University of Iowa presidential search costs reach $308,000

ISU search cost $133,000 in 2011

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IOWA CITY — The cost of finding a new University of Iowa president has exceeded $300,000, with the Board of Regents and University of Iowa continuing to total costs associated with the search.

The total to date of $308,099 includes a $200,000 service charge to Parker Executive Search — the firm hired to facilitate the process — and expenses and advertising costs, which to date have reached $108,099.

The Board of Regents on Thursday released more details of reimbursement requests it has received to date from Parker related to the search, which began in earnest over the summer and wrapped up with the selection of Bruce Harreld on Sept. 3.

Parker has submitted $81,770 in expenses to the board office, and UI has reported $26,329 in reimbursement requests and other costs related to the search.

Board of Regents spokesman Josh Lehman said the totals aren’t necessarily final, as expenses could continue to trickle in. UI officials said they are tallying additional reimbursement requests.

But the total to date already is far higher than the total search costs for a new Iowa State University president.

The board used Parker for the ISU search in 2011 and for its search for a new University of Northern Iowa president in 2012, paying the firm $95,000 for its services at ISU and $90,000 for its work at UNI.

Final expenses for the Iowa State search totaled more than $38,000, including $17,000 for travel costs and $14,000 for interview expenses.

The UI expense totals include reimbursement requests for consultant and candidate travel and consultant and candidate meals. They also include requests for research and communication, background checks, shipping and conference calls.

Parker billed the board more than $30,000 for UI president “interview expenses,” which Lehman said is related to the “airport interviews” in Chicago. In early August, the 25-member UI presidential search committee interviewed nine top prospects at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and chose four finalists.

Three of the finalists were then flown to Iowa twice — once for campus visits and public forums and a second time, days later, for final interviews. Harreld, who was announced last, stayed between his campus visit and final interview because they were just two days apart.

Harreld, who starts his UI job on Monday, has signed a five-year contract calling for a beginning salary of $590,000 and a deferred compensation package of $1 million.

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