August 9, 2022 – Oak Brook, IL-based search firm WittKieffer has placed Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado as senior advisor to the chancellor and chief inclusion officer at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth. Consultant Shelley Arakawa, principal Charlene Aguilar, and consultant Alejandra Gillette-Teran led the assignment.
“I am delighted that Dr. Benjamin-Alvarado has accepted this position and am eager to introduce him to TCU and the Fort Worth community,” said Victor Boschini, chancellor of Texas Christian University. “He has a proven track record of success with an emphasis on inclusion. I am immensely proud of the strides we have made at TCU, and the university has declared its ongoing commitment to forge a more inclusive university for future generations that is welcoming to all.”
Since 2014, Dr. Benjamin-Alvarado has been assistant vice chancellor of student success at the University of Nebraska Omaha, where he also was a professor of political science. There, he chaired the senior vice chancellor’s inclusion and equity leadership council. He created a pathway program for underserved students to pursue admission to the Nebraska College of Law.
Dr. Benjamin-Alvarado is also the former president of the Latino Caucus in Political Science of the American Political Science Association. He additionally served as the director for the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Office of Latino and Latin American Studies. Dr. Benjamin-Alvarado earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and his doctorate in political science from the University of Georgia.
“TCU has made significant strides in building and cultivating an inclusive campus environment, which requires the work of everyone,” said Dr. Benjamin-Alvarado. “Courage, character, honest self-assessment and fortitude is needed by both individuals and institutions engaged in this important work.”
Founded in 1873, Texas Christian University’s mission is to “educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” TCU offers rigorous academic programs in 131 undergraduate areas of study, 49 master’s level programs, and 20 areas of doctoral study. The university has 10,222 undergraduate students, 1,716 graduate students, and 98,841 living alumni. TCU ranked 83rd in the national universities category in the 2022 edition of U.S. News Best Colleges. It is the biggest religious university associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is open to students of any faith.
WittKieffer 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.
Ms. Arakawa, located in Los Angeles, is a change agent with a passion for strengthening access and excellence in education. In her executive search work, she brings an appreciation for the role that leaders play in transforming institutions and contributing to the larger society. Ms. Arakawa provides counsel and guidance on searches ranging from presidents and provosts to vice presidents and deans.
WittKieffer has placed Kauline Cipriani as VP for diversity and inclusion for Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO. Leading the assignment were Charlene Aguilar, consultant; Christine Pendleton, senior associate; and Bree Liddell, associate. “We are just thrilled to welcome Kauline to the leadership team of Colorado State University,” said Joyce McConnell, president of CSU. “She is taking on this critical role with a track record of success wherever she’s been and will be able to build on the excellent work done by her predecessor, Mary Ontiveros.”
Based in South Bend, IN, Ms. Aguilar works in WittKieffer’s education practice. With over 30 years of experience, she conducts leadership searches for college and university presidents, chancellors, provosts, and deans, in addition to key positions in advancement, academic and student affairs, enrollment and admissions. She also has knowledge and experience on diversity and inclusion initiatives across the spectrum of independent secondary schools along with public and non-profit enterprises.
Ms. Gillette-Teran is based in Los Angeles. Before joining WittKieffer, she was a senior associate with a boutique executive search firm specializing in the not-for-profit sector. In this position, she orchestrated executive-level searches in the fields of higher education, health and human services, and arts and culture. She excelled at developing targeted recruitment strategies that resulted in robust and diverse candidate pools. Prior to this, she served as assistant director of undergraduate admission at the University of Southern California.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media