Podcast: Leaders on Leadership with Jay Lemons
Today’s higher education leaders share their stories and insights about leadership in the academy. Join host Dr. L. Jay Lemons and his guests for thoughtful conversations and interesting perspectives on leadership.
In our latest episode, Dr. L. Jay Lemons is joined by Dr. Montserrat Fuentes, President of St. Edward’s University, for compelling conversation about leadership in higher education. Dr. Fuentes shares how she finds harmony at the intersection of her two passions: music and mathematics and tells the story of her journey into academic leadership as a Hispanic woman. She highlights how she lives out her mission of preparing students for their futures through a strong educational community focused on student success.
Leaders on Leadership is brought to you by Academic Search and the American Academic Leadership Institute, who together support colleges and universities during times of transition and through leadership development activities that serve current and future generations of institutional leaders.
St. Edward’s University
On Leadership & the Academy
Academic Search Leader Ann Die Hasselmo Honored by the Council of Independent Colleges
Dr. Ann Die Hasselmo’s dedication to shaping independent higher education has been recognized with the distinguished 2024 Council of Independent Colleges Allen P. Splete Award for Outstanding Service. This accolade is a testament not just to her enduring commitment but also to the indelible mark she has left on the fabric of higher education. We are so thankful to have Ann with us at Academic Search and for the years she contributed to leading our parent organization, the American Academic Leadership Institute.
Academic Search Establishes Fund for Leadership Development for Two Higher Education Organizations
We are proud to announce the establishment of the Academic Search Fund for Leadership Development through $1 million in gifts to be split equally between the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges. The organizations have each established permanent funds to enhance leadership development initiatives for their member presidents and institutional leaders. AASCU and CIC stand as two major national higher education presidential associations, each with a unique focus and mission. Through this endowment, we reaffirm our commitment to nurturing leaders in both public and private higher education institutions across the United States.
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.
Introducing Our Newest Senior Consultant: Dr. Mary E. Kennard
Dr. Mary E. Kennard brings an impressive background in university administration and legal affairs to her role at Academic Search. Her career in higher education spans over 40 years, during which she has held key leadership roles at both public and private colleges and universities. Notably, she served as the Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for American University in Washington, DC, for an impressive 23 years.
Taking a Moment to Celebrate the Historic Impact of Hispanic Americans
There are more than 62 million Hispanic Americans in the US, each with a story rich in unique experiences, struggles, and triumphs. This growing population is reshaping the demographics of our country and making an impact on the economy and political landscape. Dr. Carlos N. Medina reflects on the contributions of this influential population and offers advice on how to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15 to October 15.
10 Commandments for Boards and New Presidents
Leadership transitions within an institution mark a pivotal moment that demands careful planning and consideration. At the forefront of the transition lies the relationship between the institution’s board and its new president. Attending to this relationship is crucial for ensuring a successful leadership transition.
Ensuring Equity in the Search Process
Within higher education, the importance of remaining educated and informed about equity-related trends in hiring cannot be overstated. In our work as search consultants, it is our responsibility to actively address and mitigate disparities that arise during the search process and guide search committees toward more equitable practices.
Executive Coaching Practice Expands with 7 New Coaches
Our innovative Executive Coaching Practice continues to rapidly grow in influence and impact. In addition to expanding our service areas to support, optimize, and sustain higher education executives across the academy, we have invited seven new trained Senior Executive Coaches to join our practice. Each brings a deep background of experience and wisdom into this transformational work within higher education.
10 New Members Join Academic Search’s Consulting Team
At Academic Search, we have experienced great growth in our capacity to serve higher education. As we continue to expand our reach across the academy, we are thrilled to welcome our largest cohort of executive search consultants.
Leadership Development: Key to Cabinet Success
The leadership team at an institution is critical to success. It takes visionary leaders to shape the future and navigate the complex structures of higher education organizations. In this article, President of the American Academic Leadership Institute, Dr. Javier Cevallos, explores how leadership development programs can strengthen cabinets by fostering a shared purpose, transforming institutional culture, and developing adaptive skills to meet the evolving needs of stakeholders.
Upward Mobility for Women in Higher Education
While the number of women in leadership positions in higher education continues to be on the rise, it’s clear that women are still behind when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling of the academy. Despite outnumbering men in college enrollment, women’s representation at the executive leadership level doesn’t match their student presence. Challenges include women prioritizing caregiving, limiting their access to inflexible leadership roles. Additionally, women encounter stereotypes and pay disparities compared to men. Institutions must recognize these issues and adapt policies to promote workforce diversity.
Acknowledging the History in Black History Month
In celebration of Black History Month 2023, we reflect on the sacrifices, struggles, and extraordinary achievements made by African Americans throughout our history. While we celebrate the past and all the accomplishments made, we must recognize that the struggle is not over and there is still much to be done. In our role as an executive search firm, we are called upon to develop a search process for our partner institutions with honesty and integrity that is grounded in best practices.
Higher Education Chief Diversity Officer: The Toughest Job You Will Ever Love
We’ve seen an increase in requests for proposals for chief diversity officers as well as a greater emphasis on consideration of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the search process. Candidates advancing into the chief diversity officer role, in our experience, come with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and titles. We work with our search committees and hiring authorities to keep this in mind and help them to broaden their lens when developing the key criteria for the position and when evaluating candidate materials.
