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Campus CEO Position Profile


Areas of Opportunity: Capital Community College, Gateway Community College, Housatonic Community College, Manchester Community College, Middlesex Community College

Download Position Profile (pdf)

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) in their search for Campus CEOs. The ideal candidate is a successful change agent highly skilled and comfortable navigating in a fluid and dynamic environment. S/he is an engaging leader with a strong background in community engagement and development.

CSCU Community College System:

The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) and the CT State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) are undertaking a major reorganization of Connecticut's community colleges. The BOR and CSCU plan to consolidate the 12 individually accredited colleges into a singly accredited institution by 2023. This single institution with 12 campuses geographically distributed statewide will provide credit and non-credit programs to more than 80,000 students in rural, suburban and urban communities. This bold plan to establish an academically integrated institution will provide Connecticut students with an affordable, accessible, high-quality education that meets their personal goals and the community-based workforce needs of the state. A structural change of this magnitude will ensure a sustainable future for the community colleges.

Implementing such a significant transformation will involve aligning college curricula statewide to support high-quality educational programs and seamless transfer; implementing initiatives such as Guided Pathways to improve and increase student enrollment, retention, completion, and career readiness; centralizing administrative functions; and sharing resources across campuses. The new consolidated institution will be administered by a regionalized leadership team, of which the Campus CEO will be a key position. The BOR and CSCU seek leaders for this transformational change to position the campuses, their students and graduates, and Connecticut for a secure and vibrant future.

Job Summary:

The Campus CEO is the lead campus administrator and serves as the on-site operational leader, providing guidance on developing and implementing strategic plans, as well as providing input on budgetary, enrollment, academic, and related matters.

The Campus CEO will provide critical focus and expertise on institution-wide continuous improvement in all identified areas of performance, operational oversight of campus functions, maintenance of a sound infrastructure, and promotion of a safe and comfortable environment for teaching and learning. In addition, the Campus CEO must be knowledgeable of all facets of campus functions, adept at collaboration in a highly matrixed organization and able to identify opportunities for improving operational excellence, building a strong team of faculty and staff, and providing an exceptional student learning experience. 

This position will report to their respective Regional President under the single College structure. Current direct reports include the campus Deans of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Administrative Services as well as other staff when necessary.  

Essential Duties:

  1. Oversee general management and leadership of campus operations including managing and allocating resources to achieve overall plans and objectives.
  2. Connect the institutional strategy of achieving high levels of student access and success with the operations of administrative and academic units.
  3. Identify gaps in student outcomes based on factors such as race, ethnicity, and gender and mobilize the campus to improve results.
  4. Lead the campus to achieve significantly improved results in student outcomes by implementing well-designed institutional changes at scale, and ensuring efforts are sustained over the long term.
  5. Raise revenue and resources that support student access and success; act as campus spokesperson and donor liaison to support the fundraising efforts of the campus foundations.
  6. Engage with campus stakeholders to understand their concerns and needs to discern opportunities for improvements.
  7. Ensure that the campus has staff that is qualified, trained, and motivated to perform the responsibilities set forth in their respective position descriptions; monitor the efficient and effective performance of all campus employees.
  8. Motivate, coach, and develop those individuals across the organization involved in leading or executing operational excellence or continuous improvement objectives.
  9. Analyze and implement solutions across the campus to identify and eliminate waste, reduce costs, promote educational excellence, and improve the student experience.
  10. Monitor performance and provide in-depth and timely management commentary on operational excellence results and lead the debate on any corrective measures and other control processes.
  11. Related duties as required.

Leadership Competencies:

  1. Demonstrates a deep commitment to student access and success.
  2. Experienced administrator in a college or system.
  3. Strong working knowledge and depth of understanding of most areas in a college or university, specifically of the factors that affect net revenues.
  4. Outstanding and proven leadership and interpersonal capabilities; ability to collaborate broadly across all levels of the organization to achieve results.
  5. Self-motivated team player with the ability to handle multiple work-streams and ad-hoc tasks simultaneously.
  6. Critical thinker, ability to understand complex processes and willing to ask tough questions and challenge status quo.
  7. Experienced in a highly involved union setting.
  8. Knowledge and understanding of institutional policies and procedures and the regulatory environment within which they operate.
  9. Deep understanding of the strategic needs of the community.
  10. Knowledge and understanding of current educational trends, issues and challenges for community colleges.
  11. Ability to raise funds from private, state, and national sources and to articulate to external audiences the value of supporting higher education institutions.
  12. Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills along with the ability to interact effectively with academic leadership, faculty, community leadership, and funding agencies.
  13. Adept at gaining agreement on necessary change and motivating and overseeing change management.
  14. Expressed values consistent with the mission of the system and high ethical standards.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Terminal degree plus five (5) years of experience leading multi-functional teams in higher education setting or an organization of similar complexity.
  • Well-rounded understanding of ways to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the quality of education and student success.
  • Equivalent education and experience that meet the minimum qualifications for the position may be considered.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Preference for candidates with experience in higher education

