Insights into Recruiting a College President

 

Witt/Kieffer senior partner Dennis Barden recently chatted – via the Google Hangouts video service – with Higher Ed Live’s Rob Zinkan about the recruiting of college presidents in this time of great challenges within higher education. Having participated in dozens of presidential searches in recent years, Barden had plenty of insight to share over the course of the 45-minute interview.

Today’s college presidency is such a tough job, Barden notes, that it’s almost “irrational” that individuals would pursue it. Those…



Higher Ed Job Candidates: What Do The Best Have In Common?

By Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D.

Sometimes described as a “dog-and-pony show” or likened to speed dating, the interview process for senior-level executives in academia is demanding and often imperfect. After many years in higher education, first as a campus administrator and now as a recruiter, I’m no stranger to either side of the search process.

Recently I had the opportunity to share thoughts on The Best Higher Education Search Committees in an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education. It…



Women and College Sports Leadership: Inroads and Issues

 

Few people know college athletics better than Chris Plonsky, University of Texas Women’s Athletic Director, and Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA). Both Plonsky and Phillips have seen college sports change dramatically over the years and specifically in regards to women’s participation in leadership. Women are making inroads into top jobs in college athletics, they say, but this progress is inconsistent and not certain to continue. Women leaders, for example, will need opportunities to…



Perception Isn’t Always Reality: Recognizing Gender Differences in Interview Styles

 

By Robin Mamlet

Women in higher education leadership roles often find themselves alone at the top with few, if any, female peers. The reasons for this are many and complex. Of the many factors that limit women from moving up in the ranks, two should be easy to resolve: how candidates present themselves in job interviews and how search committees interpret those interviews.

I sit in on a few dozen interviews for academic president, provost, or cabinet-level positions every month, and…



Career Best Practices: How to Work with an Executive Search Consultant

By Suzanne Teer

It is part of my job to give career advice to executives. While my ultimate responsibility is to employers – that is, our firm’s clients – I enjoy supporting professionals and connecting them with the right positions.

Many of the people I speak with are unfamiliar with the precise role of a search consultant in a recruitment. For this reason I recently wrote down some advice for job candidates on working with recruiters regarding the application, initial screening…



Higher Ed Search Committees: What Do the Best Have In Common?

 

By Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D.

Through my many years in higher education, first as a campus administrator and now as an executive recruiter, I’ve observed and worked with hundreds of campus search committees. Some of these committees were extremely effective and efficient, while others moved at a less-than-optimal pace.

What does a search committee do to distinguish itself as one of the best, as compared to all the…



A Profile in Higher Education Diversity Leadership

 

Many career paths were open to Dr. Jabbar R. Bennett, Northwestern University’s first associate provost for diversity and inclusion. Rather than follow a more traditional route based in academic research and study, he heeded the voice inside his head to pursue a path that would give him to both purpose and peace of mind.

Dr. Bennett shares his thoughts on leadership, including the importance of career advice from his mother, in a recent Witt/Kieffer



Executive Careers: How Introverts Can Ace Interviews

 

By Amy Crutchfield

Every executive who enters a job search dreams of being selected for the position. The process to get there can be tough, however. In higher education, for example, there will be a day packed with interviews, events, and breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings. This is when the dream becomes more of a potential nightmare for introverts. I know this particularly well because I consider myself an introvert.

As introverts, we are probably at a disadvantage in the traditional…



Supporting the Success of Chief Diversity Officers on College Campuses

By Oliver B. Tomlin, III

Higher education institutions have come to realize just how critical a chief diversity officer is to getting things done regarding diversity and inclusion. One unfortunate result of this trend, however, is that the roles of most chief diversity officers have ballooned. At one end of the spectrum, the CDO is responsible for increasing the numbers of underrepresented individuals within the institution and ensuring a pipeline…



How to Recruit an Athletic Director

By Greg Santore, Leader, Sports Leadership Practice

What is the best way to conduct a college or university athletic director search? There is no one-size-fits-all approach, as AD search committees take many different paths to the hire. Along the way, there is tremendous pressure to make the right decision for often-divided constituents, from alums and donors to faculty and top administrators.

To find a great AD, I…