The Impetus for Transitioning and Onboarding a Newly Appointed President
Newly appointed college and university presidents face myriad hurdles including shorter tenures and financial challenges stemming from the pandemic. The changing presidency underscores the significance of a thorough and well-executed transition and onboarding strategy to assist new presidents in establishing relationships and effectively navigating their roles. This strategy includes the formation of a presidential transition team and workshops aimed at strengthening relationships with the cabinet and the board of trustees. It centers on three essential aspects: introducing the president to the institutional community, fostering collaboration within the cabinet, and cultivating a robust rapport with the board of trustees to secure long-term success.
The Use of Technology in Higher Education Executive Search
Companies across all industries pivoted to more technological approaches to executive search and recruitment when the pandemic began in early 2020. Higher education search might have been less prepared than most. The unique nature of the shared governance model–decision-making that incorporates input from many stakeholders–creates a culture that values and expects personal connections, relationship building, and human capital. Thus, shared governance impacts the way that executive search is carried out for colleges and universities versus other sectors and industries. This is not to say that technology has not had an impact on the search process, and in some ways for the better.
COVID-19 Impacts on Leadership Transitions and the Search Process
Many institutional leaders who may have been considering retirement or a move decided to delay their plans, and search work came to a standstill late last spring. As the COVID-19 crisis continued on, we saw some thawing of search for positions considered critical to long-term viability such as presidents and provosts. Uncertainty and limited resources made contracting with an executive search firm more challenging for many institutions, resulting in recruitment of position openings being managed internally in many instances.
Strengthening the Foundation: Creating an Inclusive Environment for New Leaders
As an expression of Academic Search’s commitment, and as a complement to the work we do in higher education executive search, we are honored to be engaged currently with the City University of New York System as it facilitates the transition of seven new campus presidents. Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez recognizes the critical work to be done following the appointment of new leadership, and this is all the more significant during the pandemic. A successful search does not end at the identification, selection, and announcement of the appointee; developing and implementing a well-structured transition and onboarding plan is imperative to ensuring a smooth, successful change of leadership.
2020 Vision: Sharpening the Lens for Hiring Leaders
In these turbulent and uncertain times, senior leaders are expected to be more adaptable than perhaps ever before and to have or develop new essential skills to address rapidly changing conditions during this pandemic and beyond. Leaders also need to have an even deeper awareness of systemic injustice, inequality, and privilege. As hiring authorities and search committees select new leaders through national searches or internal appointments, they must sharpen the lens through which they now evaluate candidates.
Spotlight: Recruiting Leaders for Higher Education in a Time of Change
Dr. L. Jay Lemons spoke with Hunt Scanlon about the current market for recruiting university and college presidents and other leadership.
How HR Can Help Build the Organization of the Future
Dianne Kenney and Dr. Shawn M. Hartman speak with Hunt Scanlon about the impact of the pandemic on HR executives and how executive search firms can assist HR executives to conduct searches that internal campus HR departments often do not have the resources or expertise to provide.
Hunt Scanlon Media and Dr. L. Jay Lemons
Dr. L. Jay Lemons spoke with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss the current market for recruiting university and college presidents and other leadership, as well as the skillsets needed for a successful presidency and how diversity, equity, and inclusion have played a greater role in the recruitment process.
Wisconsin Public Radio and Dr. L. Jay Lemons
Dr. L. Jay Lemons spoke with Wisconsin Public Radio about the 2020 search for the next president of the University of Wisconsin System.
Higher Ed Search Reimagined with Dr. Jay Lemons
Dr. L. Jay Lemons joined Dr. Melissa Morriss-Olson on her podcast, IngenioUs. They discussed how to prepare for a career change, how to navigate the search process including what things to avoid, and how to discern whether a presidency is the best next step.
ABA Journal Article Featuring Bill Howard
William F. Howard was quoted in the April/May 2021 issue of the ABA Journal discussing how many lawyers, including law deans, are becoming college presidents.
Academic Search Partners with CUMU
What will the state of higher education be in 2030? For its 2020 Annual Conference, the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) invited transformational leaders to imagine higher education ten years from now and share perspectives on how to push the conversation forward. Academic Search was honored to sponsor this virtual event and our President, Dr. L. Jay Lemons, served as moderator for the keynote address. He was joined by an exceptional trio of leaders: Terri Givens, CEO and founder of The Center for Higher Education Leadership, now known as Brighter Higher Ed; Michael Fitts, President of Tulane University; and Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent of Dallas Independent School District. We invite you to watch their session.
Recruiting College Presidents During the Pandemic
Our president, Dr. L. Jay Lemons, was recently interviewed by Hunt Scanlon on “Recruiting College Presidents During the Pandemic” and discussed what institutions and the executive recruiting sector are encountering and likely to confront moving forward.
Becoming Visible: Getting on Recruiter Radars
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Shawn M. Hartman, was a panelist on “Becoming Visible: Getting on Recruiter Radars”, hosted by BlueSteps, and discussed effective networking and personal branding advice that will help get you noticed.
Dr. L. Jay Lemons Joined Hunt Scanlon Media Host Rob Adams for 2 Episodes of “Talent Talks”
In “Recruiting Presidents for Academia,” Dr. L. Jay Lemons and Dr. Richard Ekman, former President of the Council of Independent Colleges, discussed the skills and traits now required of successful university presidents and what skill sets have changed over the last decade.
In “Future of the College Presidency,” Dr. L. Jay Lemons was joined by Dr. Scott Miller, President of Virginia Wesleyan University, and explored how Academic Search is keeping up with the transforming role of the college presidency.