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…



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…



Why Doctors Make Good Healthcare CEOs

Healthcare is looking for more CEOs who are physicians. A pertinent question, therefore, is whether physicians generally make good CEOs. And if so, what are the considerations around hiring a doctor to lead the entire organization? In the Q&A below, senior partner Kimberly Smith, FACHE, considers the issues.

There are more physician CEOs today than in years past. Are they generally successful or do results vary significantly from one to another? What factors are at play?

Smith:



David J. Cook, MD: Leadership Is a Time to Learn

 

For David J. Cook, MD, MHA, FAHA, life is about learning. Learning, he says, comes from seizing upon opportunities for new experiences that force him outside of his comfort zone. Dr. Cook holds a B.A. in Biology and Philosophy from Lehigh University, an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee, and an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, with residency and fellowship training at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He was an anesthesiologist and faculty member at Mayo who…



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…



Physicians in the C-Suite: Demand Continues to Outpace Supply

 

The growing number of clinicians making their way to the C-Suite — to Chief Medical Officer, Chief Clinical Officer, and other roles — has been noted many times here on the Witt & Wisdom blog. (See, for example, “Health System Leadership: Seeking Physician Executives with Business Acumen.”) This trend is not slowing down and was the focus of the cover story of Health Leaders Magazine’s May issue. Kudos to that publication for a lengthy, well-researched,…