October 19, 2018 – Executive recruitment firm Witt/Kieffer has been selected to find the next president for the University of Vermont (UVM). Leading the search are Robin Mamlet, managing partner of the firm’s education practice, Dennis M. Barden, senior partner, and Robert W. Luke, senior associate.
“UVM seeks in its new president a leader with the intellectual and aspirational vision, worldview, strong academic background, great energy and emotional intelligence, and personal integrity to inspire the university community to new levels of excellence across the breadth of the academy,” said Witt/Kieffer.
Located in Burlington, UVM wants a president who will continue to build a distinctive position and reputation for the university among the nation’s leading small research universities, said the search firm.
An Inspiring Leader
With the landscape of higher education becoming increasingly competitive, UVM wants a president who will inspire all members of the university community — faculty, students, and staff — to dedicate themselves to the school’s vision of academic destiny, quality and excellence, said Witt/Kieffer.
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Candidates should have a history of collaborative organizational leadership, the ability to attract financial support for the university and its programs, and a strong record of creating and supporting a climate of openness, understanding and mutual respect. Candidates are expected to share the institution’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and its commitment to preparing students to be leaders in diverse workplaces, diverse communities and a diverse world, said the search firm.
“UVM seeks a president who can inspire its people, build upon its striking success, and help fulfill its vision as one of the nation’s premier small research universities,” said Witt/Kieffer. “The presidency is a unique opportunity for a new leader to build on the exceptional strengths and unique characteristics of UVM.”
A Respected University
Founded in 1791, UVM is a top-100 research university. The school enrolls 12,000 students, including more than 10,000 undergraduates and over 1,900 graduate students. The university is home to seven undergraduate schools and colleges, an honors college, a graduate college, a medical school, and a division of continuing and distance education. UVM attracts a faculty that has steadily built its research enterprise, growing sponsored research from $65 million in 1999 to over $138 million in 2016. This summer, UVM’s foundation announced that it had exceeded its $500 million comprehensive campaign goal one year ahead of schedule. The market value of the university’s pooled endowment is $531 million.
The school has been consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50 public universities by U.S. News & World Report.
Ms. Mamlet, who leads Witt/Kieffer’s education practice, directs searches for presidents, provosts, vice presidents and deans. She is a national leader on access and diversity recruitment. She joined the firm after 23 years in academic administration, most recently as dean of admission and financial aid at Stanford University.
Mr. Barden joined Witt/Kieffer in 1998. A former managing partner of the education practice, he supports boards and search committees in searches for presidents and chancellors as well as institutional leaders in the recruitment of leadership at the vice presidential and decanal levels. Mr. Barden has played a central role in almost 400 of the firm’s searches across higher education, in the non-profit sector and in healthcare philanthropy.
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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.
Mr. Luke, who has over 15 years of experience in education and politics, came to Witt/Kieffer from George Washington University, where he led special projects for the president and provost. Previously, he worked for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, of Florida, serving as deputy campaign manager and, before that, a staff assistant.
A Leading Search Firm
Witt/Kieffer, based in Oak Brook, IL, assists hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical schools and physician groups; biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical device companies; colleges and universities and not-for-profit community service and cultural organizations with senior administrative recruiting assignments. The search firm is also beginning to push into sports recruiting. With more than 100 search professionals nationwide, its consultants recruit CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CNOs, physician executives and other leaders.
Some of the firm’s other current searches include: chief medical officer for Duke Medical Center, president for Endicott College, provost and chief academic officer for Loyola University in Chicago and dean of the school of law for the University of South Dakota.
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