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Cleveland Clinic Foundation LogoFor colleges and universities, attracting and retaining top job candidates often depends on also finding a position for the so-called “trailing” spouse or partner. More than a third of university faculty members nationally have a spouse or partner who also works in academia. Another 36 percent have a partner employed outside of higher education.

The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), which helps dual-career couples find jobs within commutable distances, recently expanded its services to allow a limited number of corporations, industries and other non-higher education institutions to join as associate members. Priority is given to companies with similar goals of recruiting and retaining top talent, and that offer job opportunities in disciplines requiring specialized training and advanced degrees

The Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia HERC announced Cleveland Clinic Foundation as the first associate member of a regional HERC.

“The Cleveland Clinic is clearly committed to recruiting and retaining high-quality, diverse candidates, which is a primary goal of HERC nationwide,” said Joseph Vitale, Jr., interim vice president for human resources at Kent State University and chair of the OH/Western Pa/WV HERC Membership Committee.

Comprised of 33 colleges and universities in Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and hosted at Case Western Reserve University, HERC provides a cooperative job-posting service that helps dual-career couples find positions in academia and institutions to land top candidates.

The network mainly serves dual-career couples in higher education, but also offers information about other professional career opportunities.

“We are delighted that the Cleveland Clinic has become the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium’s (HERC’s) first associate member,” said Nancy Aebersold, executive director of HERC Central. “Establishing this partnership within the Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia HERC with such a prominent employer will provide a tremendous added benefit to dual-career couples seeking employment opportunities in the region.” 

 Visit the Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia HERC website at:

AcademicKeys Logo

Academic Keys, founded by senior faculty and administrators, provides an online recruitment tool with access to high caliber candidates. Learn about member discounts with AcademicKeys here.


1. If you had one word to describe you’re your company is all about, what is it?
“Serve-qual-sults”. It’s a made up word combining service, quality and results. That’s what Academic Keys is known for.

2. What makes your service stand out in the higher education recruitment and retention field?
Our proprietary database of nearly 1 million registered candidates ranging from adjuncts to senior administrators is by far our number one asset enabling us to reach thousands of prospective candidates and referrals immediately. Plus we offer competitive rates and exemplary service.

3. What is the tool or resource you provide to clients that wins you the most accolades?
High quality candidates. At the end of the day institutions need great faculty and administrators. That’s what we deliver.

4. What is a trend you see in your field that affects higher education recruitment?
Institutions have fewer resources and more competition attracting top talent. They need to cast a wide net to attract a diverse pool of candidates. Shrinking budgets make that increasingly difficult. Academic Keys addresses this by offering enhanced searches at competitive rates.

5. Does your company have any new initiatives or products that would be of interest to HERC members?
We have an exciting initiative offering 3 levels of executive search services starting at  $9750. Clients choose the level of service that fits their needs and budget.
Traditional executive search firms are costly but the need for excellent candidates is as strong as ever.

6. Why is partnering with HERC important to your company?
Academic Keys is aligned with the core beliefs of HERCs:

  1. Partnering and collaboration provide the greatest opportunities. They are key to success in business and higher education.
  2. Academic Keys was founded by administrators to provide an organized, efficient recruitment tool with access to the highest caliber candidates.
  3. We believe in inclusion, equity, and diversity understanding the vital role they play in new and differing methods and approaches.  Our extensive, database reaches nearly 1 million diverse candidates across 50 states and 180 countries.

WBB McCormacl Company Logo

WBB+McCormack is HERC's newest Trustee Level Partner.  WBB+McCormack is a joint venture between two minority-owned boutique search firms with its main offices in New York and California. 
Learn about member discounts with WBB+McCormack here.
1. If you had one word to describe what your company is all about, what is it? 


2. What makes your service stand out in the higher education recruitment and retention field?

A. A track record of completing searches at a range of private and public institutions.
B. Two-Year Candidate replacement guarantee – WBB+McCormack’s Two-Year Candidate replacement guarantee would apply to all professionals brought on board -- the longest guarantee in the search industry and our assurance of long-term performance and retention.  Should anyone hired by a HERC member institution be terminated for cause within two years from the date of hire, WBB + McCormack guarantee to replace the incumbent with a candidate of equivalent background and experience, should a HERC member wish, at no additional placement fee.
C. The Head of WBB+McCormack’s Higher Education Practice has over 20+ years experience in higher education including 11 years as a University Trustee.