College Descriptions:

Each College offers variations in size and setting ranging from urban, suburban and rural campus settings throughout the state. However, each college shares a common commitment to open access and offers opportunities for intellectual, professional and leadership development through credit and non-credit career, transfer and certificate programs. Students are diverse in ethnicity, race, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and educational achievement.

All Connecticut Community Colleges provide favorable tuition costs and transfer pathways with the CT State Universities, Charter Oak State College and articulation agreements with independent colleges throughout the state benefiting students and their families.

Several of Connecticut’s Community Colleges have realized Achieving the Dream (ATD) status with all twelve institutions committed to achieving ATD status by July 1, 2019.

The following provides highlights of the opportunities and challenges in the community colleges. For additional information, please click on links below:


Applicants may identify a preferred College(s) at time of application, or they can apply without preference for any given College.

Capital Community CollegeCapital Community College, Hartford IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan

Located in the heart of downtown Hartford, Capital Community College is an open-admission, Hispanic Serving Institution offering 36 Associate degree, 24 Certificate programs and serving over 3000 students.

Strengths: Noted as one of the most diverse colleges in New England, the committed faculty and staff of Capital Community are dedicated to providing holistic support for students. Located in downtown Hartford, the campus builds on its prime location with internships, work experiences in business, government, culture and a curriculum connected to museums, theaters, music and historic places (Hartford Heritage Project).

Challenges: Identified areas faced by the College include the need to mitigate non-academic barriers to increase retention and enrollment. The importance of bringing in more financial resources has also been recognized and imbedded in the operations and goals of the college. The College has a unique history it will need to preserve with the new approach of regionalization.

Gateway Community College Gateway Community College, New Haven IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan

Located in the culturally rich urban center of New Haven, Connecticut, Gateway Community College (GCC) offers high-quality instruction and comprehensive services in an environment focused on teaching and learning. Through its committed and engaged faculty and staff, GCC responds to the changing academic, occupational, technological, and cultural needs of the diverse population and business community of the College and the Greater New Haven Region. The campus occupies two city blocks with state of the art classrooms, laboratories, a library and learning commons, a small business center, a culinary arts center, an early childhood learning center, an art gallery, and Café Vincenzo.

As the largest of the 12 Connecticut Community Colleges, GCC serves nearly 7,000 students annually of whom approximately two-thirds receive state or federal financial aid. The College offers over 90 accredited degree and certificate programs including nationally accredited programs in Automotive Technology, Nursing, Allied Health, and Early Childhood, and unique programs such as Railroad Engineering and the Gateway to College high school partnership. Gateway’s mission of fostering student success and creating life-long learners is championed by the entire College community and furthered by the generous support and efforts of the active and involved GCC Foundation.

Strengths: The College enjoys a particularly diverse student body. Its location in downtown New Haven with available parking is easily accessible through public transportation as well as private vehicles lending itself to drawing from the entire Greater New Haven area. Opportunities for interactions among students, the College, and the community abound including internships at businesses, government offices, culinary establishments, and medical facilities, and the ability to attend community events including performances of music and dance, art exhibitions, gastronomic celebrations, cultural ceremonies, and presentations by world-renowned experts. Existing and new partnerships with entities such as New Haven Public Schools, Gateway’s workforce development – the GREAT Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, Connecticut Public (WNPR), the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, the Town Green Special Services District, and the Gateway Foundation serve to increase student access to opportunities and enhance their learning.

Challenges: Areas of need identified by the College include elimination of administrative barriers to student success at both the College and system levels; development and implementation of a substantive plan to improve the campus climate and foster a greater sense of community among the faculty and staff; ensuring the principles of shared governance, individual campus needs, and open communication are strongly represented and protected during the consolidation process and beyond; cultivating new and alternative revenue streams to support the College mission; increasing the diversity of faculty and staff to better reflect the composition of the student body; and addressing student enrollment, retention, and financial need.

