May 30, 2013


KD Kulper

May 30, 2013



2013 is proving to be a solid year so far; our phone is ringing from clients and prospects and our search assignments have gone very well.  We are seeing new highs in the stock market with each passing week and the steadily improving housing reports are lending further support to domestic economic expansion.


Despite the slow pace of job growth overall, we know that an improving economy encourages senior executives to start considering ways in which to strengthen their team.  


·       Are there plans to bring in a new leader at your organization? 


We will be glad to have an exploratory discussion with you about how KULPER & COMPANY can be of help to your institution or company.  We will listen while you tell us what you have in mind and respond with our ideas as to how we can help; there is no cost for this preliminary consultation.


·       We specialize in working on senior level search assignments at the intersection of academic research and corporate innovation.   Supporting the attainment of our clients’ key strategic aims by helping attract transformational leaders is what we do. 


Please respond to me directly at and we can confirm a consultation time whenever it is convenient for you.


2013 Accomplishments:

We have several major search completion announcements coming in June; we are working on winning prospective searches, now.   We like to book 2 to 3 new assignments around this time of the year since it helps our clients get a “jump” on the busy fall hiring season.  Looking forward to hearing from you if you have a senior level external hire you would like to discuss with us.



KDK Musings 

It is exciting to see the progress of universities who are engaged in discovering new knowledge.  The federal government, through the actions of such agencies as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and many others, supports billions of dollars of university research annually.  Top research universities like Johns Hopkins, Penn State, MIT, Georgia Tech and Harvard receive the bulk of the federal funding support which totals above $60B every year.  Considering the number and scope of federal grants awards it is no wonder that universities moving up in the rankings and overall quality of their educational offerings are continuing to expand their commitment to research. The results show that federal agencies will make substantial research awards to faculty/principal investigators whose research interest is well-aligned with the needs of the agencies.  “Going to Washington” to meet with the federal agency research managers and directors is an essential tactic for any university or company seeking funding.  For universities to thrive as research institutions their trustees have to provide the necessary financial support for lab space, graduate students and new faculty.   The VP for Research is the key player though when it comes to creating noticeable pace in grant funding results because he or she can see the whole picture of research initiatives and like a good matchmaker will bring the principal investigators together with the agencies, companies or individuals who will supply necessary research funding.  


I have been delving into this area now for several years through VP and Director level searches for both corporate and university clients.  It is fascinating to get to know the many brilliant and creative people who are responsible for the fundamental research breakthroughs that lie at the heart of new products that will improve the way things are today and radically change the way we live in the future.  A long-time friend, Dr John Slough, recently won another major research funding award that will help further his breakthrough research in fusion.  John is associated with the University of Washington and his many years of funding support from NASA and other agencies have led to development of a fusion based propulsion system that will make interplanetary travel routine in the coming decades.   John has always been interested in astrophysics---he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University.  


In Bill Bryson’s Short History of  Nearly Everything, (which was a given to me recently by my son-in-law Dave Toniatti), Mr. Bryson  engagingly attempts to explain “how and why” things are in our universe and on planet earth.   Mr. Bryson puts it all into perspective through the use of interesting anecdotes about the brilliant and persistent scientists who doggedly have uncovered the secrets of electricity, the atom, volcanism, life on earth and many other fascinating topics. He uses clever analogies and other devices that make often mind numbing topics far less complex for the average reader to comprehend.  For example, he states that if we were to consider our outstretched arms equivalent to a timeline of 4.5 billion years—the approximate age of the planet earth---life on the planet does not begin until we reach the palm of one hand.  Moving down the  hand, when you reach the end of a fingernail, you have the dawn of humanity; that’s how much longer our planet has been around until we humans finally appeared.  Think about that for a moment and  then consider the work of our friend, Dr. John Slough who is now creating a propulsion system that one day soon will take humans all the way to the planet Mars and beyond.  The brilliance required to accomplish a feat like this builds on approximately 7,000 years of accumulated learning; a blink of an eye in geologic time.   Coming from a species that is only about 4 million years old----can you imagine what we could be capable of doing if our species lasts for another 4 million years?   By the way----sharks have been around for about 300 million years; why they didn’t evolve to become space travelers, too, is certainly worth pondering.  The bad news---that Bryson relates in his book?  Most species only last about 4 million years and then become extinct.  It would sure be a shame if that were to happen to us---creative researchers like Dr. Slough will perhaps help preserve our species for many millions of years to come---we’ll see.     


