WittKieffer Tapped by the United States Naval Academy to Find New Provost

December 9, 2022 – The United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, MD, has retained Oak Brook, IL-based search firm WittKieffer to lead in its search for a new provost. This leader will succeed Andrew Phillips, who has served in the role since 2009. Senior partner John K. Thornburgh and principal Melody Rose are spearheading the assignment for the search firm.

The academic dean and provost at USNA – who is not required to have a background in the military – has  the opportunity to be a part of a highly-respected institution with a clear, compelling mission and many unique and desirable attributes.

The provost will:

  • Serve as the top academic leader in a mission-focused service academy, designed expressly to develop exceptional officers who are sworn to defend the Constitution and protect the nation’s security.
  • Interact regularly with students from across all U.S. states and territories who have been carefully selected for their academic performance, personal character, and leadership potential.
  • Work with highly dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to students’ moral, mental, and physical development.
  • Enjoy an academic setting largely free of many common challenges in higher education such as enrollment concerns, tuition and student affordability issues, declining graduation rates, and post-graduate student employment.

“In partnership with WittKieffer, the provost search committee leans on WittKieffer’s professional network as well as their experienced consultants for the recruitment of our next exceptional academic leader,” the academy said. “To optimize this search experience, we are requesting candidates provide consent for WittKieffer to access their application materials.”

The United States Naval Academy is a unique federal institution of higher learning that is both a source of commissioned officers for the Navy and Marine Corps and a premier undergraduate college serving 4,400 students (midshipmen). After attending the academy for four years, midshipmen graduate with bachelor of science degrees and receive a commission as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps with an expected service commitment of at least five years.

Related: WittKieffer Recruits Senior Advisor to Chancellor and Chief Inclusion Officer at Texas Christian University

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.

Education Specialists

WittKieffer’s education recruitment team identifies higher education and college preparatory school leaders who understand complex issues facing both public and private institutions: resource constraints, shifting national policy and increased scrutiny by boards, faculty, students and families. The education roles it recruits include presidents, provosts, deans, and officers for business and finance, advancement and development, student affairs, enrollment, IT, and more.

WittKieffer Places Chief Diversity Officer at Gettysburg College
After a national search, WittKieffer has placed Eloísa Gordon-Mora as the new chief diversity officer of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Christine Pendleton, senior associate, and Randi Miller, associate, led the assignment. Dr. Gordon-Mora serves as a member of Gettysburg’s president’s council and is charged with advancing the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities into the future. “I am delighted by Dr. Eloísa Gordon-Mora’s decision to join the Gettysburg community,” said Gettysburg college president Bob Iuliano. “She is the ideal person to partner with the campus to build off the foundational work established by Dr. Jeanne Arnold, the college’s inaugural chief diversity officer. Eloísa is committed to this work and brings with her extraordinary experience, enormous personal warmth, and a belief in what this college represents and in our ambitions for our community and beyond.”

Mr. Thornburgh’s executive search practice builds on a foundation of broad-based executive leadership and governance in higher education, healthcare, a Fortune 50 corporation and several not-for-profit organizations. He combines this experience with a 20-year track record in executive search to partner closely with boards and leadership teams in pursuit of college and university presidents/chancellors, provosts, deans, and other senior administrators, as well as leaders across the spectrum of hospitals, health systems and academic medical centers. As a senior partner, Mr. Thornburgh is an acknowledged practitioner and thought leader, and has been an active contributor to WittKieffer’s success – having served as a board member, director of the education practice, and chief quality officer.

Dr. Rose is a distinguished and dedicated academic, scholar, and former college president who brings more than 30 years of experience within higher education to her role as principal in WittKieffer’s education practice. She intimately understands the particular challenges of academic leadership today and is able to connect with boards, hiring authorities, search committees and candidates on a personal, meaningful level. Before joining WittKieffer, Dr. Rose was senior fellow of the National Association of System Heads, helping to develop the Power of Systems, a comprehensive effort to elevate and expand U.S. public university systems.

Related: WittKieffer Seeking Chief Diversity Officer for Brandeis University 

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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