Washburn University seeks a community-minded, collaborative and innovative leader to join its campus as its next president.
Located in Topeka, Kansas, Washburn University was founded in 1865 and educates nearly 7,000 students enrolled in more than 200 academic programs. With over 1,000 highly committed faculty and staff, Washburn matriculates students through certification, associates, bachelor's, master's and doctorate programs that have a meaningful and lasting impact on its graduates, as well as the region and beyond. Its programs are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Applied Studies, Business, Law and Nursing on a 160-acre traditional residential campus. Washburn is proud to offer an affordable, quality education that helps all types of students improve their quality of life while having a positive impact on society.
In 2008, the Washburn University Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech) merged with Washburn University and has been a key part of the Washburn family. Washburn Tech is a nationally recognized innovator in career and technical education. The unique affiliation with Washburn University gives students the opportunity to start with technical courses and continue to advanced degrees while preparing for today’s careers.
Like many of its peer institutions, Washburn University has suffered from recent enrollment declines related to a decrease in high school graduates, competition from other institutions and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other market forces. Therefore, the incoming president should lead the campus in the development of a strategic enrollment plan that considers future market demands while leveraging the university's strengths and areas of distinction. Developing a unique and fresh brand identity will be an important component of this endeavor. Furthermore, Washburn will benefit from a president who is knowledgeable about industry trends and new innovations in higher education that are applicable to the institution and ensure robust student success outcomes. The president will be expected to support, develop and champion a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus community while strengthening local town and gown relations. Moreover, the president should be an effective and active relationship builder and fundraiser with a focus on cultivating and stewarding Washburn's most supportive alumni, donors and friends, while building new relationships that generate new sources of revenue for the campus.
Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the next president should be a bold, visionary and strong communicator with extensive experience working at an open access institution in a shared governance environment. The president will be an accomplished and successful professional with the experience and expertise required to lead an organization of Washburn's size and complexity. The president must be a savvy and collaborative relationship builder and community-minded individual who has a strong desire to develop productive relationships and represent and advocate for the institution in the greater Topeka region. A strong capacity for managing complex financial models and budgets will be important. For more information, please visit www.wittkieffer.com.
All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile. WittKieffer is assisting Washburn University in this search. For fullest consideration, application materials should be received by Thursday, October 27th. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:
Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Sandra Chu and Randi Miller at WashburnPresident@wittkieffer.com
Washburn is an EOE and is dedicated to providing a student-centered and teaching-focused academic and work environment. We seek candidates who are committed to Washburn’s efforts to create a campus climate that fosters the growth and development of a diverse student body, and we encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically underrepresented and/or marginalized in higher education.
Washburn University provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or marital or parental status.
Applicants must successfully clear the University’s criminal background screening and have a valid driver’s license.