October 13, 2016 – Executive search firm Witt/Kieffer has been retained by the University of Oregon to lead its search for a new dean of the School of Law. Principal Werner Boel and consultant Suzanne Teer are leading the assignment. The dean post reports to the provost and senior vice president and is the academic leader, fundraiser, and chief executive of Oregon Law.
The Ideal Candidate
The incoming dean of the School of Law is expected to be an inspiring, broad-minded leader and legal professional with dynamic vision. The incumbent will possess a J.D. and an academic record to qualify for tenure.
Candidates, according to the school, should have a distinguished record of academic achievement in a core discipline or interdisciplinary field and the credentials to warrant appointment as a professor within the school. The dean will nurture high-quality research, teaching, and diversity as important components of academic excellence. The successful candidate also will have strong advocacy and fundraising experience.
To qualify, candidates should possess demonstrated ability and experience to manage a large, complex budget and have a record of working well in a collaborative decision-making environment with associates and key constituencies, and have demonstrated organizational and management skills to lead path-breaking legal education.
Founded in 1884, the University of Oregon School of Law is the top law school in Oregon with campuses in both Eugene and Portland. It is the state’s only public law school, with a long tradition of training top lawyers, including judges, politicians, government officials, legal scholars, and other law professionals to serve clients, the state, the nation, and the world.
Mr. Boel brings two decades of experience in international law, health law, business venture consulting and leadership recruitment to his executive search practice at Witt / Kieffer. He serves as the firm’s legal services practice leader. He relies upon a multicultural background and broad global experience to provide clients with expertise, particularly in recruiting health law general counsel, deputy general counsel, chief legal officers, chief compliance officers, and chief risk officers, as well as law school deans.
His practice has special emphasis on recruiting top executives to build the scope and influence of in-house legal departments on behalf of healthcare, higher education and not-for-profit organizations. He has helped identify senior legal leaders for preeminent hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, medical schools, physician group practices, health science centers, public institutions, colleges and universities, and community service organizations.
Ms. Teer has extensive experience in fundraising within the field of education spanning liberal arts colleges, independent schools, top-tier research universities, and academic medicine. She gained experience serving as the executive director of development for the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of California, San Francisco.
Universities Continue Using Search Firms
Searching for academic leadership is now akin to searching for leaders for any business enterprise. As such, as the new academic year begins, colleges and universities continue to turn to executive search firms to fill their most senior level roles. And search firms have stepped up, with some 150 recruiting specialist outfits now serving just the academia sector alone.
“It is no wonder that universities and institutions of higher learning are turning to executive search firms in droves to fill their top roles,” said Diversified Search CEO Dale Jones. At a time with many academic leaders are retiring or leaving their posts to pursue other interests, he said, competition to replace them is intense.
“Recruiters have the requisite skills to manage a process that at times can be unwieldy, but more importantly they can help to expand a university’s reach and use their well-honed assessment skills to find the very best leaders in and out of higher education,” said Mr. Jones.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media