WittKieffer Tapped by Franklin Pierce University to Lead President Search

January 2, 2024 – Oak Brook-IL-based WittKieffer has been selected by Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH, to lead its search for a new president. Current president Kim Mooney has announced she is retiring at the end of this academic year. Lucy LeskeJeff Compher, and Kim Migoya are leading the assignment. “As the search process gets underway, the WittKieffer team will consult widely with Franklin Pierce faculty, students, staff, alumni and other stakeholders to gather insights and ideas about the future leadership needs of the university moving forward,” said Frederick W. Pierce, chair of the board of trustees.

“WittKieffer’s president-search team tailors their services and approach to the specific needs and institutional profile of each client they serve,” said Steve Duprey, vice chair of the board. “They have conducted more than 130 leadership searches for colleges and universities in the last decade alone.” The board of trustees will also soon appoint a search committee to work with the board and with WittKieffer to assist in the search for the university’s seventh president.

WittKieffer explains that the new president will be integral to the Franklin Pierce experience as an active and engaged leader of a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable community. The university seeks a president with the vision, enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment to secure the university’s future as an innovative and flexible model for 21st-Century higher education.

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned leader with a proven record of leading and managing through growth and change with the ability to move quickly in focusing on short-term and long-term results, according to WittKieffer. Experience with strategic planning and implementation; executive management skills; and the ability to recruit, retain, mentor, and inspire talented faculty, staff, and administrators are required. The ideal candidate must also be capable of making decisions in a complex organizational environment and catalyzing success through the strategic deployment of resources. The president must serve as a key Franklin Pierce University advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. A PhD or other terminal degree is preferred.

The president is the chief executive officer of Franklin Pierce University and reports to the board of trustees. The president serves as an ex-officio trustee and ex-officio member of all standing committees of the board of trustees and is responsible for stewarding and directing the University’s resources in fulfillment of its mission.

The primary duties and responsibilities of the president include:

• Leading the development and communication of a vision for Franklin Pierce University and uniting the university around its shared vision and mission.

• Ensuring the University’s financial integrity and sustainability, as well as strategic use of financial resources.

• Articulating and championing strategic priorities.

• Playing a leading role in the university’s fundraising efforts, including actively nurturing fundraising relationships both in and outside the university community.

• Serving as the primary ambassador and principal external spokesperson for Franklin Pierce University, telling the university’s story to a range of audiences in fresh and compelling ways.

• Overseeing employee and labor relations including the important roles of shared governance and collective bargaining that includes unionized and non-union labor units.

• Staying abreast of the changing role of higher education in meeting the needs of America’s youth and working population and anticipating changes that may create opportunities or significant challenges for the university.

• Promoting a culture of excellence, innovation, accountability, collaboration, and respect while building a sense of community among faculty, staff, and students.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

Franklin Pierce College was founded in 1962 by Frank S. DiPietro, who had a vision of a “small college that fosters intimate relationships between those who learn and those who teach.” The college was formally recognized as Franklin Pierce University in 2007, reflecting the growth of undergraduate opportunities, the addition of graduate-level degrees and the institution’s expanding national reach. The university now includes the College of Business, the College of Health and Natural Sciences (which includes the School of Nursing), the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (which includes the School of Education), and professional programs and partnerships.

Proven Recruiters

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. Leske, senior partner, is based in Nantucket, MA. An executive recruiter since 1992 – and with WittKieffer since 1998 – Ms. Leske has supported the hiring of hundreds of administrators who are helping to shape and position their institutions for the future. During her tenure with WittKieffer, she has led a broad range of searches, including presidential, vice presidential, decanal, and provostial searches. Her areas of expertise include presidential and CEO positions; academic leadership in arts and sciences, law, engineering, education and business; finance and administration; inclusion and diversity; international leadership; and advancement and philanthropy.

Haley Associates Assists Franklin Pierce University in Provost Search
Higher education search firm Haley Associates has assisted Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH, in the recruitment of Catherine M. Paden as provost and vice president for academic affairs. She will report directly to the university’s president, Kim Mooney. “Dr. Paden is an accomplished academic professional with a strong record of success empowering faculty in their efforts to provide the impassioned instruction, guidance and attention that makes a difference in students’ lives,” said Dr. Mooney. “Her ability to foster an inclusive environment and her demonstrated proficiency in creating innovation aligns perfectly with our vision for the future of Franklin Pierce.”

Mr. Compher, principal and practice leader, intercollegiate athletics, is based in Chicago. As a former director of athletics, long-time administrator, and recognized expert on the sports landscape, he brings a unique insight into college athletics and the types of individuals who thrive in leadership roles. Mr. Compher leads searches for athletics directors, coaches, and senior-level administrators at a range of institutions, drawing upon more than 25 years of experience at leading colleges and universities.

With more than a decade of experience in admissions leadership within higher education, Ms. Migoya brings to her role as associate an appreciation for the nuances of academia. She leads search for vice presidents and officers, presidents, provosts, deans, and other academic leadership roles. Ms. Migoya also excels at developing relationships with leadership candidates across higher education, supporting them in their career aspirations to find roles aligned with their skills and values.

Related: WittKieffer Leading President Search for the University of Hartford

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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