Storbeck Search & Associates Launches Search to Find President for Colorado College

September 24, 2020 – Higher education-focused search firm Storbeck Search & Associates is seeking a new president on behalf of Colorado College (CC). Leading the assignment are managing partner Shelly Weiss Storbeck and senior associate Anne Koellhoffer.

“Colorado College’s 14th president must both maintain and advance CC’s trajectory towards sustained academic rigor and an outside-the-box approach to education; broad innovation and creativity; and unfaltering commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism initiatives,” said the search firm.

In an online update to the college community earlier this month, Jeff Keller, the college’s search committee chair, said that neither the pool of candidates nor the search schedule have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. “The search committee is now in the process of assessing candidates, narrowing the pool and conducting interviews,” he said. “After completing this assessment phase of the search, the committee will make a recommendation to the board of trustees, which will appoint the new president. The new president will join CC by the summer of 2021.”

The college’s next leader will be expected to build upon the record of outgoing president Jill Tiefenthaler and work closely with faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and members of the community, said the search firm. Among the new presidents duties, the school’s next leader will be charged with institutionalizing the college’s antiracism Initiative and create an antiracist culture on campus, a top priority for all of the college constituencies. The individual must also provide transparency and full community engagement in decision making, uphold and enhance the strength of Colorado College’s academic program and subsequent national profile, build the college’s financial resources, and lead the campus in preparing the next strategic plan.

Key Initiatives

Along with helping developing the strategic plan, the new president must concurrently maintain momentum on several high-priority initiatives, said the search firm. These include the integration of the fine arts center, expanding the pilot Colorado Pledge, advancing the school’s long-term sustainability goals, and overseeing the construction of the Ed Robson Arena, among other priorities.

Colorado College wants a president who embodies an adventurous spirit, demonstrates broad intellectual curiosity, possesses significant administrative experience, can attract new college resources, is committed to transparency and consultation, and holds a distinguished academic record, said Storbeck Search & Associates.

Ideally, the next president will also: be supremely consultative and student-centered in all decision making; possess a deep and broad history of achievement in a wide range of initiatives that prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism, and creating broadly welcoming environments, preferably in a campus setting; appreciate the variety of backgrounds, experiences, and opinions among all campus constituencies; have an unwavering commitment to maintain and increase the inclusivity of the college; prioritize engagement with faculty governance; and exhibit ambition in making CC the premier liberal arts institution in the country.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

Candidates should embrace the nimble culture that arises from the uniqueness of Colorado College’s approach to education, said the search firm. It is also critical that they demonstrate the ability to think systematically and strategically to develop a shared vision for an institution. Deep experience with budget management is essential. Prospects must also have the capacity to manage and focus a complex organization, demonstrate a commitment to transparent leadership and communication while displaying unparalleled skills as an active listener, possess fundraising expertise and an ability to inspire ongoing philanthropy support.

Higher Education Recruiters

Colorado College, founded in 1874, is a four-year liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, CO. The college enrolls just over 2,000 undergraduate students. As the only highly selective liberal arts college in the region, CC has 37 academic departments and five interdisciplinary program. Its signature academic program, the “Block Plan,” follows an intensive academic schedule that allows students to immerse themselves in a single subject for three and a half weeks, both in the classroom and in the field. CC’s 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures that professors and students have the opportunity for intimate engagement and in-class discussion. Ninety-nine percent of the school’s 167 full-time professors hold the highest degree in their field.

Ms. Storbeck launched Storbeck Search & Associates in 2007 to focus on executive search in the education and non-profit sectors. Now part of The Diversified Search Group, the firm works on behalf of colleges, universities, schools and non-profit organizations across the nation, with headquarters in Pennsylvania and local offices in every region. Storbeck Search & Associates has conducted searches for some of the country’s top colleges and universities, private schools and non-profit institutions. Its roster of university clients includes Brown, Columbia, Haverford, Johns Hopkins, Lawrenceville, Michigan State, Northwestern, Pomona, Princeton, Swarthmore and the University of Wisconsin, among others.

Ms. Storbeck 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. Among her more recent assignments, she has led 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.

Ms. Koellhoffer has worked on searches for multiple positions, including president, provost, vice president, dean of students, and dean of libraries, among others. Before entering the higher education executive search sector, she was assistant director for the Fund for Penn Law at the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School. Ms. Koellhoffer also worked in development at both Haverford College and the Philadelphia Foundation.

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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