Four Distinguished Higher Education Leaders Join Academic Search Board, Honoring Departing Members
During this year’s annual Board meeting, we proudly welcomed four exceptional higher education leaders to our Board: Berenecea Johnson Eanes (Chair), Damián J. Fernández, Kathy Wilson Humphrey (Vice Chair), and Cynthia Teniente-Matson.
As we usher in these esteemed new members, we also bid farewell to accomplished colleagues who have dedicated years of service to advancing higher education through their roles on our Board. We want to thank the following departing Board members for their service: Katherine Bergeron, Scott D. Miller, and Deborah F. Stanley. We are grateful to each for their service to Academic Search and to AALI, for which Deborah served as Chair for the past two years. As well, we owe Scott a debt of gratitude for 11 years of service to Academic Search and 10 years of service as our Chair. During that time Academic Search experienced unprecedented growth with a tripling in the size of our practice, our reach, and our service to higher education.
Welcoming New Members
Berenecea Johnson Eanes, Ph.D.
Berenecea Johnson Eanes, Ph.D., currently serves as President of York College, CUNY. She was recently appointed to serve as President of California State University, Los Angeles, a post she will assume in January 2024. Dr. Eanes has a rich history serving higher education in various roles, including seven years as Vice President for Student Affairs at California State University Fullerton. In her time at York College, she has accomplished several long- and short-term goals including: the completion of York’s Strategic Plan, launching the One York Emergency Fund to support students during the pandemic, and achieving record fundraising campaigns. Dr. Eanes represents York College on the Greater Jamaica Development Corp.’s Board and the CUNY York Athletic Conference on the NCAA Division III Presidents Council. She is also a member of the Millennium Leadership Initiative Executive Steering Committee; a Council of State Representative for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and Co-Chair of the JFKR Advisory Council Education Committee.
Damián J. Fernández, Ph.D.
Damián J. Fernández, Ph.D., is the 10th president of Warren Wilson College. A Cuban immigrant who grew up in Puerto Rico and a first-generation college student, Dr. Fernández brings more than 30 years of experience in teaching and leadership positions at both private and public institutions. Prior to joining Warren Wilson, he served Eckerd College, where he raised more than $38 million, enrollment reached its highest point, the annual fund set a new record, and the Board approved a strategic plan that prioritized innovation in the liberal arts, community engagement, Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging, and financial and environmental sustainability. Dr. Fernández is a National Science Foundation grant recipient, and he sat on the Board of the American Council on Education and on the Association of Governing Boards Council of Presidents.
Kathy Wilson Humphrey, Ph.D.
Kathy Wilson Humphrey, Ph.D., has more than 35 years of experience in higher education and currently serves as the 11th President of Carlow University. Dr. Humphrey, who was a pell-eligible student herself, is passionate about helping students from all walks of life gain access to higher education. She has been recognized for her work in the academy and has received numerous awards including the Courier’s “Women of Excellence” award; the YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award; and the Martin Luther King Jr. Creating A Just Community award. She also has an award named after her: The International Student Federation of Saint Louis University named the organization’s diversity award the “Kathy W. Humphrey Award for Diversity.”
Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Ed.D.
Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Ed.D., serves as the 31st President of San José State University. An internationally recognized Latina leader, Dr. Teniente-Matson is a champion of student success initiatives; diversity, equity, and inclusion; civic engagement; and experiential learning. Prior to her appointment at SJSU, she led Texas A&M University-San Antonio from 2015 to 2023. As the second President in the university’s history, Dr. Teniente-Matson spearheaded the growth of the campus into a comprehensive master’s university while earning the U.S. Department of Education Hispanic Serving Institution designation and the Seal of Excelencia, awarded to 24 universities nationwide.
Honoring Departing Members
Katherine Bergeron, Ph.D.
Katherine Bergeron, Ph.D., most recently served as the 11th President of Connecticut College. One of the key successes during her presidency was shepherding the development of the curriculum through a bold new venture in integrative education. Dr. Bergeron is a passionate teacher, an award-winning scholar, and the author and editor of numerous scholarly publications, including two prize-winning books on French music and culture. She serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of “Liberal Education,” the flagship journal of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and on the Board of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra.
Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.
Scott D. Miller, Ph.D., has steadfastly influenced Academic Search since joining as Board Chair in 2011. Dr. Miller is in his 33rd year as a college president and currently serves Virginia Wesleyan University, a post he has held since 2015. He is recognized for his experience and for being one of the most entrepreneurial presidents in American higher education. His enduring commitment to academic excellence continues to shape institutions and leaders alike.
With his guidance and support, Academic Search has undertaken a remarkable expansion, broadening its horizon by not only strengthening its executive search portfolio but also expanding its practice to executive coaching and transition and onboarding support. Academic Search was also able to reinvest more than $10M over the past five years in the American Academic Leadership Institute, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the Council of Independent Colleges.
Deborah F. Stanley, J.D.
Deborah F. Stanley, J.D., has more than 45 years of higher education experience and is noted for leaving a distinguished legacy of excellence at SUNY Oswego, where she served as President and exponentially grew the reputation of the college as a top-tier public institution. In addition, she most recently served as Interim President for the State University of New York. She served on the American Council on Education’s Board of Directors, is a past Chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Board of Directors, and serves on numerous other education, climate, and leadership boards and institutes.
We welcome our new board members with anticipation and gratitude while bidding farewell to departing members with heartfelt appreciation for their invaluable contributions. This diverse group of leaders underscores our commitment to advancing higher education and empowering the academic community.