WittKieffer Recruits CHRO for Des Moines University

October 7, 2020 – Executive search firm WittKieffer has placed Marc Wachtfogel as the new chief human resources officer (CHRO) for Des Moines University in Iowa. He succeeds Becky Lade, who held the post since 2014. Consultants Melissa Fincher and Sarah Miller led the assignment for the search firm.

“Marc brings a wealth of experience to his new role of providing strategic leadership in the planning and implementation of quality-based, integrated human resources programs for all faculty and staff of DMU,” said Angela Walker Franklin, president and CEO of Des Moines University.

Most recently, Dr. Wachtfogel was director/chief human resources officer at Minot State University in Minot, ND, and its two-year affiliate, Dakota College at Bottineau. Earlier in his career, he held senior leadership roles within the private sector in New York, where he worked with diverse teams to implement strategic change initiatives for some of the world’s top companies.

In his new position, Dr. Wachtfogel will be required to deliver extensive coaching and executive support to his or her peers on the university’s leadership team and will provide strategic counsel to the president. He will also be expected to provide strategic leadership in the development and establishment of applicable university human resources policies and procedures to include but not limited to talent acquisition, compensation, benefits, performance management, employee/labor relations and retention, while maintaining compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws.

“In human resources, you’re really there to serve,” said Dr. Wachtfogel. “I want to contribute to the very strong sense of community at DMU and foster positive relationships that respect individualism, so that people can be themselves while feeling part of something bigger.”

Founded in 1898, Des Moines University is a premier medical and health sciences institution comprising three colleges offering eight graduate degrees. It is the second oldest osteopathic medical school and 15th largest medical school in the U.S. The university’s total enrollment is over 1,800. Its medical school is the largest in Iowa with about 840 students in the osteopathic college. The university has about 350 employees, approximately one-third in each category – faculty, non-exempt and exempt staff.

Respected Recruiters 

WittKieffer, 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. With more than 100 search professionals nationwide, its consultants recruit CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CNOs, physician executives and other leaders.

A CHRO View on Building Great Teams, From Inside and Out
Managing a large workforce at any company is no easy task. But when that workforce is 32,000 strong, it requires the steady hand of a top human resource leader who will keep everyone motivated, engaged, intact and forward thinking. And that’s across 160 countries encompassing every cultural nuance imaginable.

Ms. Fincher, based in Columbus, OH, has a particular expertise in advancement, human resources and arts leadership. She has developed relationships through years of higher education, non-profit and academic medicine collaborations. Her varied experiences in enrollment, advancement and talent and organizational development make her uniquely qualified to support clients in attracting high-caliber leaders for today’s dynamic and demanding higher education environment. Before joining WittKieffer, Ms. Fincher was a talent and organizational development consultant at Ohio State University.

Ms. Miller, based in Exeter, NH, is passionate about connecting exceptional talent to compelling leadership opportunities in higher education, aligning skills, values and competencies to position both individuals and institutions for success. She has served within academia as a talent manager, recruiter, human resources expert and admissions professional. Prior to WittKieffer, she led the talent acquisition and talent management functions in the human resources department at Simmons University in Boston.

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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