Presidential search firm chosen

The BGSU Board of Trustees voted in special session July 25 to pursue a contract with executive search firm Witt/Kieffer to help seek the successor to departing President Sidney Ribeau.

The vote came after the board and members of the search committee heard presentations from representatives of Chicago-based Witt/Kieffer and two other firms. The board accepted the search committee’s recommendation to retain Witt/Kieffer. Contract details have yet to be finalized.

John Thornburgh, from Witt/Kieffer’s Pittsburgh office, told the trustees that the company has 17 U.S. offices, including one in Toledo. It is the eighth largest executive search firm in the country, dealing exclusively with nonprofit organizations and primarily higher education and health care, he said.

The board also heard Friday from representatives of Heidrick & Struggles, a multinational firm, and Boston-based Isaacson, Miller. The presenters agreed that a typical presidential search takes five to six months, though some searches extend to seven to eight months.

Trustee William Primrose, chair of the search committee, said the goal is to make an offer to the leading presidential candidate in late February or early March.

Ribeau is leaving BGSU after 13 years to become president of Howard University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Carol Cartwright, former president of Kent State University, is serving as interim president of BGSU.

July 21, 2008