Myers McRae Tapped by Dakota Wesleyan University to Lead Provost Search

November 22, 2023 – Macon, GA-based Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting has been retained by Dakota Wesleyan University to lead in its search for a new provost. Kenny Daugherty, the search firm’s president, is leading the assignment, along with Darrel Colson, senior consultant.

The provost leads the university’s efforts in academic and student affairs, supporting faculty and staff who offer students a transformative learning experience while overseeing the three colleges, the academic support programs, student life, and campus ministry. Reporting to the president and serving on the president’s cabinet, the provost will work collaboratively with the university’s many constituencies, including the board of trustees, the faculty, and other university leaders to realize the institution’s strategic goals of cultivating an environment for learning and growth, strengthening learner success, responsibly optimizing and diversifying the student body, and reinforcing university foundations.

Myers McRae seeks an outstanding leader with exceptional academic, strategic, operational, and interpersonal capabilities. Candidates should have a record of successful teaching at the college or university level as well as evidence of innovative, creative, and collaborative leadership. This new leader will have respect for the role of all who contribute to the mission of Dakota Wesleyan University. They must have a commitment to United Methodist faith tradition (but not required to be United Methodist). Three years of experience in academic administration at the level of dean or assistant or associate provost or vice president is also preferred.

Dakota Wesleyan University was founded in 1885, in what was then Dakota Territory, by Methodist settlers. Today, the university is home to an inclusive educational community fostering a transformative learning experience that cultivates enduring intellectual growth, ethically grounded leadership, intentional faith exploration, and meaningful service. Currently, over 900 students are pursuing associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees across the university’s three colleges: College of Arts and Humanities; the Donna Starr Christen College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences; and the Ron and Sheilah Gates College of Business, Education and Social Science.

Related: Myers McRae Assists Winthrop University in the Recruitment of 12th President

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 for academic and student affairs at East Georgia State College, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Savannah State University, and the vice president for business and financial services and chief business officer for the University of West Georgia, among others.

Experienced Recruiters

Emily 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.

Myers McRae Recruits 19th President for Kentucky State University
Following a national search, Macon, GA-based Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting has assisted in the recruitment of Koffi C. Akakpo as the 19th president of Kentucky State University (KSU), a historically black college and university. Kenny Daugherty, the search firm’s president, led the assignment. “Today is undoubtedly an exciting time in Kentucky State’s history, and we are confident that the foundation laid by this extensive presidential search process—involving input and deliberation from a wide range of constituents and stakeholders, including both internal and external campus community members—allowed us to choose the best leader for Kentucky State and its future,” said Tammi Dukes, Kentucky State University board of regents chair.

Known for her leadership expertise and commitment to excellence, Ms. Myers brings to the firm’s searches her extensive first-hand 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.

Dr. Colson joined Myers McRae as a senior consultant in 2023. He retired as president of Wartburg College in 2022, after 13 years of service. He has extensive leadership experience in higher education, knowledge of expanding academic programs and growing enrollment, and a successful record in fundraising. Prior to Wartburg, Dr. Colson served as provost and dean of the College at Centenary College of Louisiana.

Related: Myers McRae Assists the University of West Georgia in Provost Search

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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