WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20, 2021 – AGB Search, a national leader in higher education executive search, is pleased to announce the following recent appointments:

Bennett College has appointed Laura Colson as its new vice president for academic affairs. Colson brings her vast experience at HBCUs to Bennett’s senior leadership team after previously serving as the associate vice president for academic affairs for Johnson C. Smith University. Read More.

The Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research has named Jacqueline Bussie as its fifth executive director. Bussie is an award-winning author, speaker, public theologian, and religion professor, and begins her role on September 1st. Read More.

Fairleigh Dickinson University has appointed Robert Pignatello as its first senior vice president for university operations. Pignatello will be responsible for non-academic activities on the university’s campuses including facilities, athletics, counseling and health services starting in June. Read More.

Nevada State College has chosen DeRionne Pollard as its eighth president. Pollard has the distinction of being the first Black woman to be appointed permanent president of a higher education institution in Nevada. Read More.

Owens Community College has selected Dione Somerville as its next president. Prior to her appointment, Somerville served as executive vice president of Hawkeye Community College and led the college’s COVID-19 response efforts. Read More.

Wichita State University has appointed Richard Muma as its 15th president. Muma has been serving as interim president of Wichita State since September 2020 and has been a cornerstone of the campus community for over 25 years. Read More.

Williston State College has named Bernell Hirning as its next president. Hirning has spent over 30 years in education and most recently served as associate regional dean and regional associate vice president for National University. Read More.

The University of Houston-Downtown has announced the appointment of Wendy Burns-Ardolino as its new dean of the College of Humanities and Social Services. Burns-Ardolino will provide visionary leadership to guide and strengthen the college. Read More.

The University of Houston-Downtown has announced the appointment of Sheila Lloyd as its new associate vice president of academic affairs. Lloyd will be responsible for administering and overseeing efforts related to maintaining and developing academic affairs initiatives. Read More.

The University of Iowa has appointed Barbara J. Wilson as its next president. Wilson brings extensive leadership experience to her role as president, having previously served as executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs for the University of Illinois system. Read More.

The University of Nebraska-Omaha unanimously confirmed the appointment of Joanne Li as its 16th chancellor. Li is the first woman of color to serve as chancellor and the first Asian-American to hold an executive leadership role in the University of Nebraska system. Read More.


About AGB Search
AGB Search, based in Washington, D.C., specializes in providing tailored services, including permanent search, interim search, and compensation evaluation, to higher education institutions. Founded by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) in 2010, the firm has a unique understanding of the qualifications critical for effective higher education leadership. The firm has conducted more than 750 searches at institutions ranging from small, private colleges to large public institutions and research universities.