Should Students Be Represented on Presidential Search Committees?

When a college or university undertakes a presidential search, a question that arises is whether to invite one or more students to sit on the search committee. There is no firm rule, yet Witt/Kieffer senior partner Dennis Barden believes it makes sense. Writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Barden asserts that having students on the committee acknowledges them as essential constituents in a very important decision.

Besides, students have…



David Harlan, MD: Leaders Earn Their Stripes Every Day

David M. Harlan, MD, has had a distinguished career as a researcher, educator, clinician, and leader in the diabetes field, currently serving as the Diabetes Division Chief and Co-Director of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence at UMass Medical School and its clinical affiliate UMass Memorial Medical Center. What helped shape Dr. Harlan as a leader, however, was a distinguished medical career in the U.S. Navy and…



Karla Hughes: A Story of Preparedness, Perseverance and Passion

Karla Hughes, PhD, brings a wealth of experience to her current role as chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Monticello – the first female to lead a four-year university in that state’s system. Her successes are noteworthy for someone who at a young age was not destined for higher education. What shaped Karla as a leader?

Below is an abbreviated version of our conversation with Dr. Hughes.

Read…



Best Practices Resource: Recruiting and Developing Physician Leaders

The following is the introduction to our newly published, complimentary best practices guidebook: “Recruiting and Developing Physician Leaders”.

The demand for physician leadership in healthcare has never been greater. Physician executives can add a strong clinical perspective to determining the strategic and operational imperatives of today’s healthcare organizations. Physician leaders bring the viewpoint of population health…



Physician Executives: A Resume Can Make the Difference

By Stephen C. Davis

I have participated in many physician CEO and physician executive recruitments recently, and quite often applicants who relied on a traditional CV to communicate their qualifications for the position didn’t come across as physician leaders. Though we receive many robust and impressive CVs detailing a candidate’s education, administrative titles, and clinical, research and teaching credentials, we aren’t always able to determine what leadership impact—to market share, operations, quality, clinical outcomes, and financials—the candidate…



Leadership Interviews: Anticipate the Inevitable Tough Questions

By Sheila Murphy

  • “Should we become a sanctuary campus?”
  • “Do you believe we have achieved gender equity in higher ed?”
  • “What’s your position on inviting extremist speakers?”

As a long-time academic as well as executive search consultant, I’ve noticed how highly charged and over-simplified questions often surface in candidate interviews with search committees, campus leaders, donors, students or even the media. Some of these questions have…



The Shifting World of AMC Deans and Department Chairs

As academic medical centers feel more pressure to change and to serve students and communities in new ways, new types of leaders are needed. In this interview, Karen E. Otto, managing partner and practice leader, Academic Medicine & Health Sciences, considers the implications for AMCs and executive recruiting.

Question: What’s happening around the role of a typical clinical department chair or dean? Are the responsibilities of leadership expanding in…



Advice for Advancement Leaders Who Lack Fundraising Experience

 

Under pressure to close funding gaps through bigger and broader donor campaigns, colleges and universities often lean toward hiring advancement leaders with resumes that include proven fundraising success. In fact, a candidate’s fundraising experience can now matter most to many hiring committees.

Mercedes Chacon Vance, who leads Witt/Kieffer’s higher education advancement team, acknowledges the frustration this creates for many alumni relations and other professionals looking to advance their careers but who do not have significant fundraising backgrounds. In a recent…



Physician Executives: How to Be Savvy in a Leadership Interview

By Sue A. LeGrand

The demand for physician leaders remains high as institutions continue to recognize the need for individuals to guide their organizations through today’s ever-changing healthcare landscape. Despite fierce competition for qualified candidates, a strong clinical background and impressive educational resume aren’t enough to secure a position. Even the most sought-after candidates…



“Muddling Along” Is Not an Executive Recruiting Strategy

 

When the Economist Intelligence Unit recently sought expertise for a white paper on challenges in healthcare executive recruiting, one of the experts it turned to was Witt/Kieffer president and CEO Andrew Chastain. As hospitals and health systems look for top talent, Chastain believes, they have to understand what will differentiate them from competing organizations. If executive candidates get the sense that an organization’s leadership team is not interested in innovating, for example, they’ll look elsewhere.

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