The Illinois Board of Higher Education — Executive Director

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) in Springfield, Illinois invites applications and nominations for the position of Executive Director. The IBHE is a coordinating board with major statutory responsibilities for Master Planning, Budget Development, Program Approval, Institution Approval, Grants Administration, and Information System maintenance. The Executive Director works with higher education leaders, state government officials, and other state agencies and organizations. The position offers a broad range of professional opportunities to an individual who will bring experience, vision, commitment, well-honed leadership skills, and wise counsel to the coordination and oversight of higher education in Illinois. The Executive Director is selected by, and is responsible to, the 16 members of the Board.

The next Executive Director must be a statesperson who will bring a deep knowledge of higher education management to the position. This individual will have an understanding of national higher education trends and policy issues. The selected candidate must be a decisive, skilled, and fair administrator of the highest integrity with a proven commitment to equity and attainment in education.

The Executive Director will be fully committed to what Illinois higher education offers to individuals of all ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds, joining with the Illinois Board of Higher Education to be an advocate for the entire higher education community.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education expects its next Executive Director to collaborate with the Board and key stakeholders in the execution of the Board’s statutory responsibilities. The Board is beginning a revision of its Master Plan, and the Director will play a critical role in analyzing the needs of Illinois’ higher education system and promoting policies to meet those needs.


  • Commitment to the Board of Higher Education’s statutory direction and policies;
  • Ability to work with and support the work of the board;
  • Experience in statewide master planning or public agenda development;
  • Record of success in shaping finances, particularly budgetary needs for operations, grants, and capital improvements;
  • Political savvy and knowledge of state government and its culture;
  • Experience in leading public policy development in a complex political environment;
  • Ability to collaborate effectively, communicate openly, and listen carefully;
  • Support for and appreciation of diversity;
  • Understand the needs of students in the P-20 educational pipeline;
  • Knowledge of program planning, curriculum, and accreditation;
  • Respect for faculty service, teaching, research, and contributions;
  • Experience in senior level administrative position in a postsecondary or government setting; and
  • Earned doctorate/terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education (preferred).


  • Implement policies and directives of the Board of Higher Education;
  • Develop and present recommendations to the Board for initiatives;
  • Support Board recommendations to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the public;
  • Build support, cooperation, and synergy among the universities and colleges;
  • Employ, supervise, evaluate, and support office staff;
  • Administer, align, coordinate, and manage Board of Higher Education activities;
  • Guide and implement the Board’s agenda for governance and policy, including management of meetings and initiatives;
  • Communicate externally and internally and in an appropriate, timely manner with the Board of Higher Education; and
  • Perform other related duties as may be required by the Board of Higher Education.

To assure best consideration, nominations and applications are due by November 18, 2019. The application should include a three-page (or fewer) letter of interest; a résumé (or curriculum vitae); and the names of at least five professional references with each person’s position, office or home address,

e-mail address, and current telephone numbers. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. The new Executive Director will assume office in January 2020, or as soon as possible in the new year. Salary considerations are competitive.

The search is being assisted by Thomas Layzell,, 217-691-0462; James McCormick,, 651-238-5188; and Janice Fitzgerald,, 717-580-0663, Executive Search Consultants. All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. Nominations and applications should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to Additional IBHE information may be found at

The Illinois Board of Higher Education is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.