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 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 388 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 process. This means that the search will continue until a high performing candidate is selected by the Board.

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.). 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 and screens candidate applications through an online paperless application system, including checking references. The consultant will present Board with recommendations on 4-6 candidates.
  • 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 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
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.