Successful leaders know that high quality education requires systematic, strategic and even-handed evaluation to ensure continued relevance in a rapidly changing world.

In other words, an objective focus!

Because we’ve been in your shoes we understand that every institution has unique opportunities and challenges and we are the antidote to “one size fits all.” Your needs become our compass as we partner with you and your team. We share your goals and dreams but we speak truth to power, adding an essential and impartial third-party perspective supported by practical strategies that sharpen your agenda as you shape your institution’s future.


Led by Neil J. Hoffman and David C. Levy, internationally known and respected educators who have held senior executive positions at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, our team includes distinguished associates and brings a 360 degree perspective to institutional and curricular issues.

We bring our clients an internationally recognized record of achievement, having built both non-profit and for-profit institutions from scratch in the US and abroad, revitalized failing educational and cultural organizations and chaired regional and specialized accreditation teams. We have served as advisors to important universities, colleges and schools, consulted for the US Department of State and the Smithsonian Institution, and initiated award-winning community outreach programs.

Reinforced by a history of creative problem solving and innovative program design, successful marketing, enrollment management, fundraising and fiscal sophistication, our collective experience includes teaching, research, the creation and effective administration of classroom, studio and lab-based programs and pioneering work in the online world of cutting-edge education and technology.

Neil J. Hoffman Principal

President, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, 2007-15 • Associate Director, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 2005-7 • Higher Education Consulting, 2000-5 • President, Otis College of Art and Design 1993-00 • President, California College of the Arts (former CCAC), 1985-93 • President, School of the Art Institute of Chicago 1983-85 • Dean, CEO, Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, 1979-83 • Founding Director, Program in Artisanry, Boston University, 1974-79 • Associate Dean, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1969-74 • Art Teacher, Department Chair; Unified Arts Department, Grand Island Public Schools.

Neil Hoffman holds an MS and BS from The State University of New York at Buffalo.

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David C. Levy Principal

President, Education Group, Cambridge Information Group (The School of The New York Times, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Bach to Rock), 2006 – • President, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, 2006-2016 • President and Director, Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design, 1991-2005 • Chancellor, The New School for Social Research (NY), 1989-91 • CEO and Executive Dean, Parsons School of Design, (A Division of The New School) 1970-91 • Vice President, Parsons School of Design (pre-New School merger), 1966-70 • Director of Admissions, Parsons School of Design, 1962-66.

David Levy holds a PhD and MA from New York University and a BA from Columbia College, Columbia University.

Full Bio


Change Management is fundamental to Objective Focus’ methodology and informs our agenda as we work with you to examine your institution’s approach to success in:

Admissions & Student Retention
Whether helping to build a program from scratch or working in highly developed systems, Objective Focus brings an independent and experienced assessment to admissions and enrollment strategies. We audit admissions, student satisfaction and retention, melding tried-and-true approaches, staff training and deployment with effective current practices such as the effective use of a CRM, social media, SEM, content marketing and analytic metrics. The goal is the management of enrollments and, where desired, year-over-year enrollment growth, based on strong student recruitment and retention.

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Marketing, Branding & Graphic Communication
Through brand building, strategic communications and creative marketing, Objective Focus provides both time-tested and innovative solutions that separate an institution from the clutter. We work with internal and external constituencies to build, refresh and communicate their brand, using planning sessions, messaging, design identity packages and style guides. We increase staff awareness of marketing/branding principles, providing tools and training to facilitate the effective communication of mission, image and quality. The goal is to signal value and build trust from key stakeholders and audiences, creating a basis for public and philanthropic support, the effective recruitment of qualified students and the establishment of a strong reputation among peers and the public.

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People give to People. The cultivation of donors, whether individuals, foundations or public entities, is often a personal process, inextricably tied to the effective communication of an institution’s mission and its value to society. At Objective Focus, we know how to motivate volunteers so that they engage willingly and successfully in this essential activity. We unpack and demystify the development process, analyzing the effectiveness of current strategies through the lens of lessons learned in multi-million dollar campaigns and many years of successful experience.

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Board Development
With deep experience in board development and governance, Objective Focus helps boards, administrators and other stakeholders look closely at their organizations and at their ability to work effectively towards shared goals. We review the expectations and commitment of trustees and advisory committee members, and we assess their outreach to the social, political and philanthropic segments of their communities. We then counsel senior administrators on strategies that best engage the energies of volunteers and that fulfill their expectations for a meaningful role in the life of the institution.