The debate around MOOCs (Massive Open On-line Courses) is interesting.  Many universities have been eschewing involvement with this movement but once MIT, Harvard and few others jumped in to create EdX the genie finally came out of the bottle never to return.  I believe that MOOCs promise to one day disseminate the sum of human knowledge to anyone with access to a computer.  Can you imagine what advances this may engender for humanity in just a few short decades as more and more universities link more closely with the concept?  


It is great time to be alive----things will only keep getting better.  Can you imagine how different things might be in 3013 from today?  Don’t let the naysayers get you down---it is always something.  Consider how scary things were during the time of the bubonic plague---but we got through that….rising sea-level notwithstanding a much bigger worry would be if the Yellowstone caldera were to erupt; that’s because it is the size of Rhode Island.  In the meantime, let’s tip our hat to the researchers who are constantly discovering new knowledge to help advance our species; kudos to all of them.


I would be remiss if I didn’t point out to faithful readers of NEWS FROM…that my long-standing optimism about the financial markets saw vindication during the first 5 months of 2013.  As recently as January, a very savvy friend bet me lunch that the DOW would go to 10,000 before it would go to 12,500. He had the last laugh though as usual: now that the DOW has pierced 15,500 he can afford to buy me lunch and treat for golf, too...let's hear from you, Don!   As long as low interest rates prevail---and the Treasury yield curve looks like a hockey stick---housing prices should keep appreciating and Federal Debt will continue to decline.  More tax revenues will free up money for municipal and State governments to take the austerity brakes off so that they can begin hiring again----and, this is the best part---we should see a return to steady economic growth in the 3.5% range with unemployment around 6% over the next 18 months.  The DOW could easily break 20,000 and Baby Boomers can stop worrying, retire and enjoy playing with their grandchildren because their children will be gainfully employed and their IRA's safe. What about corporate hiring and job growth?  Technology has permanently changed the workplace landscape.  What took 10 workers to do even 10 years ago can now be done by 2 or 3.  It is  a Mohr’s Law paradox---the more we advance technology, the fewer people we need to get work done.  Education discovery, continuous improvement and life extension is the best realm of work for humans---not factory floor drudgery or mind numbing repetitive tasks that drive out creativity in favor of precision.  Higher education linked more closely with the needs of companies that commercialize the new knowledge discovered by university principal investigators is our future; working in gardens, creating works of visual and other arts will remain equally significant, too!


….My friend Dr Bami Bastani is doing some wonderful things with Wi-Fi systems deployment---take a look at his company MERU NETWORKS if you would like to learn how Wi-Fi systems are enabling the critical missions of universities, hospitals and companies. MERU is in the right place at the right time and lucky to have a proven leader like Bami at the helm…..Sander Flaum founder and CEO of Flaum Navigators recently spoke at the Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) induction ceremony for students of the Cotsakos College of Business (CCoB) at William Paterson University. BGS inductees met the strenuous academic requirements to make them eligible for membership in this nationally recognized fraternal organization.  Sander gave an inspiring speech which touched on many of the key leadership themes covered in his award winning book, 100 Mile Walk.  Sander and his wife Mechele Flaum were hosted by WPU president Kathy Waldron, CCoB, Dean, Rajiv Kashyap, and VP for Development, Pamela Ferguson…..Our family friend, Delbarton as well as Harvard alum, James Owen Weatherall, recently published, The Physics of Wall Street which explores how scientific models can be used to predict the unpredictable---even on Wall Street.  We are happy for Jim and his family. Jim’s book is a fascinating read; what will be his next effort?.... Congratulations and a big “shout out” to our dear friend Zung Nguyen on being named managing director of the newly opened New York City office for Athena Capital.  Zung is known for his excellent performance as a trusted investment advisor among New York’s most elite and influential families, as well as his endless stock of humorous stories and great generosity among his many friends…Long-time friend, Jerry M. Hultin, recently retired as president of NYU Poly after successfully leading the merger of Polytechnic Institute with New York University; Jerry is now a senior fellow of NYU and will continue to work on the development of the university..... Our son, Sloan A. Kulper was recently awarded a PhD fellowship at the University of Hong Kong; his research will focus on developing medical devices for wide scale implementation in the developing world.  Sloan is a great person and his work will undoubtedly help to save and improve many lives…Our daughter, Kendall A. Kulper and her husband Dave Toniatti recently adopted a wonderful dog by the name of Abby----way to go guys.  Abby is a playful and very sweet pup.... Last but not least, I would like to wish my bride, Denise Kenny-Kulper Ed.D, “happy birthday”, she keeps things humming and is loved by everyone who knows her; I am indeed a lucky person to be married to such a wonderful human being.


Please keep in touch….tell me what you are doing.


Looking forward to working with you, too; send me an email and we can set up a talk time.




Keith D. Kulper