What People Are Saying About Us


We appreciated the guidance Leila and Megan provided when we decided to revamp the position from Dean of Students to Associate VP/Dean of Students last fall.  The new search resulted in a highly qualified pool of applicants.  We are very pleased to report that Dr. Cockrell is now on board as our new AVP/Dean of Students at The University of Toledo.”-Katherine Wilson, Sr. Business Manager, The University of Toledo

“On behalf of the 2015 University of Delaware Director of Admissions Search Committee, we would like to extend our greatest and sincere appreciation for your outstanding work helping us to identify and hire our new director.  We came to you with high expectations and a tight timeline and you delivered with flying colors. Your tactful advice, industry expertise, and logistical acumen made our job as co-chairs of the committee extremely easy and gave us confidence throughout the process. In short, you exceeded our expectations and we will share our sentiments throughout the University.”

We are especially thankful for Leila’s countless hours committed to ensuring that UD “looks good” throughout the search process. Helping to manage and communicate the applicant pool, short-list, and final candidates was masterful. She was there throughout the in-person interview process and always put our needs above her own; we felt like she was a part of the UD community and we will miss her collegiality and collaboration.”

Please do not hesitate to call upon us in the future to extol the virtues of the William Spelman Executive Search firm via written or oral reference; we will certainly do that throughout our campus. We cannot be more satisfied and look forward to UD working with you again.”  David C. Wilson, Associate Dean for Social Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences and Melissa Stone, Director, Student Financial Services, University of Delaware.

“Leila was always available to help the search committee organize its work and to answer when questions when they arose. Campaign to recruit applicants was effective and applicant pool was solid, even in a difficult hiring market. No complaints. Best search firm experience yet.” Dr. Richard Nelson, Provost, Paul Smith’s College.

“Mike Geffen made this process easy, enjoyable, and timely.  We were very pleased with the strong candidate pool.  Additionally, all of the candidates mentioned that Mike was a delight to work with and kept them well informed during the process.  We are especially appreciative that Spelman represented us so positively.”- Joy Stewart-James,Search Committee Chair, Executive Director Student Health & Counseling Services, Sacramento State

“Every part of this search was handled with professionalism, expert facilitation of conversations among campus constituencies, and skill in attracting a strong and diverse pool of candidates. We enjoyed working with WSES and are delighted in not only their immediacy and responsiveness to our specific needs but also the exceptional results as we concluded the search process. WSES functioned as a knowledgeable partner who truly understood the challenges and opportunities for the successful candidate at our institution.”—Dr. Beth Stroble, President Webster University

“The firm exceeded expectations in an important and challenging dean search. Vice-president Leila Moore was available to assist in person, by phone or by email whenever she was needed. She was professional, diplomatic and proactive in providing guidance, helping to develop search documents, and executing search plans. The recruitment of potential dean candidates was extensive and rigorous, and resulted in a pool of qualified applicants. All search activities were conducted with the highest degree of professional integrity and sensitivity to the confidential nature of searches. ” —Dr. Margaret N. Wineman, Committee Chair, Dean of College of Nursing, University of Akron

“We were impressed by your understanding of student affairs and higher education. We found the preliminary planning / review meetings to be very helpful. Your suggested course of action / timetable worked well. (We thought that your suggestion for the Search Committee to spend time with each direct report was great). The Search Committee developed a good sense of student affairs issues thanks to your preparation and suggestions. You obviously spent time developing the quantity / quality of the candidate pool, and we appreciated your advice and insights as we narrowed the pool. “—Deborah Fullam, Search Committee Chair, Vice President and Controller, Lebanon Valley College

“As Chair of the College’s Search Committee, I believe that the model you proposed to us for conducing the search, which we followed almost to the letter, in terms of both process and timing, was absolutely appropriate. I believe it gave us the best chance of getting the best possible candidates to choose from. Additionally, the process allowed us to move quickly enough so that loses of potential candidates were minimized.

“Your team was wonderful to work with. The most important part of that was your personal responsiveness. I was able to reach you almost any day of the week, and about fourteen or fifteen hours a day for almost seven months. I only remember a couple of times that I did not reach you immediately or get a call back in less than an hour. Similarly, any time we asked you to join us at a meeting, you did, and you responded fully to any questions we had or advice we sought. When questions emerged regarding information your team provided, you followed up quickly and got further information to us rapidly.”—Richard Fenton- Search Committee Chair, SUNY Brockport

“Several Areas with high level of satisfaction:

  • Use of web to present candidate materials
  • Initial recruitment of interested/strong candidates
  • Reference checks, as well as initial interviews with selective candidates, and presentation of these materials for committee review.”

David Parkyn – Provost and Senior Vice President, Elizabethtown College

“Not only was WSES very knowledgeable but there also was lots of room for flexibility regarding the actual job description.Bill showed enormous respect for the process and all the parties involved (including the candidates and the members of the search committee)”—Claire Sterk, Senior Vice Provost Search Committee Chair- Vice Provost for Enrollment and Academic Services Emory University.

