Pauly Group Enlisted to Find President for Northwestern Michigan College

June 24, 2019 – Pauly Group, an academic search firm, has been chosen to find the next president for Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City, MI. Senior consultant Marsi Liddell is leading the assignment.

NMC wants a president who can lead a complex, regulated organization to meet the changes of the future, while respecting the college’s history and tradition, said Springfield, IL-based Pauly Group. The school’s next president will be expected to fully embrace the college values and strategic agenda and be a confident and collaborative decision-maker. The individual should embody integrity and fully understand the community college mission. He or she should also be able to align vision, values and strategy and do so with transparency.

The NMC president role calls for a broad range of leadership experiences, said the search firm. The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate a knowledge of and commitment to the pursuit and passion of lifelong learning. The individual should also show a commitment to ensuring success for all learners. NMC’s next president should also have a demonstrated ability to lead a complex organization within a dynamic political and regulatory environment through periods of change.

An Entrepreneurial Spirit

Other qualities include: an entrepreneurial spirit that can inspire and lead the college toward the future, a strong commitment to global engagement and awareness, a commitment to experiential learning, superb communication skills and demonstrated effectiveness engaging with a wide variety of both internal and external stakeholders, and successful team-building skills.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Candidates should also show an active involvement as a community leader with a strong history of developing effective partnerships and engagement with business, community organizations and other educational institutions, said Pauly Group. NMC also wants to see evidence of strong strategic planning and execution with experience in enrollment development/ management/ growth, community outreach and economic and community development. Prospects must have a track record of identifying and raising financial and physical resources.


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Candidates should have the financial acumen to guide the college as it continues on its transformational journey, said Pauly Group. Also required is the political savvy to represent and advocate for the institution in the regional, state, national and international arenas.

Respected Recruiters

Minimum qualifications for the role include: an appropriate advanced professional degree, progressively responsible leadership positions and more than five years in senior-level leadership. NMC prefers that candidates have a master’s degree or the equivalent, 10-plus years of senior leadership experience and experience in both higher education and business/ private sector.

Northwestern Michigan College, founded in 1951, is a fully accredited community college offering 103 transfer, career degree and certificate programs. A total of 3,727 students enrolled for fall semester 2018. Throughout its four campuses, NMC offers associate degrees, professional certificates, and bachelor’s degrees through the NMC Great Lakes Maritime Academy and NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute. Six partner universities grant baccalaureate, graduate and doctoral degrees through the school’s University Center. Renowned programs for drone/UAS training, the unique water studies institute and a recognized program of study in culinary arts are among the programs that tie the college to the community and afford NMC national recognition. NMC also enjoys alliances with international partners as well.

Established in 1990, Pauly Group is an academic search consulting firm that works with community and technical colleges to recruit, reference and hire executive to mid-level administrators.  Each of its team members is a former professional at a community and/or technical college or other higher education institution with a master’s degree from an accredited university. The firm is led by president Angela Provart, with Les Pauly serving as the company’s board chair. Ms. Provart is personally involved with every search and works closely with her team of nine consultants.

Related: Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts

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

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