Housatonic Community CollegeHousatonic Community College, Bridgeport IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan

Housatonic Community College is a beautiful multi building campus located in Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city. HCC serves an 11-town area, part of Fairfield County, in Southwestern CT. The college is uniquely situated within 60 miles of New York City in an area rich in healthcare, manufacturing, finance, business, and arts-related employment opportunities. The college offers diverse education to over 4,800 students, providing trained, motivated employees ready for real-world, productive careers. HCC has transfer agreements with over 20 four-year institutions.

The college is home to the Housatonic Museum of Art, part of the teaching mission of the college with nearly 4,000 works in the collection and over 1,700 exhibited throughout the buildings and in changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries.

HCC is an Achieving the Dream college. It was nominated for an Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2017 and is designated as a Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway.

Strengths: HCC offers (51) associate degrees including those in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and (41) certificate options. HCC was the first Connecticut community college to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Center preparing students for employment in the advanced technical areas of manufacturing prevalent in the area, which offers ideal opportunities for partnerships and intern positions. The depth of HCCs’ Arts and Liberal Arts programs are unique educational options for the college’s students.

Challenges: Areas of need identified by the College include improving HCC’s student retention and timely enrollment as well as developing and expanding financial resources within the community. Continuing and expanding the outreach to diverse students and supporting potential within the area were also identified. Internally, the College requires focus on succession planning, mentoring, and supporting professional development.

Manchester Community College Manchester Community College, Manchester IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan

Centrally located and serving over 5,000 students per year, Manchester Community College is one of the largest of the 12 Connecticut community colleges. Partnerships with local business, and faculty members with both academic and professional credentials, provide an experience that extends beyond the classroom and connects students with practitioners in their field. 

Strengths: Conveniently located and situated on a beautiful campus, Manchester Community College, one of the largest and newest in the CSCU system has an established reputation in their top programs including Allied Health, Advanced Manufacturing and an award-winning Culinary program. The College enjoys strong community involvement, both internal (e.g. veterans support, childhood development center, food pantry) and external (extensive non-credit offerings and summer children's program). Additionally, the College has strong partnerships with local schools including Great Path Academy, a grades 9-12 magnet school located within the College. The MCC Foundation, one of the largest foundations, helps MCC enhance the quality of existing programs and fund the development of scholarships, new programs and equipment. The campus harnesses solar energy from a large on-campus array.

Challenges: Identified areas faced by the College include the need to address student retention and enrollment issues as well as the need to bring in more financial resources.

Middlesex Community College Middlesex Community College, Middletown IPEDS Link , Strategic Plan

Offering over 70 degree and certificate programs, Middlesex Community College’s beautiful campus is centrally located and easily accessed from many of CT’s major roadways. Serving over 2,400 students, MxCC has dedicated faculty and staff who embrace their mission of providing high quality, affordable, and accessible educational experiences. 

Strengths: Located on a hilltop with expansive vistas, Middlesex is situated on 38 acres with four academic buildings, excellent parking access and room for growth. MxCC has extensive ties to their community having built long-term productive relationships with area business, civic, and community organizations. Middlesex offers excellent academic programs and award-winning student organizations and clubs.

Challenges: Middlesex is facing declining enrollment, lowered retention ratios and graduation rates. MxCC needs strategies to bring in more financial resources and reignite community financial support. MxCC anticipates significant employee turnover due to retirements in the next few years. This creates the need to address succession planning, mentoring, and support for additional professional development.

Application Instructions:

To be viewed by committee, materials must be submitted through the online link. Please do not email applications. Application link:

For best consideration, applications should be received by January 21, 2020. Applicants are encouraged to identify preferred college at time of application or they may apply without preference for any given college. 

Applicants must include a letter of application in which they address the leadership competencies and qualifications outlined herein and a curriculum vita. All applications will remain confidential pending the selection of finalists. 

Nominations and inquiries are treated confidentially and may be sent to: Jennifer Muller, Academic Career & Executive Search at or call 860-740-2600.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religious creed, marital status, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, past or present history of mental disability, sex, including pregnancy, sexual harassment, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, workplace hazards to reproductive systems, retaliation, veteran status, or criminal record. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Leah Glende, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, 61 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105, 860-723-0727 or by email at

The CSCU System is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.