Many will aspire to lead our nation’s post-secondary institutions. How will you ensure success?

The post-secondary landscape is changing rapidly. Demographic shifts, advances in technology, global competition and growing fiscal constraints require leaders to reconsider the strategic approaches of the past. Effective leadership is essential for sustainability and success.

Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette Academic Search offers our post-secondary clients national and international reach, a vast network of contacts, experienced in-house professionals and accomplished academic counsel. Together, these qualities make us national leaders in academic search.

An informed approach with global reach.

Our Firm operates one of the largest Academic Executive Search practices in Canada, with a dedicated team of seven partners and fifteen support and research staff delivering in-depth research, expansive candidates sourcing and superior service. We work seamlessly with our colleagues at Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge and our partners at Amrop Knightsbridge providing a global search network with 89 offices in 57 countries.

What sets our approach apart?

Our approach is shaped by three distinct characteristics:

  • We understand academic leadership – We are not simply a recruitment firm. We provide solutions that integrate strategy, recruitment and leadership development. Our understanding is fully informed by our work with post-secondary clients and candidates, our expertise in finding and developing leaders for the academic sector and the real life experience of our Academic Advisory Council, five of Canada’s successful leaders in the post-secondary sector.
  • Enabling great committee decisions – Our partners are professional consultants, experienced in the facilitation of group and committee decision making. We start every executive search assignment with a comprehensive strategy. We encourage and support the search committee to lead inclusive institutional and critical stakeholder consultations to ensure committee members are well prepared to arrive at an ideal candidate profile.
  • Committed to long term success
    • No failed search guarantee We commit to continuing to source candidates at no additional professional fees until the right leader is found.
    • Onboarding supportIn recent history, 20% of newly appointed presidents have stepped down before completing their first term. We work with new leaders and their supervisors to develop and comprehensive onboarding plan.

Academic Advisory Council

Our clients and our academic search team draw on the exceptional experience and knowledge of our Academic Advisory Council to support the search process as well as the onboarding of new leaders.


  • Dr. Ross Paul

    (former President, Laurentian University and former President, University of Windsor)
    Dr. Paul is author of “Leadership Under Fire: The Challenging Role of the Canadian University President”.


  • Prof. Bonnie M. Patterson

    (former President and Vice-Chancellor of Trent University, former President of the Council of Ontario Universities, former Chair of the Board of Universities Canada)


  • Dr. David Marshall

    (former President, Mount Royal University and former President, Nipissing University)


  • Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair

    (former President, Nova Scotia Community College)


  • Dr. Robert Gordon

    (former President, Humber College and former President, Dawson College)

We have a track record of successfully identifying leaders at all levels.

We understand the importance of uncovering new candidates with every single search we undertake. Our extensive research team digs deep to provide top candidates in a wide variety of academic leadership roles, from university presidents to librarians.

To view our record of experience, visit this link.

Contact a Consultant - Academic Search

Anna Stuart
Anna Stuart , MBA, FCPA, FCMA, FCMC
Managing Partner
Lois Dyer-Mann
Lois Dyer Mann , BA, LL.B
Partner
Stephanie Sykes , BBA, LLB
Partner
Katherine Frank
Katherine Frank , BA, CPHR
Partner