Norwich University Selects Academic Search to Find President

November 13, 2019 – Many academic recruiting specialists say business has never been better. Even smaller recruiting outfits have multiple assignments running concurrently, all at the senior levels. With so much activity, it seems, talent demand is far outstripping the supply.

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. Some universities that are looking for new leaders after a long spell without turnover are discovering a vastly different and highly competitive landscape. It is all the more reason for institutions of higher learning to turn to recruiters for help.

Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search, for one example, has been called in by Norwich University in Northfield, VT to lead in its search for a new president. After more than 28 years of service, Richard W. Schneider will step down from the role next June. Andrea Warren Hamos and Maya Ranchod Kirkhope are leading the assignment.

The next president of the Norwich University will be expected to maintain and enhance the school’s strong presence and educational relevance in a rapidly-changing higher education environment in New England and nationally. Maintaining the distinctiveness of the hybrid military model, the president will be charged with fostering the development of new market opportunities and new programs that will differentiate and distinguish Norwich from other universities and military institutions, said Academic Search. The school’s next leader must also help Norwich keep pace with rapid changes in the workforce and strengthen the institution’s recognition as a transformational agent of change in higher education, while staying true to the university’s history of producing citizen-soldiers.

The right candidate will bring demonstrated success in senior-level leadership that includes management of a substantial and complex organization along with a deep understanding of, and respect for, military culture and interest in academic leadership in a military environment, said the search firm. Norwich University is seeking someone with a military background and an understanding of the issues affecting higher education institutions (e.g., access and affordability, innovation, change management and the importance of enrollment management in a tuition-driven budget environment).

Academic Search is well-versed in Norwich University’s mission, vision, guiding values and strategic priorities, having recruited Dr. Schneider and more recently, the provost and dean of the faculty, Sandra Affenito.

Hundreds of members of the Norwich community from across disciplines and departments took the opportunity to share input, through a variety of methods, ensuring that the process is informed by multiple viewpoints. Community members were also encouraged to share confidential feedback and nominations directly with Academic Search.


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Norwich University is the oldest senior military college in the country. With 2,400 students on campus and another 1,600 enrolled online, the school offers a learning environment that combines the discipline and resilience of a military education with a challenging liberal arts and professional education. It offers 50 fields of study. Norwich is celebrating the bicentennial of its founding this year.

Serving Universities

For over three decades, Academic Search has been a leader in designing and implementing search processes for leaders of colleges and universities across the country. The firm has completed hundreds of executive searches for higher education institutions and related organizations, for roles ranging from presidents to provosts to deans. Academic Search is currently conducting, or has completed, senior assignments for Walsh University, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, University of Central Missouri, Fort Hays State University and SUNY Empire State College, among others.

Dr. Warren Hamos is vice president for consulting operations and senior consultant at Academic Search. Prior to her appointment, she served for five years as associate director, and subsequently interim director, of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Emerging Leaders Group and the ACE Fellows Program.

Ms. Ranchod Kirkhope has worked in higher education for the past 20 years and specifically with presidents and governing boards for the past 10 years. She has extensive knowledge of the culture of public and private higher education, academic governance, and good board management and practices at colleges and universities. Since joining Academic Search, Ms. Kirkhope has conducted dozens of searches for public, private and international institutions, from dean to president.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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