Spelman Johnson Reflects on 25 Years in Higher Education

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Category: News

As 2016 comes to a close, we are wrapping up a year-long celebration of 25 years in the search industry. Founded in 1991 as a start-up company, Spelman Johnson—and the world of higher education—has undergone some significant changes in the past quarter century. One thing that has remained constant is our commitment to learning and education. We believe that education in all its forms supports the economic and personal development of all people, and we are proud to have been a part of defining institutional leadership over the past 25 years.

One of the most transformational changes we have encountered has been technology and the way it has altered how we communicate. The speed, methods, and messages have all been turned inside out and upside down. The search industry prides itself on being a “people business” at its core, but we have all had to change our views of how and what we communicate, ensuring that our message goes beyond what it needs to be to what it should be. We have grounded Spelman Johnson in the philosophy that diversity is a many-faceted jewel. Along with our institutional partners, we will continue to move forward with the message that supporting a diverse pool of leadership talent makes higher education, in the aggregate, stronger.

The academy has endured over centuries by adapting, changing, and learning. Spelman Johnson will endure as well by doing the same in partnership with both our client institutions and the professionals within higher education. Together, we need to support the wave of change that will see us through the next 25 years. By doing so, we, too, will be stronger.

Ellen Heffernan

President - Spelman Johnson

Ellen Heffernan graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in economics and government. She joined Spelman Johnson in 1996, after a ten-year career in higher education that included positions at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also a national speaker and writer on topics related to recruiting and professional development in higher education and serves as faculty for several national higher education association professional development programs. Ellen also currently serves on the executive board of the National Association of Executive Recruiters.