05/08/2017 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Making the Match in Higher Ed

CS&A is widely known in the independent school arena as the leader in top administrator search. For over 40 years, our Search Group has successfully partnered with institutions of learning and not-for-profits all over the world delivering a personalized approach within a proven retained search process to find the very best leaders.

Continuing our tradition of excellence, we are proud to share we recently completed our first-ever higher education retained search. Led by Search Consultant Jennifer Christensen and Senior Search Consultant Sherry Coleman, the retained search for Colgate University’s Senior Assistant Dean of Admission and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment successfully wrapped up with the appointment of Jamiere Abney, who is currently finishing up his Master’s degree at Harvard University.

Before Jennifer joined CS&A in 2016, she spent 25 years in college counseling and college admission, so it made sense for CS&A to explore the college admission and enrollment market. Says Jennifer, “I spoke to almost three dozen Vice Presidents/Provosts and Deans of Admission and Enrollment last summer, and the need for thoughtful and thorough search for their direct reports emerged. Our higher ed searches thus far have been for positions that clearly support mission-driven work and have had the support of not only the admission and enrollment offices, but the leadership of the institution, too.”

Working closely with the search committee at Colgate, Jennifer and Sherry took the time to understand the unique culture and needs of the University in order to transform its objectives into an effective search. “One of the highlight moments for me was when one of the search committee members and senior members of the admission staff said that every one of the semifinalists we presented were stronger than the candidates they’d brought in themselves last summer,” says Jennifer.

One such member is Gary Ross, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Colgate. He comments, “From our first contact with Jennifer and Sherry, we felt like we were in great hands. Both bring a wealth of experience that has provided them with the tools necessary to be highly capable and truly professional search consultants. On our search, each and every deadline was achieved on or in advance of the dates promised. We received a strong pool of candidates, many of whom were sourced by Jennifer or Sherry. Jennifer and Sherry really put the time, effort, outreach, and research into our search and there is no question in my mind that their efforts were the most important factor in our search ending very successfully.”

Jennifer is looking forward to continuing her search work in higher ed, partnering with former colleagues she deeply respects and the institutions to which she happily sent her former students. “I feel a great connection to and empathy for these searches; as I recruit and interview candidates, I use my experience as a former Director of Admission to think about if they are the people I would have wanted on my team, and as a former Director of College Counseling I think about if they are the people who are able to connect to and support high school students.”

Looking ahead, CS&A is working to partner with more college and university admission teams in their searches. With Search Consultants John Clark and Gary Dicovitsky already working in the advancement, finance, development space, the sky is truly the limit.

Jennifer is currently also leading retained searches at Macalester College and University of San Francisco. To learn more about our top administrator retained search services, visit our website.

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