Founded in 1969, the firm is one of the largest executive search firms in the nation, focusing on the fields of higher education, academic medicine, healthcare, and not-for-profit. This will be the first time the University has worked with the firm on a presidential search.
“Searching for and hiring a president of a major university is a labor-intensive, time-consuming undertaking,” said Larry McHugh, chairman of UConn’s Board of Trustees, who is leading the search committee. “Witt-Kieffer’s role is to help us with the heavy-lifting that is involved, so the process can move forward as aggressively and smoothly as possible. Our mission is to assemble a diverse pool of truly outstanding candidates.”
The firm’s website states: “Our consulting team includes former college and university presidents who understand what it means to be a sitting president. Our approach to a presidential search is as distinctive to each institution’s needs as it is wide in its outreach to gifted leaders. As stewards of the process, we are sensitive to and respectful of the expectations of both the search committee and candidates. We rely on original research, in-depth interviews, and extensive reference checks to ensure the best possible match.”
McHugh also announced, in keeping with the University’s by-laws, a smaller steering committee made up of 12 members of the larger group. The steering committee members are: Francis Archambault Jr., Mun Choi, John Clausen, Bruce Liang, Lee Melvin, Lisa Moody (governor’s designee), Sally Reis, Susan Reisine, Charles Lowe, Thomas Ritter, Joseph Jaemel Jr., and Larry McHugh.
McHugh said the search process is expected to take between six and 12 months.