Storbeck/Pimentel Seeks 22nd President for Allegheny College

October 5, 2018 – Executive search firms continue to reap the benefits of an active education sector, which many academic recruiters report has never been busier.

The action is especially heavy among the boutiques, with niche recruiting outfits handling multiple assignments concurrently at major institutions, 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 across the sector is outstripping the supply.

Allegheny College recently enlisted Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, one of the nation’s leading boutique providers in the higher education space, to help find its 22nd president. James H. Mullen will be retiring at the end of the 2018-19 academic year after leading the school for more than a decade. Managing partner Shelly Weiss Storbeck is leading the search along with partner Thomas Fitch and senior associate Anne Koellhoffer.

“The search process is advancing as planned and will intensify as we move into the fall semester,” said Eddie Taylor, chair of the presidential search committee. “Our search firm tells us that, in recent years, all of the presidential searches they have conducted for private colleges have been confidential in their approach. Public colleges and universities routinely avoid public presidential searches as well.”

“Most individuals who are strong prospects will likely not consider becoming a candidate without a guarantee of some level of privacy,” he said. “We chose early on to build the strongest candidate pool possible and to honor the expressed need for privacy.”

Allegheny College’s next president must possess deep leadership experience coupled with a passionate commitment to undergraduate liberal arts education, said Storbeck/Pimentel. The ideal candidate should demonstrate success operating within a strong shared governance environment and possess a clear ability to reinforce values of collaboration, inclusion, and civility in all aspects of leadership and community engagement.


Thomas Fitch

With more than 25 years of recruiting and search experience, Mr. Fitch brings judgment, credibility, and a focus on partnership to institutional leaders and search committees. 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.


The school’s next leader must also have the ability to balance national-level educational engagement, fundraising and other off-campus work with being actively engaged with campus happenings and highly accessible to students.

A Rich History

Building on the college’s rich history of success, the next president of Allegheny should bring bold ideas and leadership to engage the community in developing shared directives, said the search firm.

Founded in 1815, Allegheny College is widely recognized as a top-tier liberal arts college providing a highly personalized undergraduate education to about 1,800 students from across the nation and the globe. The college, located in northwestern Pennsylvania, has a $221 million endowment and operates with a budget of $74 million.

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

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. 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.


Anne Koellhoffer

Ms. Koellhoffer has worked on searches for multiple positions in the higher education sector, including president, provost, vice president, dean of students, and dean of libraries, among others. Before joining Storbeck/Pimentel, Ms. Koellhoffer was assistant director for the fund for Penn Law at the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School. 


Ms. Storbeck co-founded Storbeck/Pimentel in 2007 and is managing partner of the firm’s East Coast practice. She has one of the most widely recognized names in higher education search, having recruited senior leaders for 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.

Alberto Pimentel, the other co-founder of the firm, has conducted hundreds of search assignments for a variety of public and private universities and colleges, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies over the last 20 years. He has recruited candidates for both academic and administrative positions for university systems as well as individual campuses. His experience includes conducting searches for chancellors, presidents, provosts, vice presidents, academic deans, executive directors, directors and managers across all functional areas.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into 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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