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HigherEdDecisions
Who We Are

Consensus® search support system was developed by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2002 and has been used by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas since 2003. Consensus® has been employed by academic search committees in over 1,500 searches including presidents and vice presidents, provosts and deans, academic faculty, and professional staff. Recognizing its significant contribution to the field of higher education HR technology, Consensus® won the SunGard (SCT) Higher Education Technology Award for Innovation in 2004 from CUPA-HR.

HigherEdDecisions, LLC was organized in 2007 in order to make Consensus® available to the higher education community under an exclusive marketing license with UNC Wilmington. The HigherEdDecisions team consists of the following individuals:

Sam Connally, Founder & CEO. One of the co-inventors of Consensus®, Sam has been employed in higher education HR administration since 1980 including progressive leadership roles as business systems analyst at North Carolina State University, chief HR officer for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and chief HR officer for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Sam holds a Master of Business Administration from Duke University. Sam has been an active member of the College & University Professional Association for Human Resources for 20 years and has been recognized with two regional and two national awards in the past five years, including the National Sungard (SCT) Award for Innovation in HR Technology in 2004 and the National Award for Best Practices in HR Administration in 2006.

Rob Ballantine, Systems Developer. Rob served as the original systems developer for Consensus® at UNC Wilmington where he currently serves as the University’s Oracle Database Manager. Rob has been employed in higher education systems application and development since 2000. Rob holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science form North Carolina State University.

Blessy Paul, Systems Developer. Blessy served as the systems developer for Consensus® at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she currently is the HR Applications Developer. Blessy has been employed in applications development since 1998 with previous appointments at American Lung Association. Blessy holds a Master of Computer Applications degree from Bharathiar University, India.

Lori Preiss, Search Support Consultant. One of the co-inventors of Consensus® at UNC Wilmington, Lori serves as Employment Services Manager for UNCW where she is responsible for coordinating all recruitment processes for executive, faculty, and staff employees and has assisted over 500 search committees in using Consensus®. Lori has been employed in Human Resources administration since 1993 with previous appointments at the New Hanover County Board of Education. Lori holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UNC Wilmington.

Jen Martens, Search Support Consultant. Jen serves as Employment Manager for UNLV where she is responsible for coordinating all recruitment processes for executive, faculty, and staff employees and has assisted over 1,000 search committees in using Consensus®. Jen has been employed in Human Resources administration since 1999 with previous appointments at Johnson County, Iowa Government. Jen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Northern Iowa and is a Certified Professional of Human Resources.