Reimagining the Higher Education Presidential Search

By Lucy Leske, Managing Partner, Education Practice

The traditional model of selecting a new college or university president relies upon large, inclusive campus committees which represent a virtual Noah’s Ark of students, faculty, staff, and trustees. While these committees are devoted to their institution’s success, they are often unprepared to apply serious leadership evaluation tools and validate candidate strengths and weaknesses against the organization’s needs and priorities. As such, decisions on whether or…



Search Committee Best Practices: Navigating the 10 Stages of a Recruitment

By Michael R. Raddatz, Jr.

During a leadership recruitment, every search committee goes through a process of learning and growth. This is particularly true if the members of the committee don’t know each other well or haven’t had previous experience serving on such a committee. What follows is an overview of sequential stages that search committees can often experience as the recruiting process unfolds. Knowing this typical progression helps a committee to understand…



What Makes Catholic Healthcare Leadership Special

Witt/Kieffer Senior Partner Donna Padilla has worked with countless Catholic healthcare organizations to support their leadership needs. (And she and colleagues are on site in Chicago this week for the annual Catholic Health Assembly, learning more about these needs.) Catholic hospitals and providers are dealing with the same market reforms as other organizations, and yet their challenges and goals remain unique. In the interview below,

The Healthcare Chief Strategy Officer: A Future-Focused Executive

In healthcare, high-level strategy has traditionally been the domain of the CEO, with support from the board and outside consultants. That’s no longer true in many organizations, which are introducing the Chief Strategy Officer role to the C-suite as a means of best positioning for the future.

“Sound strategy begets survival” in healthcare today, say Rachel Polhemus Witt/Kieffer and Jim Gauss. Thus, “the…



The Chief Patient Officer in the Life Sciences: Engaging Patients, Payers, and Providers

Life sciences companies are rethinking and revising R&D. To avoid wasting years on drugs and other innovations with poor or no return on investment, they are placing greater emphasis on understanding a product—and its potential for sustained market success—earlier in its lifecycle.

The key to this strategy is incorporating the “voice of the patient” during the early stages of development, says Lisa Flavin, consultant in Witt/Kieffer’s Life Sciences practice. This shift is partly…



For Healthcare CEOs, Times of Turmoil and Turnover

Healthcare CEO turnover is at an all-time high—20 percent in 2013, as compared to a historical average around 15 percent, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, says Witt/Kieffer senior partner Donna Padilla, speaking recently to Deanna Pogorelc of MedCity News, but does suggest a general turmoil and transformation taking place across the industry.



Helping Confront Hunger: Witt/Kieffer Day of Service

One in six Americans faces the challenge of hunger, according to the hunger-relief charity Feeding America. It is a surprising and disappointing statistic. In most cases, Chicago_no one should go hungrythese individuals are “food insecure,” unsure of where future meals will come from. Hunger has a particularly devastating impact on children and seniors, and on urban as well as rural communities.

Witt/Kieffer’s mission is to…



Higher Education: The Role of Advancement in Presidential Search and Transition

Presidential transitions in higher education are times of tension and uncertainty, but also opportunity as the new leader brings fresh ideas and energy. Among the overriding issues that the campus community will be concerned or curious about include how a new president will interact with key donors, reach out to alumni, and support fundraising and marketing efforts.

Therefore, it is critical the advancement office have a voice during a presidential search, and play an integral role in ensuring a smooth…



Physicians in Healthcare IT Leadership: Trends and Career Suggestions

Physicians are curious by nature, driven to accumulate new and different knowledge even after they are established in their practices. For this reason many physicians are fascinated with information technology and find themselves gravitating towards careers that combine their passions for medicine and IT.

There is an increasing need within healthcare IT leadership for M.D.’s, notes

Higher Education Executive Search: The Risk of Revealing One’s Candidacy Too Soon

The final stages of a job search for an executive are nothing short of nerve-wracking, on most every occasion. There is enough for the candidate to think about in terms of whether or not the new opportunity is the right one as a next career step. But there are perplexing issues for consideration regarding one’s current employer, too. Namely, when is the right time to reveal that you may be moving on?

In many industries the answer is simple—mum’s the…