The Consultants

jon_mcrae This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , President, founded Collegiate Counsel, Inc. in 2011, following three decades in executive search for higher education. He has personally led hundreds of senior-leadership searches for institutions of higher education, independent schools, and not-for-profit organizations. He served as Chair of the Executive Search Roundtable of the American Council on Education, and was an active member of the Roundtable since its inception. He has been supportive of the Association of Governing Boards, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and other related organizations. He is a Trustee, Emeritus at Riverside Military Academy where he served as an officer of the Board and a long-term member of its Executive Committee. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Davidson College.

Prior to Collegiate Counsel, Jon served as president of his previous firm and personally led more than forty presidential searches for such colleges as Newberry College, Wartburg College, Tusculum College, Campbellsville University, Brenau University, Converse College, Schreiner University, Hardin-Simmons University, Eastern University, Franklin College, Coker College, Houghton College, Presbyterian College, Averett University, Catawba College, Concord University and King College.

He has also conducted presidential searches for various other organizations such as the National Center for State Courts, Oak Ridge Military Academy, Riverside Military Academy, Massanutten Military Academy, Marion Military Institute, Wentworth Military Academy, Barium Springs Home for Children, Holston United Methodist Home for Children, Presbyterian Home for Children in Texas and Thornwell Home for Children.

McRae also personally led searches for cabinet level officers at such institutions as Davidson College, Mary Baldwin College, Hardin-Simmons University, Carroll College, Columbia Theological Seminary, College of Saint Rose, Cornell College, George Washington University, University of Findlay, Virginia Military Institute, Meredith College, Ohio Northern University, Peace College, Lyon College, Roanoke College, Piedmont College, Emory University, Abilene Christian University, Tulane University, Waynesburg University, York College of Pennsylvania and Washington and Jefferson College.

r-pfau This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , PhD, Senior Vice President, knows higher education from the perspectives of student, professor, and leader. A graduate of Hamilton, he taught at Dickinson, served as Provost of Emory & Henry, and held the presidencies of both Illinois College and Averett, which named him President Emeritus in 2008. After moving to upstate New York, he taught at Hartwick College, and currently is Lecturer in History at the State University of New York at Albany.

After earning his PhD in U.S. Diplomatic History at the University of Virginia, Rick published articles and books on national security policy, the Atomic Energy Commission, and U.S. relations with Iran. He shares his expertise on Islam, Iran and the Middle East through frequent appearances on WAMC, the national public radio station in Albany, New York.

Rick brings to the search process his on-the-job experience with the special nature and particular challenges of leadership in higher education. During his 15 years as a college president, he held the full portfolio of executive responsibilities – working with the Board, raising money, selecting and developing vice presidents, managing financial and physical resources, and setting a guiding vision. He is a Vietnam-era veteran and joined Collegiate Counsel in 2012.

Wayne Seelbach This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , PhD, Senior Vice President, has over thirty years of combined experience at public and private institutions, over half of which were at the provost/vpaa level. He retired after 14 years from the University of Montevallo (Alabama's Public Liberal Arts University) where he was named Provost/VPAA Emeritus. Following retirement, he served for two years on an interim basis as Provost at Piedmont College.

He previously served at Lamar University for 17 years as Executive Assistant to the President for Planning & Coordination, Associate VPAA, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work, & Criminal Justice, and as a tenured faculty member. Wayne has organized and led numerous successful searches for campus executive and faculty positions, and has held leadership positions in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

After earning his PhD in Human Development & Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University where he was National Institute on Aging Fellow, Wayne published over 40 refereed articles and was named a Fellow by the Gerontological Society of America. He also received Lamar University's Regents' Merit Award for classroom teaching and was a recipient of the Arts and Sciences Outstanding Researcher Award. He earned his undergraduate degree in political science and history with honors from Lamar University and his master's degree in sociology from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Wayne brings a unique and practical blend of exceptional academic credentials, a breadth and depth of administrative experiences, and sound insights to the search process. He joined Collegiate Counsel in 2012.

ilani headshotIlani Blanke, Research Associate, graduated from the College of Charleston's Honors College, with a degree in English Literature, and subsequently received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Mercer University. She taught for three years at secondary and college levels, and earned her M.A. in Religious Studies at Georgia State University. In addition to her role as a Graduate Instructor at GSU, Ilani has administrative experience with Atlanta real estate firms and as a legal secretary for the City of Edinburgh Council in Scotland through a student work program in 2006-2007. Ilani joined Collegiate Counsel, Inc. in 2012.

Mary KAtherine McRaeMary Katherine McRae, Research and Administrative Associate, graduated from Rhodes College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art with a concentration in Art History. She earned a Post-Graduate Diploma in Modern and Contemporary Art and a Masters of Letters (M. Litt.) in the History of Art and Connoisseurship, Fine and Decorative Arts from the University of Glasgow/Christie's Education in London. MK has served intermittently in administration and research with the firm and its predecessor for more than ten years.