“Bill was very easy to work with and immediately, and effectively responded to every request. The process was thorough and helped streamline the process at every step of the way. I would highly recommend him to any one.”
Dr. Laura Wankel, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, Seton Hall University

“Thanks for all of your efforts. I know I can depend on you to know the right thing to do and to make the process easier for us!”—Karen L. Pennington, Vice President Student Development and Campus Life, Montclair State University

“Once again, you are to be commended for identifying such excellent professionals and for giving us the opportunity to bring them to our campus.”—James Gump, Committee Chair, Associate Professor of History, University  of San Diego

“Bill, I believe the process went smoothly and quickly as intended. The campus was pleased with the three candidates. It’s great that it work out okay. Thanks again for the leadership.“—Paul Bissonnett, Vice President Finance and Administration, University of San Diego


“Leila was an exceptional consultant. I thoroughly enjoyed the consistent communication and follow-up regarding the position.  She was very pleasant to work with throughout the process.  Although I experienced an unfortunate situation at my former institution, Leila consistently reminded me about my “work” and dedication to the profession. Honestly, I consider her a mentor.  I’m grateful for her guidance.  The WSES staff is “second to none.” They are exceptional leaders who are dedicated to ensuring your needs are met throughout the search process.”

” I had never applied for a financial aid director position before so I needed a lot of support and guidance. Mike was very helpful in assisting me through the process and providing relevant feedback and guidance along the way. Even if I was not ultimately offered the position, I felt that by going through the experience I gained knowledge about myself and increased confidence in my skills and abilities.”

“Michael was exceptional and took the time to listen to any needs or concerns with the search. He was communicative and encouraging in my efforts. While I understand there were many other candidates, Michael made me feel comfortable and at ease as if I were the only candidate. He walked me through the entire process and insured that he was in contact with me on a regular basis.”

“WSES was a tremendous help in my job search process.  I greatly thank Megan Spelman for her ongoing support and for ensuring that as a candidate I had all details that were available at the time.  WSES conducts a very professional process and I would highly recommend the firm to colleagues.”

“Megan provided timely, consistent communication throughout the search process. She was appropriately responsive to questions, provided helpful insights and was exceptionally helpful in my evaluation of this wonderful opportunity. The search was exceptionally positive, largely because of Megan’s guidance. From our first conversation following my nomination for the position through my acceptance of the position, Megan provided tremendous support, guidance and insight. I was beyond impressed by her efforts, expertise and personal investment in ensuring Springfield found the right candidate and the right candidate found Springfield!”

“Megan was knowledgeable, sensitive, and communicated regularly as the search progressed.  I suppose what stood out was that she was always positive and made me feel confident moving forward.  I knew her client was the hiring institution, but her open and honest interaction built trust all around.  She never hesitated to contact the internal search committee if I had a question about which she was uncertain.  She communicated with me regularly as the schedule unfolded and changes were needed to accommodate others’ needs. I just want to thank Megan and WSES for helping to make the interactions and experience positive.”- Ronald Albertson, Director of Career Services, St. Lawrence University.

“I worked directly with Michael Geffin, and the entire process was flawless from start to finish. He was personable, easy to work with, responsive to emails and inquiries, and someone I know I will know as a colleague for years to come. He made the search process a positive experience, so much so that I could honestly say that I enjoyed it which is not something people say often about search processes! I would definitely work with William Spelman for future professional searches and would hire them to conduct a search if I was in a position to recruit for an executive-level position. Wonderful experience!”

“I worked with Mike Geffen and found him to be outstanding.  He was thorough and professional.  My search was longer than anticipated so I contacted him several times for updates and he was courteous and let me know what was going on with the process. I ended up as the runner-up, but gained great perspective and feel better prepared for the next time I go through this process.”

“WSES is an excellent resource and skilled search firm. I enjoyed working with Dr. Moore and she was able to provide valuable information about the institution, the position and the search. I was not as familiar with a search that required candidates to travel to the area, and not to visit campus (rather than a phone screen). Dr. Moore assisted in making the process seamless. Thank you.”

“The search process was handled very well and I greatly appreciated the updates and feedback provided. The communication was outstanding and very timely. I felt like I know how the search process would unfold. The information I needed for each step in the process was clear and valuable.”

“I am very grateful to have been through such a great agency for the academic search. Although I was not selected for the position. I was one of the final two and throughout the whole process I felt very in touch and my concerns we of great concerns to Ms. Moore.”

“The WSES staff, comprised of experienced professionals from higher education administration, understand the needs of the institution and the interests and strengths of the candidates. The on-line services ”

“While I am fully aware that William Spelman Executive Search represents the interest of the institution that retained them, I must admit that throughout this search process, I often felt that the firm represented me. Thank you for making this experience painless!”

“Thank you, Bill, and your staff, for making my job search a very positive experience. You were knowledgeable, professional, courteous, and timely with information throughout the process. You made what can be a very vulnerable time quite affirming. I almost felt like you were working for me instead of the institution to which I was applying. Thanks, as well, for all of the personal touches along the way. ”

“I really enjoyed working with Bill. He was very personable, knowledgeable and was always willing to provide helpful feedback.”

“Working with William Spelman Executive Search was a fruitful and comfortable experience. The firm followed through on projects and timelines and always performed professionally.”

“You were professional and very accessible. I appreciate the warm and personal attention that you provided me during and after the search was completed.”

“Bill, thank you for your feedback and congratulations on selecting the right person for the position! It is rarely an easy process and much time and commitment is required from the search team. Also, I want to thank you for willingness to address my questions and concerns when I initially contacted you. Obviously, I was somewhat nervous since I was seriously venturing out for the first time.”

“As you remember, I was not seeking another position but was open to the possibility of moving because I believed that there was a “special opportunity” that I was interested in. I mention this only to say that I appreciate you keeping me in mind, from time to time, but, I am not likely to apply for other positions.  My application experience was a positive one. There are always lessons learned! Best wishes for ‘best fits’ on all your searches…”

“Bill, I am so impressed with the professional way in which you conduct these searches. I am of course disappointed, but feel very good about the way I have been treated. I will refer future colleagues to your agency.”