Clarkson University

Need: Controller for a Private University
Service: Retained Search
Industry: Higher Education
“AMS understood our culture, our expectations and the unique circumstances we were facing. They helped us find the perfect candidate quickly and cost-effectively.”
– Jim Fish, CFO, Clarkson University


Nestled just north of the Adirondack Mountains and near the Canadian border, Potsdam, New York provides a quiet, academic setting for Clarkson University, a private research university for approximately 4,300 students. The remote location, however, makes it significantly more challenging to recruit high-quality talent to the area. Clarkson needed a new Controller to manage the University’s $130 million budget and the four direct reports in the Controller’s office. The ideal candidate would not only be sharp and technically savvy but would also demonstrate the aptitude to one day become the CFO’s successor.


Clarkson University engaged AMS to provide a retained search for their new Controller. Using industry-specific sourcing methods, the AMS team began screening candidates to fill the role. The team managed the entire interview process, including video conferencing with the Clarkson Hiring Committee which saved both time and money. Ultimately, AMS presented three highly qualified candidates and helped to negotiate the final offer to one. The offer included a flexible working arrangement where the candidate was able to live in Syracuse on the weekends and in Potsdam during the work week. This compromise would prove to be a critical component to the offer acceptance.


AMS’s retained search saved the client approximately 15 percent on interview and relocation costs for their new Controller. Not only did they introduce new methods for attracting top talent, they also provided Clarkson University with the guidance they needed to retain it.