August 17, 2018 – Executive search firms continue to reap the benefits of an active education sector, which many academic recruiters report 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.
The Colorado School of Mines, commonly known as Mines, recently enlisted Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, one of the nation’s leading boutique providers in the higher education space, to help find its next provost. Alberto Pimentel, the firm’s managing partner, and Salvador Venegas, senior associate, are leading the search.
Colorado School of Mines, located in Golden, CO, is a public university focused on science and engineering. The new provost will be responsible for: initiating development and driving implementation of strategic and tactical plans for reaching Mines’ academic and educational aspirations; providing vision for academic program evolution within and across disciplines; and overseeing the recruitment, retention and graduation of an outstanding, diverse undergraduate and graduate student body, among other duties, said the search firm.
Winning the Role
In addition, the provost will be expected to focus on the following priorities: vision/strategy for the future, organizational and process enhancement, enhancing communication across the university, building partnerships and guiding growth across the university, said Storbeck/Pimentel.
The successful candidate will be an individual of distinguished academic and administrative accomplishment with the highest integrity, said the recruiters. Prospects must possess an outstanding record of scholarship and academic leadership, including: an earned doctorate with credentials that merit appointment as a tenured full professor at Mines; an understanding of and passion for the mission of Colorado School of Mines, including a demonstrated commitment to institutional thinking; significant accomplishments as an educator, scholar and academic administrator, with strong evidence of leadership experience; experience in developing and implementing strategic plans and initiating education reforms; demonstrated success developing and managing significant and complex budgets and financial projections; and demonstrated success in an academic administrative position in higher education leading the tenure and promotion process.
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Also critical to winning the role will be leadership competencies and personal characteristics, including self-confidence and determination, visionary leadership, decisiveness/decision making, relationship building and organizational buy-in, said Storbeck/Pimentel. The Colorado School of Mines’ next provost should also have the ability to articulate the need for diversity and inclusion in STEM, to understand the challenges facing diversity in academia and STEM fields and to lead by example in implementation of inclusion initiatives.
A Strong History
Mines has been a state institution since 1874. Since its founding, the school has evolved from an institution serving the needs of the local mining industry to an internationally recognized research university offering disciplinary and interdisciplinary engineering and applied science degrees through the doctoral level. The Colorado School of Mines currently enrolls over 6,000 students with about 4,700 undergraduate students and 1,300 graduate students. In 2017, Mines was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top 30 public schools.
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.
Mr. Pimentel co-founded Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates in 2007 and has led and managed hundreds of search assignments for a variety of public and private universities and colleges, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies over the course of the past 20 years. He has recruited candidates for both academic and administrative positions for university systems as well as individual campuses.
A Seasoned Leader
His experience includes conducting searches for chancellors, presidents, provosts, vice presidents, academic deans, executive directors, and managers across all functional areas, and he is widely known for his work across multiple campuses in the University of California and California State systems.
Before co-founding Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, Mr. Pimentel was a vice president in the education and non-profit practices of A.T. Kearney Executive Search. Previously, he was a search consultant in the education practice of Witt, Kieffer, Ford, Hadelman & Lloyd and a principal in the Los Angeles office of Korn/Ferry International, working in that firm’s education and non-profit practice.
Mr. Venegas’ career in executive search spans more than a decade and has been exclusively dedicated to serving higher education clients. He has worked closely with the partners of Storbeck/Pimentel in conducting searches for public and private universities across the United States. He has directed every aspect of the search process, including research, strategy, recruitment, evaluation, referencing and logistical support. His extensive experience includes recruiting for all senior administrative positions (president, chancellor, provost, dean, vice president) in higher education.
Prior to joining Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, Mr. Venegas was a consultant in the education practice of Edward W Kelley & Partners and a research analyst for A.T. Kearney Executive Search. He also held the position of content development manager for EarthLink.
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