About Us

R. H. Perry & Associates (RHPA) is one of the most experienced, and most successful higher education executive search firms in the country.

Our firm’s primary focus is to assist institutions of higher education in the identification and selection of their leadership. 

Established in 1974 by Robert H. Perry, RHPA is headquartered in Washington, DC, and our consultants maintain offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia.

RHPA offers excellent credentials and experience in academic executive search, having successfully completed over 1,000 searches in its 40-year history. The firm’s higher education practice consists of senior-level executives with a well-balanced mix of college and university presidential experience and executive search expertise. RHPA conducts its search practice with two-consultant teams supported by our Communications and Due Diligence Specialists

From the composition of the institutional profile to the final meeting of the search committee, R.H. Perry consultants did a superb job supporting the search. They helped a search with a shortened timetable and off-schedule with the normal academic calendar to be successfully completed on time with very good finalists."

- David Haddad,
Wheeling Jesuit University

Distinguishing Characteristics

A “Partners Only” Approach

We are committed to highly personalized attention to, and communication with, our client institutions. The search team leader is the primary point of contact for any assignment and remains closely involved in the search process from engagement to conclusion.

Presidential Search Team Experience

With a combined 126 + years of experience in higher education and executive search and having completed over 350 presidential search assignments, the search team’s extensive knowledge and experience translates into a search process that is rooted in best practices, is transparent and thorough and has clearly defined benchmarks.

Our Presidential Search Committee Handbook

This proprietary handbook is given to the Search Committee members at the outset of the assignment. The handbook provides guidelines and benchmarks for each phase of the process and enhances a close working relationship between the committee and the search team.

Commitment to Diversity

RHPA has an expressed commitment to cultural pluralism and diversity in our firm and in the searches we perform for clients.  We understand the need for institutions to create inclusive learning communities and to reflect the global realities of today’s world.  Therefore, it is our goal to conduct searches that respect, welcome and encourage diversity of all kinds, in order to provide our clients with a representative and inclusive pool of candidates.

Recognizing that proactive initiatives are necessary to identify and attract under-represented groups, RHPA has established a Diversity Task Force comprised of administrators we have placed in recent years, who recommend outstanding prospects and suggest new sourcing and identification initiatives.  As a result of these efforts, RHPA has a proven track record in identifying and attracting highly qualified women and other under-served populations.  Since 2012 more than two thirds of our placements have been from these groups.

Candidate Management

We take pride in the communicative, timely, and respectful treatment of our candidates, nominators, and nominees. We acknowledge all nominations and applications, provide a timeline of the search process, and promptly inform non-selected candidates of their status. By treating candidates with respect and consideration, we ensure the integrity of both our firm and our client institution.

Thorough Finalist Due Diligence

We provide the most in-depth finalist due diligence in higher education executive search. We speak with given and, most importantly, non-given or off-list professional references (direct reports, peers, and supervisors) both at current and former places of employment; perform civil and criminal litigation, and publicity and public records checks; and verify terminal degrees. Most importantly, we offer an optional 'extra dimension' procedure – the Home Campus Visit – designed to provide the Board with a valuable perspective on a candidate's strengths, weaknesses, and potential 'fit' before making the final selection. 

Community and Technical College Presidential Search

Please see 'Our Clients' web page on Community & Technical College Searches and Liz Rocklin's bio.