Jim McCormick

Senior Executive Search Consultant

AGB Search

James H. McCormick, D.Ed., joined AGB Search in 2011.  Dr. McCormick’s work for over 60 searches has focused upon public higher education leadership for universities, colleges, and community colleges and state system heads, including:

  • City Colleges of Chicago (IL) – Chancellor, Provost, 6 Presidents
  • Emporia State University (KS) – President
  • Housatonic Community College (CT) – President
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education – Executive Director
  • Iowa State University – President
  • Johnson County Community College (KS) – President
  • Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education – President
  • Louisiana Board of Regents – Commissioner
  • Montana Technological University – Chancellor
  • New York State Education Department – Commissioner
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (CO) – President
  • University of Idaho – President
  • University of Iowa – President
  • University of Montana – President
  • University of North Dakota – President, Provost
  • University of Northern Iowa – President, Provost
  • University of the District of Columbia – President, Provost
  • Western Connecticut State University – President


As the respected Chancellor Emeritus of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, he began his term of office there in July 2001, and concluded service to the system in 2011.  Before undertaking Minnesota leadership, Dr. McCormick was the founding chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, created July 1, 1983, and also holds the title Chancellor Emeritus there.  He was president of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania from 1973 to 1983, and was a professor and administrator for Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in the preceding eight years.

A past chair of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, Dr. McCormick also was a rotating chair of the Higher Education Advisory Council for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.  He was the founding chair of the Minnesota P-20 Education Roundtable/Partnership and has held leadership roles with numerous organizations, including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the National Association of System Heads, serving as national chair for the latter.  Dr. McCormick was elected national chair of the State Higher Education Executive Officers; served on the SHEEO Executive Committee; and chaired the SHEEO Federal Relations Committee.  He served on the Government and Public Affairs Commission for the American Council on Education and was a participant in the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges.  In 2007, Dr. McCormick was part of the Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for accreditation, and in 2008, he accepted a rare second term of service with the Association of Governing Boards’ Council of Presidents.  He also has served as a member of the William Mitchell School of Law board of trustees.

Dr. McCormick is recipient of several honors and recognitions, among them a citation for “model” leadership style in the publication, Shared Visions of Public Higher Education Governance.  In 2002, the honor of an Ojibwe name was given Dr. McCormick by the Fond du Lac Reservation in Cloquet, Minnesota.  The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties’ prestigious Distinguished Friend of Higher Education Award was presented to McCormick in 2005.  Other noteworthy awards given him came from the Minnesota Association of School Administrators with the Distinguished Service Award; the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership’s Ron McKinley All My Relations Award; and in 2011, Minnesota’s American Indian Conference Award.

Dr. McCormick is a frequent speaker, particularly on issues addressing characteristics of leadership, governance, workforce development, higher education opportunity for the underserved and underrepresented, and the public higher education access mission in universities and community colleges.

A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Dr. McCormick earned Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He also has completed post-doctoral study at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.