Isaacson, Miller to assist in president search

· 3 min read

Isaacson, Miller to assist in president search

NU President James B. Milliken (right) is leaving to become the chancellor of the City University of New York.

The Executive Committee of the NU Board of Regents has selected Isaacson, Miller, a leading national executive search firm, to assist the Board in its search for the next NU president. Current President James B. Milliken has announced that he is leaving NU at the end of April to become chancellor of the City University of New York.

Board of Regents Chairman Howard Hawks said the Executive Committee considered proposals from 11 search firms that responded to a recent letter of inquiry from the university.

“Following a thorough review process, including consideration of written proposals, telephone interviews and reference checks, the Executive Committee is confident Isaacson, Miller is the right firm to assist the Board in its critical work of finding the next president of the University of Nebraska,” Hawks said. “Isaacson, Miller is one of the most reputable search firms in the country, with a proven track record of attracting top talent to higher education leadership positions. We look forward to working with the experienced and committed team from Isaacson, Miller throughout this important process.”

Isaacson, Miller, with offices in Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, has assisted numerous public and private universities in leadership searches, including the universities of California, Illinois and Washington. The principal consultant on the University of Nebraska search will be David Bellshaw, vice president and director and the managing partner of the firm’s California office. Bellshaw also served as principal consultant in the recent search for a new chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Isaacson, Miller’s standard fee is one-third of the total compensation paid to the hired candidate for his or her first year of employment. However, given the firm’s relationship with the University of Nebraska, Isaacson, Miller has agreed to a flat fee of $130,000 for the presidential search, plus reimbursements for direct expenses (such as travel, lodging and meals associated with the interviewing process) and $14,300 (11 percent of the professional fee) for indirect expenses related to the support of the search committee process, creation and distribution of search materials, candidate communication, and internal research and administration.

Isaacson, Miller will develop a position description and ideal candidate profile for the next president, including – upon input from members of the university community and the public – desired qualifications, characteristics and experience of the university’s next leader and the challenges and opportunities facing that individual. The firm also will help to identify, recruit and screen potential candidates.

Hawks said that the final selection of the next president will be made by the full Board of Regents following public forums and university visits by finalists that will provide opportunities for faculty, students, key constituents and others to meet the individuals and provide feedback to the Board.

The Board invites input from the public on the presidential search, as well as nominations of potential candidates, at All news and information related to the presidential search will be housed there.

On the site now is a feedback form Nebraskans may complete and submit to the Board of Regents either electronically or by mail. Hawks said the Board would like to know what Nebraskans hope the next president of the university will be able to accomplish, how they will know in the next three to five years that the right person was hired, what key issues face the campuses, NU and the state in the years ahead, and what kinds of prior experiences, skills and personal attributes the next president should have. This information will inform the initial networking for prospective candidates.

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