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CEO Search FAQ

What is the time frame of the CEO search process?
On May 7, 2019, NACAC CEO Joyce E. Smith announced her intentions to retire in 2020. A search committee, led by President-elect Jayne Fonash, was appointed by the Board of Directors in June 2019. The committee and a team from Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) will spend the summer and early fall engaging with members to hear more about the current pressures and challenges facing our members, and the types of skills and experiences a strong candidate should possess. RRA will finalize a position specification based on these conversations and will begin actively recruiting in mid-to-late fall 2019. The search committee will begin to vet serious candidates in early 2020, and ultimately recommend a slate of finalists before the board in late spring. This process is anticipated to conclude in mid-2020, with the new CEO assuming office by fall 2020. While time is a factor, the most important goal is to find the right individual to lead NACAC.

Who is responsible for choosing the next CEO? Will members vote?According to NACAC Bylaws, the Board of Directors is responsible for the final selection and appointment of the CEO. Members will not vote on the final decision but can offer suggestions and notes as RRA and the search committee prepare to post the position. RRA will provide opportunities for stakeholders to give input to the search committee concerning the current pressures and challenges facing the membership, and the types of skills and experiences a strong CEO candidate should possess.

What is the role of the search committee?
The search committee will work with RRA over the next year to review the résumés and backgrounds of potential candidates, and to interview those individuals who most closely match the position specification. The committee will ultimately recommend a small group of finalists to the board for consideration.  

How was the search committee selected?
The NACAC President-elect, with the assistance of several members of the Board of Directors, identified a diverse group of individuals to be involved in the critical work of selecting the association’s next CEO. Committee members were chosen to reflect the cultural, ethnic, gender, and institutional range of the association’s membership.  

Why was Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) selected to conduct the search?
Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA), is a leading executive search and assessment firm that has conducted nationwide searches for colleges and universities and other higher education organizations. Its corporate philosophy and strategies match NACAC’s goal to ensure an open, fair, and transparent search. RRA will work with the search committee, the Board of Directors, senior staff, and other stakeholders to identify the skills and competencies important for NACAC’s next CEO to possess. The role of the search firm is to help guide the committee in determining its structure and processes; to advise the committee in the creation of the CEO position description; and to engage in outreach to attract a large, talented, and diverse pool of qualified candidates to be considered by the committee.

How would one indicate interest in being considered for the search and/or nominate a candidate for consideration?
Once the position specification is finalized, it will be shared on the NACAC website and with all members, along with instructions on how to apply or nominate other individuals.

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