Hiring a new leader for the Kansas Board of Regents could cost the state $60,000 to $90,000 if a head-hunting firm is used to support the search.
The Kansas Board of Regents on Tuesday expressed willingness to spend a minimum of $60,000 to conduct the national search for a new executive director.
Regents met by telephone-conference call to consider the merits of paying a consulting firm to assist the board with hiring a replacement for Stephen Jordan, who resigned to become president of Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
The next executive director would earn about $100,000 a year managing an 18-member staff in Topeka and overseeing the six-university system's $1.3 billion annual budget. The system includes Kansas University and KU Medical Center.
Two firms interested in working with regents are Heidrick & Struggles of Chicago, which is assisting in selection of a new commissioner for the Big 12 Conference, and A.T. Kearney Co. of Alexandria, Va., which handled the presidential search at Eastern Washington.
Heidrick & Struggles also did a recent $90,000 search at Washburn University in Topeka.
In preparation for the meeting, regents Phyllis Nolan of Louisburg and Harry Craig of Topeka checked out both consulting companies.
``We liked both firms very much,'' Nolan said. ``I think either one could do the job.''
The board will convene Friday by telephone in executive session to select a firm or discuss alternatives to hiring a consultant.
Tom Bryant, the board's interim executive director, said a search budget of $60,000 was ``a pretty good figure for us to be looking at.''
Nolan said she was concerned that amount of money might be insufficient to conduct a thorough review of candidates.
``While I wouldn't want to spend $80,000 or $90,000 ... I don't want to shortchange the final phase,'' she said. ``Devil is in the details.''
Bryant said he might be able to squeeze another $25,000 from the budget for the search.
The goal is to have a new executive director on the job by January.
-- Tim Carpenter's phone message number is 832-7155. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.