Search Process

Michigan Leadership Institute Executive Searches

Two professional shaking hands, with another set of hands applaudingMichigan Leadership Institute has established a strong reputation for the quality of its search services. Since 1999, we have conducted executive searches including superintendents, central office administrators, and executive directors for K-12 school districts, ISD/ESDs, and community colleges across the state of Michigan. To date, we have successfully completed 488 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 440 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 process. This means that the search will continue until a high performing candidate is selected by the Board.

MLI is partnering with Hulings & Associates to offer personality and behavior assessment services by credentialed professionals to provide organizations and school districts with the "best fit" profiles on candidates. This service is available for an additional fee. Hulings & Associates will work with MLI and the school district Boards of Education. Contact an MLI Team Member for additional information!

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 position and brochure on multiple web sites (MASA, MAISA, Michigan ASCD, MASSP, MASB, MEMSPA, MSPRA); further advertises the position as directed by the Board (AASA, AESA, Indeed, ALAS, NABSE, Education Week).
  • Orients the Board to the interview process (includes providing format, suggested questions, addressing legal issues, etc.). 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 counsel be necessary, the MLI Search Consultant has access to multiple sources of counsel through the Genesee Intermediate School District to support the district.


  • Receives and screens candidate applications through an online application process, including reference checking. The consultant presents all applications to the Board for consideration.
  • 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.


  • Communicates with unsuccessful candidates.
  • Provides salary/contract information to the district, as needed.
  • 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 and 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, provide only some of the supports listed, and extend or expedite the search timeline.

"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
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