A New Breed of College President, a New Way of Recruitment

By Lucy Leske, Managing Partner

College Presidential Search GuideIn a few short years, the dynamics of the presidential search in higher education have changed dramatically. Institutions still seek exceptional leaders with proven academic credentials, credibility, and experience, but only if there is also potential – to be creative and entrepreneurial, for example, and to manage change, risk, and disruption. Oftentimes this means bringing in leaders from outside…



Shaping Girls’ Careers with Bug Spray and Backwoods Bonding

Camp CEO PatchBy Cynthia Hunt, Chief Marketing Officer

Welcome to Camp Butternut Springs reads the sign at the entrance. It has been raining hard all week and the gravel driveway has divots and puddles as I pull in to 300 acres of woods in northwest Indiana. Ahead lies “Camp CEO”.

As I pull in my adrenaline is high, as the work week has been filled with email, operating…



Barden’s Best: Sage Advice for Academic Candidates and Search Committees

The CASE Leadership Summit is in full swing in Chicago, marking one of the social and intellectual highlights of the year for advancement leaders in higher education. A Witt/Kieffer contingent including senior partner Dennis Barden and consultants Zachary Smith and Mercedes Vance will be on hand for the proceedings.

Barden is not only one of our firm’s most…



Power Principles: Nonprofit Leadership through an Entrepreneur’s Lens

Perkins Nonprofit Leadership Case StudyIn 2013 when the recruitment began for a new president and CEO for Perkins – known best as the parent organization for the Perkins School for the Blind – Dave Power did not consider himself a candidate. The more he thought about the job, however, the more it made sense. He was a successful corporate executive and venture capitalist always looking…



Healthcare Recruiting: Do Military Skills Translate to Civilian Leadership?

For as long as there have been soldiers there have been veterans, and thus discussions about how best to transition service members into civilian life once their time in the military is up. The concept of transitioning is especially challenging for military officers, as they seek civilian roles that are commensurate with their level of leadership experience, skills, and knowledge.

One former officer who has transitioned quite well into the corporate realm is



Advice for Young Healthcare Leaders: CEO Gyasi Chisley (Q&A Part II)

Gyasi C. Chisley, CEO of Methodist Healthcare North and Senior VP of Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare, recently shared thoughts about physician integration and healthcare change with Witt & Wisdom. Below, in part two of our Q&A, we discuss how mentoring influenced Chisley’s career and the advice he gives to those he mentors or leads now.

Q: Upon winning an



Severance Practices for College Presidents: Survey Results

By Lucy Leske, Education Practice LeaderMercer Cover

Compensation and benefit packages for college and university presidents attract considerable attention, especially among presidents themselves. While there is plenty of information available on cash compensation for presidents, there is little on severance.

In response, Witt/Kieffer and the global consulting firm Mercer have partnered to conduct a survey of severance practices for the chief executive position (President or Chancellor)…



What to Expect When You’re Expecting a New Healthcare CEO

By Andrew Chastain 

In recruiting healthcare CEOs today, there is usually serious consideration (and consternation) around the question of not just whom to hire, but what this person should do. There are so many things a healthcare CEO can do that organizations must set more realistic expectations about what she or he should do. This doesn’t mean compromising in…



Fundraising Best Practices: What Higher Education Can Teach Healthcare

Higher education is usually ahead of the curve in regards to fundraising; few sectors can match the long-term, relationship-driven approach that advancement and development leaders cultivate with alumni. With that in mind, healthcare — an area working to develop more prowess in fundraising and creative financing of projects and initiatives, and striving to build stronger bonds…