Board of Regents announces presidential search firm

The Board of Regents has announced that the search firm AcademicSearch will assist them in choosing a new president for the University of Alaska system.

Yesterday nine board members voted unanimously to hire the firm. Two regents – Carl Marrs and Ashton Compton – were not present at the vote.

The Washington D.C.-based firm will assist the 11-person Board in the hiring of a new president.

It’s a huge step forward in the search process according to Kate Ripley, UA spokeswoman.

Despite six other firms eligible for the contract Ripley said that the firm stood out because their focus is strictly on executive searches for colleges and universities.

Their bid of between $65,000 to $85,000 to assist in the search is “very competitive” according to Ripley, however, it does include expenses such as travel.

The next step in hiring a new president will mean the Board negotiating the terms of contract with AcademicSearch. From there, AcademicSearch will work with the Board to organize the search process – including crafting a job description, advertising and recruiting potential candidates. Then the board will organize an advisory committee consisting of “key stakeholders” that include faculty, students, staff and alumni.

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Current UA president Mark Hamilton announced he was retiring in June after serving in the position for 12 years. He has not set an exact departure date, hoping to give the Board as much time as necessary to conduct a proper search. Ripley guesses that the first official interviews may not begin until after the winter break or even as late as spring break.