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Shelly Storbeck Shares Insights with the Academic Leadership Institute

Global Education Practice Lead and Managing Director Shelly Weiss Storbeck presented at the inaugural Academic Leadership Institute (ALI) Residential Program on Wednesday, August 4.

The Institute, which is a collaboration between Earl Lewis, Founding Director of the Center for Social Solutions at the University of Michigan, and Dwight A. McBride, President of The New School, brought together established and rising academic leaders for a residential program in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. This session was hosted by McBride and Jonathan Holloway, President of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

ALI’s aim is to increase the representation of rising leaders committed to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), including faculty of color, on track to becoming future presidents and provosts.

Shelly was invited to speak to attendees about the presidential search process. Shelly has led recent president and chancellor searches on behalf of a wide range of institutions, including Carleton, Colorado, Haverford, and Skidmore colleges and Michigan State University and Temple University. In her presentation, she spoke about presidential search trends, current issues, and Storbeck Search’s deep commitment to creating processes that are inclusive.

She noted that some of the current issues impacting presidential searches include: board dynamics, candidate fatigue, financial constraints, COVID-related issues, student activism, and, of course, the current wave of presidential retirements and resignations.

ALI is the first major professional development event to have an explicit focus on DEI and provides attendees access to a generation of higher education leaders. While most programs for higher education leadership focus on the skills required of a leader, ALI goes beyond that to talk about the experience of being a leader within the academy from an individual perspective. Each day’s curriculum is explicitly organized around identity as it relates to the various streams of university business: the sense of self as a leader, in relation to institutional frameworks, in relation to the team, and in relation to the community and the public.  

In addition to Shelly’s presentation, the 5-day ALI program featured discussions about crisis management, work-life balance, and building an inclusive culture, among other topics. Other presenters included Reggie DesRoches, provost of Rice University, Jonathan Holloway, president of Rutgers University, Erika James, dean of The Wharton School, Ben Vinson, provost of Case Western Reserve University, and Lynn Wooten, president of Simmons College.

Storbeck Search | Diversified Search Group served as a Gold Sponsor of this year’s Academic Leadership Institute program.

Storbeck Search and Diversified Search Group were founded on a commitment to diversifying leadership, and we are proud to note our strong record of placing women and candidates from underrepresented groups in education leadership roles.

Shelly recently received the 2021 American Council on Education (ACE) Donna Shavlik Award. This award honors individuals who demonstrate a sustained commitment to advancing women in higher education through leadership and career development, campus climate, and mentoring.

Storbeck Search Team Profile

Shelly Weiss Storbeck

Global Education Practice Lead and Managing Director

Shelly has one of the most widely recognized names in the field, having recruited senior leaders for America's most prestigious colleges and universities. She has led Storbeck Search as an independent firm since 2007.