Michigan Leadership Institute

Michigan Leadership Institute

Michigan Leadership Institute Executive Searches

Michigan Leadership Institute has established a strong reputation for the quality of its search services. Since 1999 we have conducted superintendent searches for K-12 school districts, ISD/ESDs, and community colleges across the state of Michigan. To date, we have successfully completed more than 225 searches.

Michigan Leadership Institute goes well beyond simply posting a position to attract candidates. The entire MLI team collaborates on every search to identify and recruit candidates who match the district’s profile. Our collective experience of more than 100 years of successful service as superintendents has given us the opportunity to build relationships and contacts that support candidate recruitment.

We guarantee a successful search with our search process. This means that the search will continue until a high performing candidate is selected by the Board.

In the MLI search process, the MLI search consultant provides these supports to the hiring Board:


  • Works collaboratively with the Board to establish the search calendar.
  • Meets with stakeholder groups to obtain input for the candidate profile, and shares that input with the Board so that a final profile/search criteria can be prepared.
  • Advises the Board on a compensation package that will support successful recruitment.
  • Drafts the electronic position brochure, obtains Board approval, and posts the brochure on multiple web sites; further advertises the position as directed by the Board.
  • Orients the Board to the interview process (includes providing format, suggested questions, addressing legal issues, etc.). Because of our extensive search experience, the MLI Search Consultant is able to help the district avoid many legal pitfalls related to executive searches. We are very familiar with and sensitive to the requirements of FOIA, the Michigan Open Meetings Act, and other related statutes and legal opinions regarding searches. The MLI Search Consultant is not a lawyer, however, and cannot provide formal legal opinions. Should formal legal advice be necessary, the MLI Search Consultant can broker legal services for the district at the direct cost charged by legal counsel.


  • Receives candidate applications through the Applitrack paperless application system and screens applications, including checking references. The consultant will present the candidates to the Board with recommendations on 4-6 candidates who best match the candidate profile.
  • Confirms candidate continuing interest and schedules candidate interviews.
  • Facilitates deliberations to narrow the candidate pool for initial interviews and for coming to a decision on finalist candidates.
  • Provides a structure for site visitations and works with candidate finalists to direct them in preparing for the site visits.


  • Provides input to the contract talks by communicating the proposed contract terms to final candidates before the second interview and by identifying and communicating to the Board any significant candidate concerns, expectations or “must haves” regarding the contract prior to second interviews.
  • Conducts an orientation workshop for the Board and the new Superintendent.
  • Provides mentoring support to the new superintendent during the first year in the district.

Typically, MLI searches are conducted on a 10-12 week timeline.

Michigan Leadership Institute Search Services can be customized to meet the needs of the hiring organization. MLI can provide additional services at the request of the Board. For example, we can collaborate with other entities like the local ISD, can provide only some of the supports listed, and can extend or expedite the search timeline.

“The essence of a school board’s responsibility is to assure that a skilled and talented leader is selected as the district’s superintendent. This challenging task can be turned into a focused opportunity for board members and the community when it is approached with the enthusiasm and integrity offered by the professionals at the Michigan Leadership Institute. Our consultant proved to be a thorough, thoughtful facilitator as he guided the Sault Area Schools through this process.” -Gwen E. Worley, Board President-Sault St. Marie Area Schools
“Our experience with Michigan Leadership Institute was very rewarding. We have been through the superintendent search process several times with different search firms, so we knew what kind of firm we wanted to help us. We found that with Michigan Leadership Institute. Our search consultant was professional, thorough, and really did a great job of finding the right superintendent that “fit” our district and our community.” -Robin Iveson, Board President-Coldwater Community Schools
“We were extremely pleased and fortunate to have had the assistance of Michigan Leadership Institute in our superintendent search process. The school board had not hired a superintendent for over 20 years; therefore we had no experience in such a process. MLI’s preparation, organizational and communication skills were outstanding. They even helped with developing interview questions that we could tailor to our needs. The pool of candidates was outstanding, resulting in the hiring of a top-notch superintendent. The consultant’s knowledge, experience, easy-going personality and availability made this process rewarding and much less cumbersome. I recommend MLI without reservations to any board of education for their search needs.” -Zbigniew Srodulski, President-Mattawan Board of Education