AGB Search and UPCEA Partner to Serve Growing Nontraditional Higher Learning Sector

June 28, 2017

Partnership will focus on executive searches for professional, continuing, and online education.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 28, 2017 – AGB Search, the firm focused exclusively on all aspects of higher education executive search, has partnered with UPCEA, the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education, to provide executive search services for higher education institutions, units, and programs serving nontraditional student populations.

From declining enrollments to changing student demands, today’s shifting higher education landscape presents many challenges to institutions. Although enrollments at U.S. colleges and universities have been declining since 2012, online enrollment overall continues to trend upward, with 5.8 million students enrolled in at least one online course in 2014. The pressure to stay on top of trends and skills in today’s ever-changing, technology-driven economy is spurring enrollments, with job goals or transition to a new career as a primary motivator. To remain competitive, institutions must effectively serve adult and nontraditional learners, who now constitute up to 85 percent of American college students. Professional, continuing, and online education units are on the front lines, helping this population to balance the competing demands of work, family, and education.

As this aspect of higher education evolves, institutional leadership has to be well-versed in growing and managing sustainable continuing and online education programs. The need for leaders experienced in this space led to UPCEA’s exclusive partnership with AGB Search. Through the partnership, institutions seeking to fill high-level leadership positions in professional, continuing, and online education units will be paired with AGB Search consultants and veterans of the field whose guidance will help searchers identify and hire the best candidate for the institution and role.

“Having a leader who can implement an effective strategy for reaching nontraditional students will soon make a difference in institutional survival,” said Bob Hansen, CEO of UPCEA. “I’m pleased that through our partnership with AGB Search, institutions will have access to seasoned search consultants to help fill these strategic leadership roles.”

The AGB Search team will be joined by search consultants Mary McIntire, Ph.D. and Thomas Kowalik, Ph.D., past UPCEA members and highly-regarded leaders in the professional, continuing, and online education field. McIntire most recently served as Dean of the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University. During her tenure at Rice, enrollments increased from hundreds per year to nearly 20,000, and courses have attracted students from more than 100 countries. Kowalik has more than 30 years of leadership experience in adult and continuing education. Previously at Binghamton University (SUNY), he was founding director of the University’s campus-wide Continuing Education and Outreach unit, which grew to serve more than 11,000 graduate, undergraduate, and noncredit students annually. With their decades of expertise in the field, McIntire and Kowalik are adept at identifying the unique skills and attributes necessary for leading today’s innovative and entrepreneurial units.

“Together, AGB Search and UPCEA will help to strengthen the online, continuing, and professional education space by identifying leaders with high quality, relevant expertise,” said Rod McDavis, Managing Principal of AGB Search. “We are proud to be at the forefront of higher education leadership in the 21st century.”


About AGB Search

AGB Search, based in Washington, D.C., is the only firm that specializes in all aspects of higher education executive search. The firm identifies and vets exceptional candidates, helping to build effective, diverse leadership teams. Founded by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges in 2010, AGB Search has an unparalleled commitment to professionalism and quality. With a dedication to service and deep roo­ts in the industry, AGB Search discovers what makes each institution unique and presents the best candidates for each position.



UPCEA is the association for leaders in professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UCPEA membership includes most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. For more than 100 years, the association has served its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities, and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA also builds greater awareness of the vital link between contemporary learners and public policy issues. Learn more at



Molly Nelson
[email protected]

AGB Search
Marissa Cormier
[email protected]



Get Involved with UPCEA

Professional development isn't just about attending sessions. Get involved with UPCEA to meet members from other institutions, share the great work your institution is doing, and hone your own skills. From submitting a session proposal for a conference or an article for a publication to serving as a volunteer on a conference planning committee, there are as many ways to engage with us!


Awards of Excellence

Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.