader for the university — one who will both preserve the great tradition of excellence established under Ed Welch’s leadership and lead our efforts to innovate and grow the institution,” said Henry Harmon, chairman of the university’s board of trustees.
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In his new role, Dr. Roth is charged with overseeing the institution, providing the vision, administration and guidance to help advance the university in meeting its mission of service to students. The president’s cabinet includes seven direct reports: chief of staff, provost, chief financial officer, vice president for enrollment/ marketing, vice president for development, dean of students and athletic director.
Recruitment firm 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. Emily Parker Myers is the firm’s chief executive officer.
Myers McRae recently placed presidents at Carthage College, Carroll University and Northwest Florida State College.
Turning to Search Firms
In recent months, a number of top schools have announced that they are looking for new, high profile leaders to take them into new eras of fundraising, digitalization, sports and, in some cases, globalization. Several universities have gone for years or even decades without changing leaders, and their boards of trustees and search committees are finding an entirely new and highly competitive landscape as they set out. That’s another reason why they’re summoning recruiters to help.
“It is no wonder that universities and institutions of higher learning are turning to executive search firms in droves to fill their top roles,” said Diversified Search CEO Dale Jones. “Recruiters have the requisite skills to manage a process that at times can be unwieldy, but more importantly they can help to expand a university’s reach and use their well-honed assessment skills to find the very best leaders in and out of higher education.”
Here’s a look at some firms that have recently been tapped to find new leaders for universities culled from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives.
The University of Oklahoma enlisted Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates to help find its 14th president. David Boren announced that he will retire at the end of the 2017-18 academic year after serving as the school’s leader for 23 years. Managing partners Shelly Weiss Storbeck and Alberto Pimentel are leading the assignment.
Parker Executive Search is looking to place the new president of the University of Central Florida by mid-year. The Atlanta-based recruitment firm was enlisted last year to find the replacement for the school’s longtime president John Hitt, who announced his retirement in October.
West Virginia University at Parkersburg has retained RH Perry & Associates to lead its search for a new president, following the resignation of Fletcher Lamkin. Senior consultants Jesse Thompson and John Hutchinson are conducting the search. The recruitment firm will work closely with the search committee to put together a qualified list of candidates.
Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania is the latest highly regarded college to launch a search for a new leader, turning to academic leadership recruiting specialist AGB Search to help find its next president. Executive search consultants JoAnn Gora and Laird Desmond are leading the assignment.
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