3. What is the tool or resource you provide to clients that wins you the most accolades?

WBB + McCormack’s client management and project management methodologies and practices yield the most accolades.  

4. What is a trend you see in your field that affects higher education recruitment?

Creating an entrepreneurial model within the competitive higher education landscape to enhance quality student enrollment and increase student success.

5. Does your company have any new initiatives or products that would be of interest to HERC members?

Beyond traditional retained search, WBB+McCormack offers to its clients strategic pipelining, at times referred to as Project Access, a proprietary human capital management tool, which establishes relationships with diverse Centers-of-Influence; achieves diverse hires (women, people of color, LGBT and military service members (active and veterans), while simultaneously developing an inclusive pipeline of people assets for leadership succession and longer-term hiring needs. Further, Project Access will enable HERC members to brand themselves as a “talent magnet” for an emerging diverse demographic.

6. Why is partnering with HERC important to your company?

A HERC partnership with WBB+McCormack is important as it demonstrates a commitment to diversify the workforce within higher education to reflect the evolving representation of diverse students.   



ModernThink LogoModernThink is one of HERC's Trustee-Level Corporate partners and a strategic human resources consulting firm with particular expertise in workplace quality and employee engagement. Learn about member discounts with ModernThink here.

How to Respond to the New Title IX Fury

By Eileen Filliben Edmunds, JD/MBA, Managing Partner, ModernThink

One in six women and one in 33 men are victims of sexual assault during college, yet only 12% of rape survivors report the crime to authorities (MSNBC).

To shine light on sexual violence and harassment on college campuses, the Obama Administration established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault in January 2014.  The centerpiece of its efforts is the website which provides sexual violence resources and helps students understand their rights under Title IX. In addition, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education, now with stepped up investigation and enforcement authority, has published a list of 55 schools that have gone through, or are currently undergoing, one of its investigations. It is important to note that just being on this list doesn’t mean they violated the law. 

Reactions to these government efforts have been fast and sometimes furious.  Higher education leaders are scrambling, trying to navigate the requirements of Title IX and other federal laws, students are organizing protests and alumni are threatening to curb or even stop donations.

How should you respond to the Title IX fury?

  • Act quickly but not rashly.  Just as the White House Task Force moved full steam ahead, schools will need to follow suit.  However, don’t “shoot” first and then “ready, aim.”  It’s critical to start with an integrated plan.
  • Review and revise policies – both student as well as faculty and staff.  While the primary focus of NotAlone is student-on-student violence, your institution also needs crystal clear policies regarding any sexual contact between a student and a faculty or staff member.
  • Revisit and publicize all reporting mechanisms.  With only 12% of sexual assaults being reported, colleges can’t fix what they don’t know about, and victims who remain silent can’t get help.  Confidential reporting mechanisms are essential. 
  • Conduct a student climate survey.  The White House is now strongly advocating student climate surveys, and there are plans afoot to make them mandatory.  Get a head start by surveying your students first thing this fall.  Their feedback should help inform your plan and your revisions to policies.
  • Conduct a faculty and staff survey.  Title IX covers student contact with faculty and staff, too.  Be proactive and make sure your plan includes feedback from faculty and staff.
  • Conduct training.  There are a variety of trainings warranted under the current circumstances.  They include training:
    • Students about their rights and the reporting mechanisms
    • Campus first responders on how to best respond and react when dealing with a victim
    • Administrators and staff who will be involved in the investigation how to conduct a thorough, unbiased inquiry that protects the rights of both the accuser and the accused
    • Faculty and staff about their responsibilities and boundaries when it comes to interactions with students, including behavior that could lead to even a perception of impropriety

It’s a long list, but failing to act is simply not an option.  Among other benefits, this integrated response, especially the climate surveys, will become a vital tool in your institution’s overall risk management program.

Office of Disability Employment LogoNew FAQs on Recruitment, Retention

EARN has released a new document of frequently asked questions from employers on recruiting and retaining people with disabilities, including veterans. The document highlights key strategies employers can utilize to improve outcomes and leverage resources to facilitate an inclusive work environment. 

Click here to read "FAQ: Employer Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining People with Disabilities and Veterans."

For more information and employer resources, visit

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