Case Studies

Major Northeastern University

Dean, College of Business

May 24, 2010

Business School Dean Search:  Case # 1
Our client needed to attract a new Dean of the Business School who would be able to assure AACSB (American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business) reaccreditation, attraction of higher quality faculty, increased enrollment, curriculum enhancement and successful fund raising.   The University is a large scale multi campus operation including an international site; it is well-established in its primary markets but possesses ambitions to grow.   Their main campus is located in a premiere business and higher education market with ample opportunity for further development .   The previous Dean—recruitedwithout the assistance of a professional executive search consulting firm—did not last long in the job and the president was anxious to bring in the right leader quickly.  
The University president arranged a meeting for our firm with the provost to further discuss their expectations of the position as well as to introduce me to the search committee chair.   Within a short time KULPER & COMPANY was officially retained to conduct the search assignment and work commenced on the detailed POSITION SPECIFICATION.    This was a very collaborative effort involving the Provost as well as the President and members of the search committee.    They knew what they wanted and we were able to create a very clear and useful list of Key Performance Indicators—by when—for the Business School Dean search.  The spec was approved and we readied ourselves to launch the search.
We began a multi prong marketing effort for qualified candidates that included on line ads in the Chronicle of Higher Ed , Inside Higher Ed and others focused on B School Deans.   We supplemented this effort with emails to our firm’s 3000+ member contact network made up of business and academic leaders and front line professionals as well as direct calls to sitting Deans and Associate Deans.
Within several days of announcing the search we were qualifying candidates and sharing their CVs ( and our assessments of them) and with the Search Committee Chair.   After review with the Search Committee several candidates were selected for face to face campus interviews.   The interviews progressed very smoothly. By week 8 of the search we were nearing the point when Semi Finalists were being narrowed down to Finalists. The finalist candidates visited with teams of search committee members at multiple campuses (which was a logistical challenge) but allowed the candidates to have a more complete view of University facilities and gain a better appreciation for the deliverables of the job as well as the culture of the University. I give a lot of credit to the search committee chair and committee members for making the search process go so quickly and relatively smoothly. They were experienced, knew what they wanted and deliberated quickly. Within 75 days of the announcing the search assignment a short list of finalists were identified and we conducted reference background investigations on each one.
The hired candidate is a highly experienced and well regarded Business School Dean with a national reputation for excellence and accomplishment. He is also a diversity hirewhich is a wonderful outcome for the University and for KULPER & COMPANY.   We have watched the new Dean make important changes to the curriculum, hire new faculty, attract excellent students and of course, successfully, achieve reaccreditation.