Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates Seeks President for University of Wisconsin System

December 19, 2019 – Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, a search firm focused on higher education, has been chosen to lead a national search to find the next president of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System. This fall, Ray Cross announced that he intended to retire after five years in the role and a 42-year career in higher education. He will serve as president until his successor is found.

Spearheading the assignment for the search firm: Managing partner Shelly Weiss Storbeck, partner R. Thomas Fitch, and senior associate Kenna Boyd.

Storbeck/Pimentel will be paid $201,250, in addition to the cost of travel, background checks and other expenses, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The new president is expected to be appointed in late spring.

A Nine-Member Committee

In November, Andrew S. Petersen, president of the University of Wisconsin System board of regents, appointed a nine-member search committee to help identify a successor. Regent vice president Michael M. Grebe is chairing the committee. The committee convened in December to be charged and to review procedures.

The committee has faced some criticism, according to the Journal Sentinel, over having no faculty or staff members among its members. The newspaper also said that only one person of color is among the search group. The committee has remained small for efficiency’s sake, said Mr. Peterson.

Faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders will have several opportunities to provide input on the qualities sought in the next UW System president. The committee is also inviting comments. Recently, the committee launched an online feedback form, which will be online throughout the search process, on the system’s website, for publics input.

Related: Universities Step Up Efforts to Find New Leaders

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates will identify and screen candidates. The search committee will then determine and interview candidates. The successful candidate will require the approval of the full board of regents. “Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates is a preeminent executive search firm with a deep understanding of higher education,” said Mr. Grebe. “We look forward to this partnership as the UW System Presidential Search Committee searches for the next UW System president.”

Higher Education Searches

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates is a woman- and minority-owned firm. It specializes in higher education executive recruitment for colleges and universities, with additional practices in independent school and non-profit recruitment. Since its founding in 2007, managing partners Ms. Storbeck and Alberto Pimentel have built a firm with national reach, with main offices in Pennsylvania and California and local offices in every region.

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Ms. Storbeck co-founded Storbeck/Pimentel in 2007 and is managing partner of the East Coast practice. She has one of the most widely recognized names in higher education search, having recruited senior leaders for some of America’s most prestigious colleges and universities. Most recently, she conducted president searches for the University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin, Bates, Denison, Haverford and Swarthmore colleges. Over her career, she has conducted more than 500 searches for public and private universities, colleges and schools, and non-profit associations and organizations.

Dr. Fitch has more than 25 years of recruiting and search experience. Prior to joining Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, he was vice president and senior consultant at Academic Search Inc. for seven years. Recent placements have included senior-level administrators at institutions ranging broadly from small liberal arts colleges to large private universities, to public institutions small and large. Over the years he has held positions in both higher education and corporate recruiting. Starting his career in student affairs, Dr. Fitch held positions including dean of students at large public and small private institutions including the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Mercer University, the Atlanta College of Art and the University of Georgia, where he also served on the faculty. He led the recruiting efforts of two Fortune 500 corporations, Georgia-Pacific and AT&T Wireless, and was director of recruiting for Emory University.

Ms. Boyd has extensive higher education experience and a deep passion for advancing the mission of an institution through hands-on relationship-building, client service, and strategic planning. She brings special expertise to development and advancement searches. Prior to joining Storbeck/Pimentel, Ms. Boyd served as director of donor relations at the University of Virginia. Before that, she worked in various roles at Legacy Marketing Partners, acting as a client service manager for a number of top companies including Bank of America and L’Oréal Paris. There, she led efforts in marketing strategy, consumer engagement, and event planning.

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

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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