The Phelps Group Seeking President for Northern College

February 26, 2020 – 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 Phelps Group was recently chosen to assist in the search for the new president and CEO of Northern College in Ontario. “The Phelps Group is an experienced executive search firm with expertise in successfully recruiting senior academic administration for post-secondary institutions across Canada,” said George Pirie, chair of the search committee and Northern College’s board of governors. “We look forward to working with them as we move forward in the next phase of recruiting.”

Northern College’s search for a new president began after the November announcement of Fred Gibbon’s intention to retire in June of 2020 after a decade of leadership. The board will work with Dr. Gibbons on succession planning to continue the college’s success and build momentum as it moves into a new strategic cycle.

Working with the school’s presidential search committee, the Phelps Group will establish processes to set up consultations within the college and the broader community to gather input on the profile of skills, qualities and experience that the new leader should have.

“Finding strong leadership to follow the impressive legacy of Dr. Gibbons is key to us as we move forward together,” said Doug Walsh, first vice chair of the search committee. “With the intention of the board and the organization to have a new president in place by the beginning of the academic year in September 2020, we are on schedule with the recruitment process.”

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

Northern College offers the latest in educational pathways, technological innovation, training facilities, applied research and programming. The school has over 75 programs in the areas of business and office administration, community services, health sciences, emergency services, veterinary sciences, engineering technology and trades, and welding engineering technology.

Serving Canada

Headquartered in Toronto, the Phelps Group is a boutique human services firm established in 1986 with a vision to provide the highest quality, client focused, talent and executive search services. Founding partner Valerie Phelps is a career transition and leadership development executive with more than 30 years’ experience supporting and developing leaders. She has worked extensively with all levels of employees from administrative and specialized/technical resources to directors, senior managers and C-suite executives.


Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts
Executive search for higher education and academia is undergoing a tremendous transformation. Technology is having a big impact. Diversity is also making its impact felt. Even certain roles are not the same as they were just a short time ago. Talk about a sector in transition!


Ms. Phelps is also one of only 2,000 members of the Association of Career Professionals International (IACMP) who specialize in all aspects of career services including career management and transition, leadership development, assessments, talent management and coaching.  Each of the members of this select group is bound by a code of ethical standards and guided by highly recognized core competencies.

Heather Phelps is the managing partner responsible for executive search and leadership development. She leads the design, resourcing and execution of human capital initiatives across Canada. Ms. Phelps provides counsel to the C-suite, senior executives, boards and human resource leaders. Specializing in national executive level recruitment, Heather Phelps has accumulated deep understanding of key business drivers and competencies relevant to both the public and private sectors.

Jayson Phelps is a member of Phelps’ leadership team and a senior partner with a track-record of placements in a wide array of sectors. His ability to create long-lasting partnerships has allowed him to collaborate with academic institutions, not-for-profits, municipalities, crown corporations, agencies, hospitals, ministries and the private sector as a trusted advisor.

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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