Missouri chancellor search gets outside help
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri will pay a southern California search firm $100,000 to guide the hiring process for the next chancellor of its Columbia campus.
Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates of suburban Los Angeles will screen prospective candidates to succeed Chancellor Brady Deaton, who is retiring in November. His replacement will be chosen by the university’s Board of Curators and system President Tim Wolfe.
The California company’s recent work includes the chancellor search at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and presidential searches at Carnegie Mellon and California State University, Los Angeles. The headhunters also helped locate Hank Foley, the Missouri system’s new vice president for academic affairs, who came from Penn State.
That search took just three months — a timetable not much shorter than what Wolfe laid out for finding Deaton’s successor at his June retirement announcement.
On Monday, Wolfe said he’s willing to prolong the search if necessary.
“We do have a schedule, but that schedule is flexible if we can’t find the right candidate,” he said after the first of two campus meetings this week designed to solicit input from professors, students, administrative employees and the general public on the new hire’s desired qualities.
As with its recent presidential searches — including the one that turned up Wolfe, a Missouri graduate and former software company executive — the university won’t publicly disclose the names of its finalists.
“I and my team are committed to being transparent and accountable about the process, but we cannot, however, disclose any details related to candidates, which will complicate our intent on securing the very best talent in the industry,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe also said he expects to name a broad-based search committee this week that will assist him and the nine curators in the hiring process. The committee will likely serve in an advisory role rather than actively approve or reject candidates.
Several speakers at Monday’s campus forum emphasized the need for a chancellor who includes faculty members in the decision-making process. Others emphasized a candidate’s academic credentials, or an existing or previous connection to university or the state of Missouri.
The Columbia Missourian reported Tuesday that Wolfe expects an outside candidate to rise above any internal applicants, though he didn’t rule out that possibility.
“I would suspect the bar that is going to be set would suggest an outside candidate,” he said.
Deaton arrived at MU in 1989 as an agricultural economics professor and department chair before rising through the ranks as a deputy chancellor and provost. He was name chancellor in 2004.
The 70-year-old Kentucky native will remain in Columbia as executive director of a new research center bearing the name of the chancellor and his wife: the Brady and Ann Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development.
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