University contracts Isaacson, Miller to search for Burstein’s successor| Sep 19, 2013
The University continues to search for its next executive vice president, following the departure of former Executive Vice President Mark Burstein at the end of the last academic year.
Burstein was named the President of Lawrence University in December 2012 and assumed the post on July 1.
In May, University President Chris Eisgruber ’83 said the University would contract an external search firm and form a search committee to identify Burstein’s replacement. Eisgruber confirmed in an interview on Tuesday that the search process is now in full swing.
“The search is underway. We began it back in June, and we’re continuing at this point to develop a pool of candidates, so it’s in a relatively early stage,” Eisgruber said. “I’m hoping to announce an appointment sometime during the year, but I really can’t be more specific,” he continued.
Assistant Vice President for Safety and Administrative Planning Treby Williams ’84 began serving as the acting executive vice president in July and will continue to serve until a permanent replacement is named. Although Eisgruber indicated that Williams was not a candidate for the position, he said he was grateful for her service to the University.
“I’m extremely grateful to Treby, who’s been doing an exceptionally good job in the role,” Eisgruber said. “But my understanding has been that she intends to return to her previous role in the administration after serving as acting executive vice president.”
Although he declined to name the members of the search committee, Eisgruber confirmed that the University has contracted the firm Isaacson, Miller to aid its search.
Isaacson, Miller did not respond to request for comment.
Isaacson, Miller appears to be involved with several other hiring decisions across the Ivy League. Alongside the listing for the position of Princeton executive vice president, the firm’s website shows listings for the provost at Dartmouth College, vice dean at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and dean at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing.
The Princeton posting lists several qualifications and skills expected of the “successful candidate.” These include the “maturity, presence and gravitas to engage effectively with all constituencies, including alumni, donors, community members and University trustees,” as well as a “demonstrated track record of advancing diversity.”
The firm also notes that an “advanced degree is strongly preferred.” Burstein held a MBA from the Wharton School at Penn.
In an April interview with The Daily Princetonian, Chair of both the Board of Trustees and the presidential search committee Kathryn Hall ’80 confirmed that no search firm was used to select former President Shirley Tilghman's successor.
“People who use search firms are, one, if you feel like you need to have someone identify your pool of candidates,” Hall said at the time.“Another is if you need to do due diligence and we felt we had the capacity to do due diligence if there was something specific that we could hire specific resources. And three, the other reason that people hire firms is because [the firms] are professionals and [can manage] the logistics of things.”
Burstein was appointed executive vice president in August 2004. During his nine-year tenure, he led the creation of the most recent Campus Plan in 2008, which included provisions for the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. The former executive vice president was also involved in forging the four-year residential college program.
Burstein had also been under consideration for the presidency of Dickinson College last fall but said he removed himself from consideration for the position.