Board of Trustees approves presidential search firm

Board of Trustees approves presidential search firm
aerial of OU campus

At its Monday, December 5, formal meeting, the Oakland University Board of Trustees voted to retain the search firm Academic Search, Inc. to assist in identifying candidates from whom the Board may select the University’s next president. The firm was recommended to the Board by the University’s Ad Hoc Presidential Search Committee. 


Through an open bid process, the Presidential Search Committee sent Requests for Proposal to 16 national search firms and received 12 comprehensive proposals. The Committee assessed those proposals based on several criteria, including each firm’s success in attracting diverse candidate pools. Four firms were selected for interviews.


The Committee recommended Academic Search based on several factors, including its leadership experience and successful track record in conducting previous provost and dean searches for Oakland. Moreover, the firm’s president, Jessica Kozloff, Ph.D., has served as a university president. Academic Search has worked exclusively for nearly 40 years in searches for presidents and senior administrators in higher education.


Senior Consultants Jessica Kozloff, President of Academic Search, and Vice President William Howard will visit campus on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 10 and 11, for open forums and to meet with members of the campus community and the Search Committee. An inclusive schedule has been developed that invites participation by a wide spectrum of the campus community. The schedule includes opportunities for faculty, students, staff and administrators, as well as alumni and donors, to meet with and provide input to the search consultants and committee members.


In the coming months, the firm will work with the Presidential Search Committee to identify up to three finalists who will visit campus in the spring.


The first of five campus forums will take place on Tuesday, January 10, at 3:15 p.m. in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. On Wednesday, January 11, there will be four open forums beginning at 8 a.m. Focused sessions will be held on both days. A complete schedule will be available the first week in January.


The role of the consultants is not to select the next president, but rather to support and inform the work of the Search Committee and to help ensure that the search and selection process is managed effectively so that board of trustees may achieve the goal of securing the best possible leader.


Before launching the search, the Academic Search consultants are eager to receive insights into the academic condition and future needs of Oakland University, and to learn of the campus community’s views of the kind of leadership the Board should be seeking. Those insights will be shared with the Search Committee as they finalize the search documents, such as the qualifications required and desired in the University’s next president. The search committee will begin advertising for applications and active outreach by its consultants as soon as this campus visit has concluded.


Those unable to attend the campus meetings are encouraged to send a confidential email to or

Learn more about the presidential search at