RH Perry & Associates Recruits 6th President for Harper College

March 6, 2019 – Following a comprehensive national search, RH Perry & Associates has placed Avis Proctoras the sixth president of Harper Collegein Palatine, IL. Ken Ender, who has served as president since 2009, is retiring this summer. Senior consultants Jesse M. Thompson and Joanne Bashford led the assignment.

The five presidents in the school’s 50-year history have all served about a decade each, and the hope is that Dr. Proctorwill also have a lengthy tenure. “Here, we have to do this every 10 years,” said Pat Stack, chairman of the school’s 19-member presidential search advisory committee.

“We are grateful to the search committee for their tremendous effort assisting the board in identifying the finalists that were interviewed by the board,” chair Greg Dowell said. “In making this selection of Dr. Proctor as our next president, the board of trustees is confident that Dr. Proctor will continue our rich history of quality education and will build on the excellent leadership that Dr. Ender has provided. She will guide us as we continue the important work on student success initiatives and providing meaningful learning and career training opportunities for our community.”

Dr. Proctor has 25 years of experience working in multicultural environments as an innovative mathematics educator and academic administrator with a focus on teaching, service and research. Currently, she is president of Broward College’s North Campus  in Coconut Creek, FL. As a higher education scholar and an Aspen presidential fellow, Dr. Proctor also contributes to the professional discourse from local to global levels on progressive leadership in higher education, research-based instructional strategies, strategic community engagement, economic development, and the STEM pipeline for underrepresented groups, said RH Perry & Associates.

Challenges await Dr. Proctor, including state funding trends and uncertainty, which will demand strong, innovative fundraising, vigorous financial planning and oversight and reallocation of funds and resources in support of new initiatives. Dr. Proctorwill be expected to provide visionary, inclusive leadership to develop a new strategic plan, encompassing but not limited to the educational, master and financial plans, said RH Perry.


Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts
Executive search for higher education and academia is undergoing a tremendous transformation. Technology is having a big impact. Diversity is also making its impact felt. Even certain roles are not the same as they were just a short time ago. Talk about a sector in transition!


“I am honored to serve as Harper College’s next president, and I am grateful to the board of trustees for the opportunity to serve our community to achieve academic, social, and economic progress through higher education,” Dr. Proctor said. “I look forward to collaborating with our faculty and staff to help our students succeed.”

Respected Recruiters

Harper College, which opened in 1967, is named for William Rainey Harper, a pioneer in the community college movement in the U.S. and the first president of the University of Chicago. Today, the college is one of the nation’s premier community colleges and one of the largest, serving more than 35,000 students annually in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Harper offers associate degree and certificate programs, workforce training, professional development, continuing education classes and developmental education.

Related: Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

Established in 1974, RH Perry has conducted over 1,000 higher education searches. The firm’s higher education practice consists of senior-level executives with a well-balanced mix of college and university presidential experience, senior administrative experience and executive search expertise. Founded by Robert H. Perry, the firm is headquartered in Asheville, NC, and has offices in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Mr. Thompson, director of community college searches for the firm, has led, or participated in, a wide range of presidential and senior administrative higher education searches. His experience spans large and small, urban, suburban, and rural institutions nationwide. Mr. Thompson has provided services to both single and multi-campus institutions. His experience in higher education includes a combination of more than 40 years in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Michigan of senior-level administration, community college trustee service, and college teaching experience.

Ms. Bashford’s 25 years of experience working for community colleges includes serving as the president of Miami Dade College’s InterAmerican Campus, a diverse campus of 19,000 students located in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. She also served as associate vice president for developmental education and student success at Broward College, associate provost for institutional effectiveness at Miami Dade College and held other positions in institutional research and college testing and evaluation.

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

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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