William F. Howard
William F. Howard has been an integral part of Academic Search’s team since 2015 when he initially served as Vice President before moving into the Senior Consultant role, and eventually to Of Counsel. With an extensive legal career, more than 30 years spent in public and private higher education realms, and a pragmatic approach to every challenge, Mr. Howard’s breadth of experience makes him an asset to every search.
Mr. Howard’s strongest expertise is in general counsel searches, given his university service prior to becoming a senior consultant. However, his list of successful searches includes presidents, chancellors, provosts, deans, and more at public and private schools, HBCUs, and specialized institutions.
Before joining Academic Search, Mr. Howard was Senior Vice Chancellor, General Counsel, and Secretary for the State University of New York system. In his four-year stay at SUNY, Mr. Howard worked with the central administrative office and SUNY’s 64 diverse campuses to recruit, select, and onboard more than 30 presidents and interim presidents. He also established an Office of Presidential & Leadership Initiatives, played critical roles in recruiting an array of senior executive positions, and was a formal liaison between SUNY and its Research Foundation.
Throughout his three-decade career in higher education, Mr. Howard worked with or for more than 80 colleges and universities across the country. His other general counsel experience comes from positions held at distinguished private research universities and academic medical centers. Mr. Howard was Washington University in St. Louis’ associate vice chancellor/deputy general counsel and chief counsel of its School of Medicine, and he was the deputy general counsel and interim vice president and general counsel of George Washington University for 11 years. In addition, for just under a decade, Mr. Howard was an assistant attorney general in the Educational Affairs Division in the Maryland Office of the Attorney General.
With an unflappable demeanor and a hands-on approach to each task, Mr. Howard is a motivated recruiter determined to find the best candidates in the field. His long legal career made him an excellent mediator and representative, and his top priority is supporting search committees throughout a meticulously organized search process. In addition, because his many administrative and general counsel positions required him to be well-versed in a wide range of matters, Mr. Howard is undeterred by new challenges, and he takes on each search with poise and confidence.
Mr. Howard earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan State University and graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.