Budget for finding UM president dwindles as search continues

Friday, June 8, 2007 | 2:00 p.m. CDT; updated 7:24 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

KANSAS CITY — Five months after beginning a presidential search, MU has spent more than half the money allocated for the process and has not named a new leader.

The university has spent $115,415 on the process, most of which has been paid to Baker & Parker, the Atlanta firm hired to lead the search, said Jennifer Hollingshead, a university spokeswoman. University curators budgeted $200,000 for the search, and the money comes from the four-campus system’s operating budget.

The amount spent is about $13,000 more than the university spent to find its former president, Elson Floyd, who announced in December that he would leave Missouri to be president at Washington State University. MU began its search for a replacement in January.

Last Friday, the leading candidate, 49-year-old Terry Sutter, rejected an offer to take the job and was later announced as newly hired vice president and chief operating officer of Gerdau Ameristeel, a steel corporation based in south Florida.

With Sutter out of the running, Don Walsworth, chairman of the Board of Curators, said the university would start over with its search. He also said Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., was no longer in the running.

Curators have said they are not putting a time limit on the search and will continue to look in the business, political and academic arenas to compile a new list of candidates.

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