Isaacson, Miller Seeking President for Lehigh University
April 23, 2021 – Isaacson, Miller has been hired by Lehigh University to lead the search for the school’s 15th new president. John D. Simon has informed the Board of Trustees of his decision to resign at the end of the academic year with effect from June 30, 2021. John Isaacson and Rebecca Swartz are leading this search with Berkley Burke. Isaacson, Miller seeks an innovative president with proven management skills and the ability to successfully implement bold strategic decisions. The school needs a determined and dedicated leader who cares for his legacy and lives up to his ambition. He can use his community and considerable fortune to establish Lehigh as head of the American Academy of the Future.
“Lehigh is a great institution with a good reputation among our peers and that reputation will certainly serve us well as we begin this search process,” said Philip B. Sheibley, director and co-chair of the General Committee. “Even at a time of unique challenges, we as a university have forward momentum and are determined to attract a leader who will invest in our mission and be able to drive it forward.”
While no candidate will embody every quality, Isaacson notes that the successful candidate will have many of the following professional and personal qualifications:
- A deep professional and personal commitment to Lehigh’s mission and traditions and a strategic thinker with the ability to articulate the university’s unique value proposition today and tomorrow;
- Significant evidence of leadership and management success in organizations of significant size, scope, complexity, and responsibility;
- Proven strength in leading and delegating to a senior team and reporting to the Board of Trustees, as well as recording effective recruitment and retention of diverse talent at all levels;
- The ability to inspire, implement and bring together diverse stakeholders to achieve a common goal and vision, as well as the ability to recognize and support the creativity and leadership of others;
- Strong business and financial management skills with the ability to execute large, ambitious and fiscal responsibility plans and a proven ability to generate philanthropic revenue and identify new sources of funding for an institution.
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Lehigh University is a diverse, research-intensive and private top 50 university with an impressive teaching tradition and nearly 7,000 students. For its size, Lehigh has one of the strongest balance sheets in higher education with $ 1.4 billion in foundation assets including $ 200 million in quasi-foundation assets.
Isaacson, a nationally recognized search company focused on recruiting transformation leaders for mission-driven organizations, has completed thousands of internships over more than three decades. More than half of the company’s work was done in the academic field, which involved university presidents, university chancellors and deans. The company has held executive positions at Wellesley College, Washington State University, Miami University, Howard University, Bowdoin College, Dartmouth, NYU, Virginia State University and the University of North Carolina, among others.
Isaacson, Miller Appoints New President and CEO
Isaacson’s Board of Directors, Miller, has named Ericka Miller as the company’s next President and CEO. She will officially begin her term on July 1, 2021 following the resignation of current President Vivian Brocard. “As one of the first black women to lead a major national recruitment agency, Ericka has a deep lifelong commitment to justice, diversity and inclusion that aligns with Isaacson, Miller’s core values,” said the search firm.
“Ericka has done an excellent job building and leading our PreK-12 education and improvement practice, chairing the doctoral committee, and serving as an indispensable member of the board of directors,” said John Isaacson, founder and chairman of Isaacson , Miller. “She has distinguished herself with her fellow board members and was their unanimous election for president and CEO,” said Isaacson. “You are both proud and grateful to be able to welcome her as Vivian’s successor. Vivian has skilfully led the company and leaves an outstanding legacy. You and Ericka will manage the transition together. “
Mr. Isaacson, the company’s chairman, founded Isaacson, Miller in 1982. He has conducted searches on many areas of the company’s practice. Mr. Isaacson has helped the firm develop its accumulated knowledge of the craft of search and has been studying the missionary purposes of institutions, the political and economic disciplines of specialized markets, and the emotional and intellectual insights that executives acquire with increasing interest Work life.
Ms. Swartz is a partner in the company and leads a diverse portfolio of executives looking for nonprofits, including foundations, advocacy groups, public health and human service organizations, PreK-12 and higher education institutions, arts and cultural institutions, and the public sector. She has a passion for clients focused on economic, racial, and social justice – especially organizations that support underrepresented populations. She also specializes in recruiting for Jewish organizations.
Ms. Burke joined Isaacson, Miller as an associate in 2019. She joined the firm with notable experience in higher education, K-12 education, and international education, most recently serving as the assistant director for admissions at Georgetown University.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media