November 9, 2021 – Macon, GA-based Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting has been enlisted to find the next president of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Leading the assignment for the firm are Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Kenny Daugherty, president, along with Jennifer Barfield, senior vice president. “Winthrop University seeks an exceptional, vibrant and visible leader with creativity, energy and vision to serve in the executive leadership role,” said the search firm. “With the abilities to balance and prioritize, the president will possess the discernment to assess, modify, and define a path on which Winthrop can pursue its mission and goals.”
The new leader will be expected to refine the university’s academic and co-curricular programs, offerings, and services to anticipate new needs and initiatives, said the search firm. He or she will also be charged with providing focused attention to recruitment and enrollment management through a willingness to pursue data-driven decisions to secure and strengthen admissions, financial aid, retention, transfer, and graduation.
Implementing a sustainable financial model and budget, including exploring additional revenue-generating opportunities will be a key aspect of the role. Winthrop’s new president must further build and inspire a collaborative and stable leadership team that transparently operates all processes and is held accountable for executing duties and responsibilities. Implementing the campus master plan in a manner that responds to the needs of the university in the near and longer-term future will also be essential.
Candidates must have an earned terminal degree and a successful record of at least 10 years as a leader within one or more institutions of comparable or greater complexity, preferably in higher education, or an equivalent combination of the two, said Myers McRae.
The new president must be a decisive, adaptive, and innovative leader who commits available resources (human, physical, and financial) to bring about data-driven results, said the search firm. He or she should also have a history of assembling and motivating a dedicated, focused, powerful, and dynamic team with a record of accomplishment related to approved goals and timely implementation.
The right candidate will also be an experienced, transparent financial steward who has overseen complex budgets and has executive experience with a governing board to develop and implement strategies to sustain and, over time, strengthen an institution’s financial position.
Winthrop University, founded in 1886, is a public, comprehensive, masters-level university. Ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report among Southern public universities and in the top 20 of public and private institutions in the region, the university provides an educational experience that blends liberal arts, professional programs, global awareness, and civic engagement. Serving about 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Winthrop offers 46 undergraduate degrees and 23 graduate degrees across four colleges—the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the Richard W. Riley College of Education, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting 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 provost and vice president of academic affairs at Rhode Island College, provost of Methodist University and president of West Virginia Northern Community College, among others.
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.
Mr. Daugherty has an extensive background in higher education administration, having served 28 years in public and independent institutions. Throughout his career in higher education, he had personnel responsibilities and served on numerous search committees for professional staff and administrators for the institution. Mr. Daugherty has conducted hundreds of searches for schools across the nation, including presidential searches for the University of Montana Western, Northwest Missouri State University, McDaniel College, Oakwood University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Wichita Area Technical College, and the Georgia Independent College Association.
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; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media