New Guidebook: Recruiting Exceptional Nonprofit Leaders

By Julie Rosen, Leader, Not-for-Profit Practice

What makes a not-for-profit organization great? Its mission, of course, as well as dedicated staff, volunteers, board members and various stakeholders. What may be most important, however, is exceptional leadership. It is leadership that can be the difference between an organization thriving or merely surviving.

What defines an exceptional nonprofit CEO or executive director? Several key attributes come to mind: creative, credible and communicative. He/she must have the…



Transitioning a Search to a Search Firm

By Melissa Fincher

It is fairly common for an institution to undertake a leadership recruitment on its own, and later in the process to seek the services of an executive search firm. It may be that the search committee wants to take a fresh approach, to reach out to a broader segment of candidates or enlist the expertise of experienced search consultants.

As a former university talent acquisition and organizational development consultant and current executive recruiter, I have experienced this transition…



The Elusive (and Expanding) Role of the Provost

By Concetta M. Stewart, Ph.D.

With higher education undergoing significant transformation, institutions are looking for a new kind of leader in the provost. Today’s provost is often asked to take on responsibilities that go well beyond academic stewardship to include areas as expansive and diverse as enrollment and admissions, student affairs and student services, compliance, finance, fundraising, marketing, and even information technology.

That provosts play an increasingly central role would not be debated…



Presidential Recruitment in Higher Ed: Advancement’s Role

A chief advancement officer in higher education tends to be very well connected on campus, and certainly off campus as well with important alumni, donors, and community leaders. Because the advancement executive has relationships with such important constituents, he/she becomes an important figure in the recruitment of a new president. In the interview below, Witt/Kieffer’s Mercedes Vance and Suzanne Teer shed light on the advancement officer’s role as a new president is selected…



The Provost’s Role in the Presidential Search

As the chief academic officer and often the chief budget officer, the provost plays a critical role during a presidential search and transition. The following is a conversation with Witt/Kieffer’s Concetta Stewart and Philip Tang about key challenges and best practices.

[This interview is also available in PDF format. It is included in the new Third Edition of our guidebook, Best Practices…



The Unique Challenge of Physician Burnout in Academic Medicine

 

By Christopher Colenda, MD, MPH, DLFAPA

On his 55th birthday, Alton went to work as usual. The Chief Medical Officer of a large academic medical center, Alton had led an exceptional life, rising from industrial Midwest origins through college, medical school, residency, fellowship, faculty appointment and a succession of administrative posts. He was an accomplished faculty member and researcher – a sort of Horatio Alger as an academic physician.

On this day he arrived and, instead of going to his…



Keeping Enrollment Issues Top of Mind during a Presidential Search and Transition

Enrollment is inextricably linked to a higher education institution’s success and thus it is imperative that a college or university president truly understand and embrace this area. Presidential candidates must ask the right questions around enrollment and admission as they interview, and show a definite commitment to working in partnership with enrollment leaders should they be hired to lead the campus. In the following interview, Amy Crutchfield, principal…



How the CFO Influences a Presidential Search and Transition in Higher Ed

Other than an institution’s president, there may be no more important position in academia today than the chief financial officer or VP of finance. As the academy considers its future, the CFO is central to its most important discussions—especially around financial planning, budgeting, capital planning, and more. The CFO, therefore, plays a critical role in the hiring of a new president. In the interview below, Witt/Kieffer senior partner Zachary Smith considers the direct and indirect involvement…



Recruiting Presidents for HBCUs

 

Historically black colleges and universities are fundamental to U.S. higher education. The more than 100 HBCUs were pioneering institutions in their states and regions and have been bastions of opportunity. Recognizing their significance, the federal government has recently increased funding for these schools.

Presidential searches for HBCUs are competitive affairs among candidates who grasp the historical and cultural gravity of the role as well as the academic prestige. Witt/Kieffer senior partner Oliver B. Tomlin, III has led…



Can Coaching Help College Presidents?

It’s lonely and tough at the top of the higher education administrative ladder. College and university presidents have more on their plates, and with greater consequences, than ever before. Many presidents are now turning to leadership coaches for support.

Witt/Kieffer recently conducted an online survey of more than 60 presidents on their experience with and thoughts about leadership coaching. More than half of these had experienced coaching at some point in their…