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More than $150,000 spent on MU Provost search

MU Provost Search

As of May 15, the University of Missouri has spent $162,623.47 on the search for a new provost. 

Jim Spain is currently serving as interim provost after former provost Garnett Stokes took a job as president of the University of New Mexico. 

According to a records request, the university's biggest search expense is the use of consulting firm Isaacson, Miller. That's the same search firm the university used to find MU chancellor Alexander Cartwright. The university has spent $139,597.70 on Isaacson, Miller for the provost search while it spent $140,000 on Isaacson, Miller for the chancellor search

It's typical for the university to use an external search firm to fill top positions. The university chose not to use an external search firm for the recent Title IX leader search as officials felt their internal resources were strong enough to find the best candidate. That search cost $10,505.07. The university eventually awarded the Title IX leader position to Andrea "Andy" Hayes, who was previously serving in the interim role. 

"You always have to make some type of an investment, and you want to make sure that you're getting the best candidates," MU spokesperson Christian Basi said. "Because if you miss someone, and you didn't make the investment that could've resulted in that pool of people applying for that position, then you've done yourself a disservice." 

According to previous records obtained by ABC 17 News, the UM System spent at least $1.9 million on search firms from June 2015 to April 2017. 

Here's a breakdown of the expense for the provost search as of March 15: 

Business meetings/committee & staff travel: $16,125.93
Includes the following activities: 
January 22, 2018 search launch, search committee meeting and consistent listening sessions 
March 23, 2018 search committee meeting and semi-finalist candidate selection 
April 13 - April 15,2018 semi-finalist candidate (airport interviews) at the Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis 
April 27 - May 10, 2018 finalist candidate visits to campus (expenses processed to date) 

Candidate travel: $299.43
Finalist interviews on MU Campus (4/29-5/10/18) 

Technology: $635.00
Technical support for campus livestream of search launch - January 2018

Marketing/advertising expense: $2,044.00
National advertising placed by Isaacson, Miller

Professional services - Isaacson Miller: $143,519.11
Professional & consulting expenses (contract fee + administrative fee): $139,597.70
Professional consultant travel (3 consultants until mid-April): $3,921.04

Total expense: $162,623.47


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