Garry W. Owens joined AGB Search in 2011 after working five years as a senior consultant with another Washington, DC-based search and consulting firm.  Dr. Owens has completed 90 searches for presidents, vice presidents, provosts, and deans in public and private colleges and universities, as well as in church-affiliated schools, specialized colleges, and the for-profit sector.  

Representative Executive Searches

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison - Chancellor
  • University of Nebraska - President
  • University of Minnesota - President
  • Portland State University - President
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha - Chancellor

Experience and Honors

Dr. Owens served as an academic administrator for 17 years, notably as Founding Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Texas Tech University, where he successfully developed a new college combining academic units of music, art, and theatre and dance. While at Texas Tech, Dr. Owens led several successful searches for administrative positions and faculty members. 

Dr. Owens interests have centered on leadership development and, along with several colleagues, he helped to establish the International Council of Fine Arts Deans’ Leadership Institute. He also created an active advisory board for the College of Visual and Performing Arts and participated as a board member for several local arts organizations. On several occasions, Dr. Owens has been invited to present sessions on search practice at the International Council of Fine Arts Deans’ annual meetings. 

Prior to his appointment as Founding Dean, Dr. Owens served as a Senior Academic Administrator of Arts at Texas Tech University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and the University of Michigan-Flint. He began his career as a public-school instrumental music educator in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Recently, he was elected co-chair of the Board of Advisors of the Mead Witter School of Music at the University of Wisconsin Madison, as well as president of the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Music Alumni Association.


  • B.M. and M.M. degrees in Music and a Ph.D. degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, Madison