Our Team

Principals, Advisors & Consultants

Richard Gaumer
Principal and CFO

Richard (Rick) Gaumer has a long and distinguished career in business and higher education. He has more than 25 years’ experience in a variety of private sector financial leadership positions and more than 40 years of teaching experience in higher education.

Early in his career, Rick learned to apply best practice solutions inside a Fortune 100-sized business as a divisional controller for Kohler Co. and has since applied those practices to the higher education industry. More recently, he has served as CFO at Emory & Henry College (VA) and VP for Finance and Strategy for Lyon College (AR). Rick holds a master’s degree in Management from UW Milwaukee, a bachelor’s in business administration from Lakeland University, the CPA license (WI), and the Certified Fraud Examiner designation from the ACFE.

W. Joseph King
Principal and Senior Advisor

Joseph (Joey) King is recent past president of Lyon College and previously served as senior advisor to the president of Emory & Henry College. As executive director of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, he helped almost 140 liberal arts colleges integrate inquiry, pedagogy, and technology to become more strategic and innovative. Similarly, as vice president of innovation at Southwestern University, he focused on strategic opportunities. As executive director of Connexions at Rice University, he led the first large-scale open education initiative.

In addition to his work in academe, Joey is a serial entrepreneur who has worked in leadership positions at several technology companies. He holds a doctorate in human-computer interaction from the University of Washington and has extensive experience on governance boards

Brian Mitchell
Managing Principal and President

Brian C. Mitchell’s leadership roles in higher education include serving as president of Bucknell University, Washington & Jefferson College, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. He has served in numerous leadership and governance roles in higher education, including chair of the board of Merrimack College, chair of the Pennsylvania Committee for the Rhodes Scholarships, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, and the Patriot League Athletic Conference (Division I).

With his Academic Innovators colleague W. Joseph King, he co-authored the Amazon best-seller, How to Run a College: A Practical Guide for Trustees, Faculty, Administrators, and Policymakers (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018). Their second book, Leadership Matters: Confronting the Hard Choices facing Higher Education, will be released by JHU Press in January, 2022.

Our principals are supported by a team of professionals with extensive experience in higher education who provide subject matter expertise in crafting solutions for our clients.

Their areas of expertise include:

  • enrollment management
  • student services and retention
  • strategic planning
  • technology and online learning
  • shared services
  • administrative management
  • legal counsel