K&A assists colleges and universities in recruiting highly qualified candidates for selected permanent and interim leadership and management positions and provides transition consultation and customized coaching and support for newly hired executives and directors.
Executive Search Services
K&A provides permanent and interim executive search services for colleges and universities of all types that are seeking to recruit:
- Senior Student Affairs Officers (SSAOs)
- Associate and Assistant Vice Presidents and Vice Chancellors in Student Affairs
- Vice Presidents or Directors for Enrollment Management/Admissions
- Chiefs of Staff for senior institutional executives
- Student Affairs development officers
- Directors of student personal and academic support programs and services, including especially health, counseling, student life/activities, career, and gender relations centers; see more information below about recruiting directors of health-related programs and services
Our recruiting projects are led by senior consultants who have actually served in and/or supervised the types of positions for which an institution is searching. The combined experience and expertise of Almeda Rogers Jacks, Ph.D. and Richard P. Keeling, M.D. forms the framework for a uniquely qualified and responsive executive search service that complements, informs, and adds value to established in-house recruiting processes.
K&A is a comprehensive search firm. Our services sidestep the extensive costs and lack of control that often accompany the recruiting process. Instead, we offer a consultative approach that is mission-oriented and focused on improving overall outcomes for the institution; recruiting is therefore a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.
Our long experience in higher education has allowed us to develop extensive, trust-based networks and relationships through which we can identify and motivate the best possible candidates, including highly qualified professionals who are not (yet) looking for a new position and have not been reviewing advertisements or job announcements. We believe that the most successful searches are based on a solid understanding and appreciation of institutional priorities and goals. Only that understanding can produce the right “match.” We work closely with clients to find candidates who fit the mission, learning goals, characteristics, and requirements of each institution. We can secure pools of strong and well-matched candidates who will not only succeed in their new position, but also advance the mission and goals of the institution.
The scope of work done by K&A in executive searches varies, depending on an institution’s needs, internal capacity, and requirements. Recruiting assistance may be performed independently or linked to a divisional or departmental review, reorganization, or strategic planning process. Often, a review prior to the recruiting process enables an institution to better define its needs — and, therefore, to recruit and hire a candidate who can address those needs effectively. Having the “right” person in a leadership or management role facilitates collaboration and can help build stronger bridges between classroom and out-of-class learning experiences to promote student success.
Executive Search Options
Note: In many situations, an interim placement meets the institution’s operational needs while a divisional review or reorganization is completed, or while the search for the permanent position is underway.
K&A has provided leadership in college health programs for more than 25 years and has completed reviews of health and/or counseling services for more than 80 institutions; we have completed many successful searches for new executive directors or directors of health-related programs and services — sometimes combined with a departmental or program review. Having the “right” person in charge of health or counseling services ensures that those programs enable students to be ready to learn and therefore support student success.
K&A provides executive consultation, coaching, and transition support to newly appointed placements (both interim and permanent).
Given the extensive service of our senior consultants in executive roles in higher education, K&A can offer a developmental and well informed perspective to both new and experienced leaders and administrators as a way of advancing their own unique potential while increasing the probability of their success in their new roles.
President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
“We’ve been working with Keeling & Associates on issues of retention—they designed a strategic retention plan for us —and then we asked K&A to come back to help us design our institutional Master Plan which they did with wonderful results. When the time came to recruit for a new Vice President for Student Affairs, it was brought to my attention that K&A does executive searches. It made a lot of sense for us to hire them because they know our institution, we have a lot of respect for them, and they have a lead search consultant (Dr. Almeda Jacks) with a great deal of experience serving in a Vice President for Student Affairs role. So, it came out of a long-standing relationship with two key engagements on matters of importance to the College. I was delighted to turn to K&A to fill this important position and we are very pleased with the outcome.
“I think there were three key ingredients to this relationship that worked well for us. First, at the level of the President, there was a lot of attention paid to our institutional situation and the profile of the desirable qualities of a successful candidate. K&A paid attention to what I was looking for in terms of institutional priorities, which made all the difference in the world and gave me confidence when the search was underway that they would find the right person. Secondly, K&A was very attentive to the campus process and constituencies so that they also felt that at the end of the day that their concerns had been paid attention to, their input was heard, and that they were able to have a constructive role in the process. And finally, K&A was also very effective in communicating to the candidates what John Jay College was all about.”
“Keeling & Associates should take a lot of pride in both the interim and permanent placements here. Tom Stafford (Interim VPSA) was exactly what we needed — high energy, a true professional, students loved him, and he engaged people immediately on arrival and handled a number of difficult issues. Lynette Francis (permanent VPSA) is just a dream come true for us.”
Patricia S. Terrell, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Idaho State University
“We needed to fill a very high profile administrative position in enrollment management. After two failed searches conducted on our own, we turned to Keeling & Associates for several reasons. First, we knew that they were experts on higher education issues; their staff had extensive experience on college campuses in significant leadership roles, including the chief student affairs officer position; and they had access to a diverse, highly qualified candidate pool. They fast-tracked our search and within several months we had a new director on board who hit the ground running and hasn’t stopped since. I would definitely use Keeling for another search where time and financial resources are limited and credentials and experience are essential.”
Vicky Triponey, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
The College of New Jersey
“We came up empty in our search for a Director of Disability Services but within 24 hours after retaining the services of Keeling & Associates, we had an incredibly talented professional to serve in the interim role and we were well on our way to a quick and successful search with K&A that resulted in an exceptional hire for the permanent position as well.”
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
The College of New Jersey
“After struggling for more than a year to find the right leadership for our Disability Services area, Keeling & Associates was able to assist us in securing fantastically skilled interim and permanent assistance—both of whom have made immediate contributions to our campus.”
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