Failed search for new UW System President results in loss of $216,000

UW System is not able to recoup losses because contract with company did not specify nonpayment if hiring process failed, according to Wisconsin State Journal

· Sep 29, 2020 Tweet

Ahmad Hamid/The Badger Herald

The search for a new University of Wisconsin System President has failed, resulting in a bill of about $216,000.

Storbeck Search and Company, a company used to recruit and evaluate candidates for institutions, was hired to recruit a new UW System president. 

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the search failed in June after University of Alaska System president Jim Johnsen withdrew his name for hire following criticism about the system’s decision-making process.

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The UW System reportedly had to pay about $216,000 to cover the costs, according to WSJ. About $214,000 went to Storbeck and Search Associates, which included about $2,200 that was used to reimburse two company employees to travel to Whitewater for a two hour meeting. Another $1,000 was used as a down payment to the Chicago Marriott where they had planned to meet for face-to-face interviews in the Spring. 

The UW System is not able to refund these losses because the contract with Storbeck Search did not specify nonpayment if the hiring process failed, according to WSJ. 

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson was appointed interim system president July 1 and continues to serve. 

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According to the UW System website, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents President Andrew S. Petersen had positive things to say about Thompson.

“Gov. Thompson is a statesman who offers the kind of leadership the UW System needs right now,” Peterson said in a statement to the UW System. “I have witnessed his collaborative yet direct leadership style. He is perfectly suited to serve as Interim President” 

Gov. Thompson will serve as interim president until a new president is hired and takes office. According to an email statement from the UW System’s media contact Mark Pitsch, the next search for the new president has not yet begun.


This article was published Sep 29, 2020 at 6:59 pm and last updated Sep 29, 2020 at 8:00 pm


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