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Strategic Planning
Objective Focus facilitates and manages the creation of a meaningful and achievable strategic plan, ensuring that all relevant voices are heard and that the plan’s outcomes appropriately reflect institutional goals and aspirations. Through structured discussions, exercises and workshops, we help familiarize an institution’s faculty, administration and trustees with the concepts and procedures upon which a successful plan is based and effectively deployed.

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Curriculum & Program Development
Objective Focus brings many years of successful curriculum design, development and evaluation in a wide range of disciplines at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Coupled with its unbiased perspective, this is an invaluable asset in the continuing assessment of curricular relevance and quality. We facilitate a critical look at existing programs, helping to gauge the quality of teaching and student outcomes as well as a curriculum’s professional relevance and the degree to which its graduates are prepared for careers in their discipline.

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Financial Management
Financial challenges are frequently viewed as the cause rather than the outcome of institutional stress. But the opposite is equally true. When programmatic and educational initiatives falter, finances suffer. Therefore, separating causes from outcomes is critical to success.

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Community Outreach & Engagement
Objective Focus’ principals have a distinguished record of civic responsibility and community engagement. Based on award-winning regional and national recognition for work in this sector, we are well positioned to evaluate and help develop community relationships; facilitating an institution’s ability to expand its spheres of influence, recruit effective volunteers and high quality students and encourage philanthropic support.

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Executive Search
Talented leadership is a priceless asset. The identification of colleagues who bring expertise, creativity, judgment and commitment to the table, frequently determines an institution’s success. On a limited and selective basis, Objective Focus will assist institutions in searches to fill senior leadership positions. Where circumstances warrant, we will also assist in searches at the director’s level – especially in such areas as admissions, marketing and development.

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When a project requires specialized skills, we call upon our rich network of associates; well-known practitioners who have demonstrated expertise in relevant creative, academic, technical or administrative areas.

Carole Feld
Marketing & Branding
A leading brand strategist and award-winning creative marketer, Feld is the founding director of BrandShopDC, She began her career at Columbia Pictures (feature films), was Sr. VP of Communications and Brand Management at PBS (the national network), Director of Promotions at HBO, Director of Marketing at Tri-Star Pictures and VP for Brand and Programming at The Motley Fool. She is a multiple recipient of the Cannes Golden Lion Award and the Bronze Effie. Advertising Age has recognized her with its Top 100 Marketers Award. Feld’s consultant clients have included the George Lucas Educational Foundation, The Broad Stage, Sitar Arts Center, Catholic Charities USA, The Foundation for the National Archives and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, among others. She hold an MBA from USC and a BA from UC Berkeley.
Peter Haratonik
Media Studies & Communication
Peter Haratonik is the Founding Chair of the Department of Media Studies at The New School. Haratonik was also the founder of The New School's Graduate Program in Media Management. Previously he chaired the Department of Film/Video/Broadcasting at NYU, chaired the Department of Communication Arts and the Journalism and Media Studies Department at Hofstra University. He was a fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College and was a Senior Fellow of the Wolfson Center for National Affairs. Peter currently serves as the Executive Coordinator for the Urban Communication Foundation. He holds an MA in Media Ecology from NYU and a BA in History & Communication from Queens College, NY.
Gerald A. Heeger
Distance Learning, Curriculum Development & Administration
Dr. Heeger has nearly 45 years of experience in higher education, providing leadership in adult and continuing professional higher education at some of the largest and most prestigious universities in the United States. He has served as President of the University of Maryland University College, with an enrollment of 80,000 distance learning students, and as Dean of New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Dean of The New School for Social Research (NY) and Executive VP and Provost of Adelphi University (NY). He holds a PhD and MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from UC, Berkeley.
John Stein
Finance & Administration
Following a six-year tour in the US Navy, Stein was appointed Director of Development Information Systems and Assistant Controller the University of Southern California (USC), followed by four years as Chief Financial Officer at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. He went on to become the VP for Finance and Administration and COO at Dominican College of San Rafael; Interim President at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Executive Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Regents of the University of the Pacific. He holds a BBA from the University of Texas (Austin) and MS in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.
Jan Rothschild
Public Relations & Marketing
Jan Rothschild has over 25 years of experience, delivering global communications and marketing campaigns for cultural institutions, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Currently the President of Rothschild Associates, she led the marketing and public relations initiatives as Associate Director of The Whitney Museum; as Sr. VP of The Barnes Collection; VP for Communications and Marketing at the Cambridge Information Group and Sotheby’s Institute of Art; Partner at The Brunswick Group; Chief Communications Office at The Corcoran Gallery of Art; and VP of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. She has held executive marketing and communication positions at the American Society of Landscape Architects and National Public Radio and received her BA degree from Washington University in St. Louis.