Search Process

The ACCT search process encompasses the following steps and is designed to responds to the needs and culture of the College. Our process builds confidence in the process and ultimately the leader selected by the Board.

  1. Institutional Analysis and Profile Development
  2. Candidate Recruitment
  3. Candidate Evaluation
  4. Selection of the New CEO


1. Institutional Analysis and Profile Development

The ACCT Search Consultant will work with the Chair of the Search Committee and the staff to compile information during a series of open forums and interviews with the Board and the Search Committee along with college information such as budget, student enrollment and demographics, faculty and staff information, and information about the community, in a first draft of the Presidential Profile. These sessions also provide insight into major issues, concerns and priorities of the college community. The profile will be used to recruit and evaluate candidates for the position.

2. Candidate Recruitment

We provide guidance in preparing an advertising communication strategy, placement of ads and relevant materials.

ACCT will work with the Chair of the Search Committee, the Search Committee and the College to design a web page announcement to be posted on the college's home page. It will include information such as position profile, procedures for submitting an application, timeline, and progress reports. The web page will also serve to keep the college community informed throughout every step of the search process.

ACCT's searches include the following national recruitment activities:

  • Personal recruitment: One-to-one confidential outreach to outstanding candidates including prominent community college leaders. ACCT’s network is such that we can easily reach out to the most successful community college leaders; they trust us and appreciate our commitment to maintaining confidentiality. ACCT has longstanding relationships with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the National Council on Black American Affairs, the National Community College Hispanic Council, the American Association of Women in Community Colleges, and the American Council on Education, Office of Equity and Office of Women in Higher Education.
  • Recruitment at National meetings: the position will be prominently featured at ACCT’s National Congress and the National Legislative Summit in Washington, DC in mid-February.
  • Mailing: A formal request for nominations and the CEO profile materials will be sent to national and regional sources identified by ACCT. ACCT's relationships within community colleges, other higher education institutions, business and industry (database of nearly 6,000 community leaders), insure the broadest possible recruitment efforts.
  • Web Listing: The announcement of the position would also appear on the internet, viaACCT's home page and the College’s home page.
  • National advertisements: We recommend - The Chronicle of Higher Education, Community College Week, Community College Times, the AACC Times, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Asian Week. Web postings insidehighered.comACCT will provide samples and advice on designing ads.

3. Candidate Evaluation

One of the most effective steps in creating a college and community-wide ‘buy in’ of the final choice is the candidate screening process, and ACCT would identify a rich and diverse pool of candidates to present to the Search Committee for their consideration.

ACCT proposes that the Search Committee invite the eight to ten most highly qualified candidates for a preliminary confidential interview and, following the interviews, recommend the final candidates to the Board for their consideration.

The Search Consultant will develop sample questions for the use of the Search Committee that will be primarily based on desired criteria and on the challenges and opportunities identified during the institutional analysis meetings.

The ACCT consultant provides guidance to the Search Committee as they evaluate the most highly ranked candidates to insure that fairness and equity standards are maintained.

ACCT proposes that the Board schedule one-day to two-day candidate visits to the College. These visits would include formal interviews with the Board and an interaction in a social setting (optional) with the candidate and his or her spouse. The candidates would also participate in open public forums and meet with internal constituent groups.

The ACCT Search Consultant will provide advice on how to coordinate these visits and will provide sample interview questions. Internal college constituents and external community members will be encouraged to attend the candidates open public forums during campus visits to provide feedback to the Board of Regents on the candidates.

4. Selection of the New CEO

ACCT has demonstrated expertise in conducting in-depth reference checks.

Reference Checking: Summary reference reports (oral presentation) are developed on all final candidates. These reports are developed by contacting eight to ten (or more) individuals who are not on the candidate's own list.

These in-depth summary reports (oral presentation) on the final candidates are generally 12-14 pages in length. Candidates' qualifications and achievements are examined in relation to the specified requirements of the position.

In conducting in-depth background and reference checks, ACCT's reference consultants will speak directly with individuals who are now, or who have been in the recent past, in a particularly good position to observe and evaluate the candidate's performance. Summary reference reports include information obtained from supervisors, subordinates and colleagues from current and previous institutions. These references and evaluations are combined to provide frank, objective appraisals. ACCT will provide degree verification, and check credit history and criminal records on all final candidates; this service is included in the cost of our search services.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Narcisa Polonio, Vice President for Education, Research and Board Services

Julie Golder Alion, J.D., Board Leadership Services Specialist