Ohio State presidential search could top $300K

COLUMBUS (AP) — The search for the next president of Ohio State University is on track to cost more than $300,000, about a third of which is expenses for a one-day forum on the state of the college presidency.

The search committee of university trustees planned another meeting Wednesday. A decision is expected early next year.

The university has paid its executive headhunting firm about $151,000 to date with a final payment of at least $67,000 due when the search is completed, records show.

And the bill for the university’s Aug. 30 “Symposium on the University Presidency” was $117,000, including hotel and travel costs for participants, appearance fees and $96,000 in advertising, according to figures provided to The Associated Press through a records request.

“Who will lead America’s public universities in the 21st century?” said an $85,000 advertisement in the New York Times on Aug. 29.

No tax or tuition dollars were spent on the event, university spokesman Gary Lewis said.

“The symposium was one component of the university’s approach to help frame its search for a new president,” he said in an email. “Advertising the symposium was a key strategy to support our ability to reach and inform potential candidates and leaders about Ohio State’s search.”

The university’s contract with Dallas-based head hunter R. William Funk and Associates calls for $200,000 plus expenses. It suggests the new president could be paid around $600,000 a year.

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