June 6, 2022 – Oak Brook-IL-based WittKieffer has been enlisted to find the inaugural vice president of people and workplace culture for Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Consultants Sarah Miller and Melissa Fincher led the assignment. “This is a phenomenal opportunity for a forward-thinking leader who brings passion for organizational culture, advancing the role of the workforce in the success of an organization, and serving as the strategic partner to the president and the senior leadership team,” said the search firm.
“As the college’s champion of workplace culture, the vice president will identify, recommend and advance initiatives that allow staff and faculty members to do their best work,” said WittKieffer. The vice president will be charged with fostering an environment of strategic thinking around employee engagement, well-being, satisfaction, organizational development, talent acquisition, professional development and total rewards, including a competitive compensation program. The leader will work collaboratively across the college to integrate high-quality services throughout all facets of the organization, will facilitate change and will ensure that the college’s workforce is engaged, flexible, and resilient, and to differentiate the college in a competitive market.
A Key Leader
In addition, as the chief people officer and strategist, the vice president also drives the implementation of HR policies, practices, and key initiatives to further the college’s goal of being a progressive, antiracist institution.
The leader, while not expected to be an expert in each discipline of human resources, is expected to lead across all functional areas in a manner that advances the strategic needs of the college, said WittKieffer. The vice president will ensure that the people and workforce culture team is a high performing department, characterized by an environment of inclusion, performance excellence, accountability, compliance, metrics, and service delivery focus.
Compelling candidates for this position will have demonstrated success leading organizational change and strategic initiatives, preferably in the higher education environment, said the search firm. Colorado College has a relationship-based culture, and the vice president must be able to successfully develop and maintain effective working relationships across the organization. The successful candidate will have experience as an influencer within the senior-most level of their organization with proven success in advancing workforce culture, professional development and employee engagement.
“This role requires a thoughtful, practical, experienced executive who is by nature a relationship builder and who will lead with Colorado College’s core values and display the highest level of integrity,” said WittKieffer.
Founded in 1874, Colorado College is a private, four-year liberal arts college with roughly 2,300 undergraduates. The college offers more than 80 majors, minors, and specialized programs. Students who want to concentrate on more than one department can choose from several combined or distributed majors, and even a self-defined major. Consistently ranked among the top 30 national liberal arts colleges, Colorado College is well known for its innovative Block Plan, in which students take, and professors teach, only one class at a time. The college attracts top students seeking new perspectives and an array of experiential learning opportunities possible only in an immersive learning environment.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media