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Search for David Boren's successor: Contract between OU, search firm details costs of service

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The Board of Regents met Oct. 1, 2017, at OU's Health Sciences Center to discuss the presidential search committee. The Board of Regents has now received a list of finalists for the presidency from the search committee.

A search firm hired by the university to assist with the search for David Boren’s replacement will potentially be paid upward of $200,000 for its service.

The Daily has obtained the contract between executive search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates and OU, which states the firm will be compensated one-third of the amount of the first year of compensation for the next president. The firm expects the compensation of Boren’s successor to be $500,000, per the contract.

In addition, the contract states the university has paid Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates a retainer of $47,917 and will charge the university “out-of-pocket” expenses for the travel costs of potential candidates. At-large member of the presidential search committee David Rainbolt said the list of names presented to the regents from the search committee could be as large as six people.

The university will also pay for the firm's employment of a “third-party vendor” to perform “extensive background checks” on candidates. The contract does not list how these background checks will be conducted or by which third party.

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates specializes in recruitment for colleges and universities, according to its website, and is listed by Forbes as the 18th best recruiting firm in the U.S. According to the firm’s site, it is currently conducting 72 searches for executive positions at various higher education institutions.

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates is also conducting five other presidential searches in addition to its search for OU’s next president. The firm is also assisting the University of Maine, the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Southern Indiana, as well as Bastyr University and Claremont Graduate University, with their presidential searches.

The firm, in the contract, also guarantees it will conduct one “replacement search” in the instance the candidate chosen by OU “vacates the position” within 12 months of taking office. The contract states the university will not release any information about candidates collected for the search by Storbeck/Pimentel. Rainbolt said the names of potential candidates interviewed by the search committee will not be public.

The Board of Regents approved a search budget of $250,000 Oct. 23, 2017, according to a Board of Regents meeting agenda. The OU Open Records Office also released a receipt showing $546 were spent to buy multiple copies of a book called “Presidencies Derailed: Why University Leaders Fall and How to Prevent It” for members of the search committee.

Rainbolt said the search committee will begin interviewing candidates in February and plans to present a list of candidates to the regents by March 1.

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