July 25, 2017 – Executive search firms continue to reap the benefits of an active education sector, which many academic recruiters say has never been busier. Even smaller recruiting outfits have multiple assignments running concurrently, all at the senior levels. If any slowdown is coming, it most likely will be found at the talent identification stage. With so much activity, the demand for talent seems to be outstripping the supply.
Indiana State University recently enlisted Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, one of the leading boutique providers in the higher education space, to help find its 12th president. Partner Ryan Crawford is leading the assignment.
Current president Dan Bradley, who led the school for nine years, announced this spring that he would stepping down in January. “We expect a good pool of high-quality candidates,” said David Campbell, chair of Indiana State’s board of trustees. “President Bradley has put Indiana State in an enviable position as a thriving, growing university that should be attractive to many. Nominations for the position have already started coming in even though the position has not yet been formally publicized.’
The search committee is collecting campus feedback and hopes to have finalists visit the campus in late October. Storbeck/Pimentel is looking to recruit a strong and diverse pool of candidates, facilitating a smooth search process.
Mr. Campbell expressed his appreciation to fellow trustees Jeff Taylor and Kim Smith for leading the search process as well as to all members of the committee. He also lauded the faculty senate for quickly choosing the faculty representatives. “The committee is a strong, diverse group of individuals who will represent various stakeholders in this important process,” he said.
The new president will be charged with embracing and supporting the public mission of the university to provide access and opportunity for all students to receive a high quality educational experience, resulting in academically prepared, career-ready and socially aware graduates. The individual who is selected will also be expected to support Indiana State’s emphasis on community engagement. Part of that will involve making use of partnerships with public and private entities to help enhance the quality of life in Terre Haute, where the school is located, and the Wabash Valley.
Recruitment of Academia Presidents Rising
Reduced state funding, rising tuition costs, soaring student debt and decreased federal research funding have all contributed to a dramatic rise in the role search firms are playing in the recruitment of university presidents and chancellors.
In addition, the incoming leader will be expected to help enhance inclusivity on campus and maintain the institution’s commitment to embracing diversity. That includes efforts to recruit, retain and support diverse faculty, staff and students.
The right candidate must have a strong commitment to Indiana State’s emphasis on teaching and the creation of knowledge while maintaining its longstanding commitment to inclusiveness, community and public service, and access to higher education. Experience with strategic enrollment planning, including issues related to recruitment, retention, program evaluation at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and distance education will be essential.
Founded in 1865, Indiana State University is a comprehensive, state-assisted public institution offering degrees through the doctoral level. The Princeton Review named Indiana State as one of the “Best in the Midwest” schools for 13 years running.
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Education Search Leaders
Storbeck/Pimentel has a strong history of recruiting top leadership in higher education. The firm has placed presidents at the University of Arizona, Swarthmore College, Pomona College, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Wyoming and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, among many others. It is minority and female owned. The firm has more than 25 consultants and support staff in two main offices in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, with affiliated offices in Vermont, Virginia and Florida.
Mr. Crawford has completed more than 130 search assignments for presidents, chancellors, vice presidents, deans and other senior administrators at universities and colleges across the U.S. He joined the firm after nine years in the higher education practice of Parker Executive Search. At Storbeck/Pimentel, Mr. Crawford plays a key role in business development, candidate identification and recruitment, and client engagement.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media