October 8, 2018


Wheless Partners has impressive track record in higher education, other industries

The University of Colorado Board of Regents has selected Wheless Partners Consulting and Executive Search — one of the nation’s leading executive search consultant and human capital advisory firms — to assist in searching for CU’s next president.

Wheless Senior Partners Mike JR Wheless, Dr. Robert E. Witt and Scott Watson will lead the search process and candidate recruitment effort on behalf of CU and the board. The Board of Regents selected Wheless Partners after a competitive process that drew proposals from leading national firms.

The Wheless Partners team has client partners in Colorado and around the country, and an impressive track record of successfully conducting president, chancellor, CEO and executive searches in higher education and other industries. Wheless Partners has a strong record of placing candidates who have been successful in higher education, as well as success in attracting a strong pool of diverse candidates.

“Wheless Partners has an excellent track record of success in placing effective, dynamic leaders,” said Sue Sharkey, chair of the CU Board of Regents. “With Wheless Partners’ deep nationwide network and leading-edge business and search model, Wheless provides coverage across education, government and all industries in order to find a gifted CEO to lead the CU system. We look forward to working with them to find CU’s next great leader.”

Sharkey said the regents are particularly looking forward to working with Dr. Witt, who previously served as a campus chancellor and system president for the University of Alabama and is recognized as an established leader in the higher education community.

CU President Bruce D. Benson informed the board in July that he will retire from the university in July 2019. The board has issued a call for nominations for members of the search committee, which is expected to be empaneled this month. The board named Regents Heidi Ganahl and Irene Griego as search committee co-chairs.

For more information about CU’s presidential search, please visit https://www.cu.edu/presidential-search.

About the CU System

The University of Colorado is a premier public research university with four campuses: the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. With more than 66,000 students (and another 7,000 taking courses for credit) and over 7,200 full-time instructional faculty members, CU is the largest institution of higher education in the state of Colorado. With an annual budget of $4.5 billion, CU generates a remarkable economic impact of $12.35 billion annually for the state. CU researchers attracted more than $1.05 billion in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2017-18. The university’s Technology Transfer Office has helped launch 190 startups since 1994. Academic prestige is marked by CU’s five Nobel laureates, 10 MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 20 astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information about the CU system, and to access campus resources, go to www.cu.edu.

Contact: Patrick O’Rourke, 303-860-5600, Patrick.orourke@cu.edu