SDSU Presidential Search Costs $156,000

Angela Kennecke reports that the South Dakota Board of Regents spent $156,000 on their search for a new president. Evidently those expense included “Travel to meetings, interviews, and the announcement of the new president,” including “use of the State plane for regents, staff and members of the search committee.”

Hold on a moment: our public universities are pioneering the world of distance education, but when they want to get search committee members together, they have to fly an airplane around the state instead of turning on Skype?

Apparently the Regents also had to rent the SDSU Performing Arts Center to host the announcement of their pick of ag dean Barry Dunn to replace outgoing president David Chicoine. Maybe my SDSU friends can help me out here, but how do the Regents have to spend any money to rent a facility they control?

Just wait—next we’ll find out the Regents used GEAR UP money to buy the hors d’œuvres….


11 Responses to SDSU Presidential Search Costs $156,000

  1. The theater department at DSU has to pay rent to use the theater at the Playhouse. New accounting??

  2. Say What? Thats a 1/3 of what the president gets paid! Seems steep

  3. Robert McTaggart

    I assume the answer to your question about the PAC is the decentralized budgeting model. More or less if you use a resource, you need to pay for it.

  4. Wow, $156,000 that is an entire 4 employees annual salary in the department I work, spent just to search for someone we knew and did not even have to interview for the job. It was another of many I seen, “The Great Dog and Pony Show” to prove we did not just hand the title over to the best person we had on staff. Do not get me wrong, I think President Dunn will do a great job! Probably even a better job than he did as Dean. He now has the support staff he needs to accomplish his goals, which he lacked being the Dean. It just seems like so much wasted money when the university can not even pay competitive wage for regular jobs on campus. Oh yea, do not forget those low wage employees also are required to pay $280 for a 9 month parking spot if they want to park near their place of work. How many other state employees pay that to park at their job. Teachers??

  5. Grrrrrrrrrrr!

    We have elderly people living on social security who haven’t had an increase in 5 years but we just HAD to raise taxes and fees so that state government can spend more on such nonsense as this.

  6. Man, this does seem steep. How does ‘conservative’ Pierre justify this? That’s what I would like to know.
    Go get the itemized sheet, Stace! Cory will help you!

  7. David Newquist

    This search has some anomalies. The other three finalists with Dr. Dunn all come from Arkansas. At a reception for retired faculty last week at NSU, the question was, Can it happen in a nationwide search that 75 percent of the finalists come from one state. In that $156,000 should be a figure for a consultant. I cannot find who the Regents hired for the SDSU search but the one for NSU is Witt/Kieffer.com. It provides a psycho-babble chart for defining the personalities of candidates. There is not one item on the chart that deals with candidates’ history and performance as scholars.
    http://www.wittkieffer.com/file/thought-leadership/practice/Leadership%20Traits%20and%20Success%20in%20Higher%20Education_a%20Witt%20Kieffer%20Study_final.pdf

    College and university presidents were at one time chosen as lead scholars devoted to leading a faculty in its research, teaching, and service, not CEOs who manage institutions corporations. (Colleges and universities have always had to form budgets and stay within them.) And search committees were made up of regents, administrators and faculty with equal authority in the search with the understanding that they best defined the mission and expectations of the institution and could best determine who could best lead it. As a member of a search committee, I have traveled to a home campus to talk with colleagues of candidates and had receptions in my home so that faculty could meet and talk with candidates. That takes some money, as does the clerical support for a national search. But all that process is now put in “executive” hands which expect a corporate lifestyle. not a real search for an academic leader.

  8. Roger Cornelius

    Stace,
    Wouldn’t any increase in Social Security payments for the elder come from the government and not from SDSU?

    Would $156,000 give every Social Security recipient an adequate increase?

  9. owen reitzel

    I agree with you Stace that it seems to be a big waste of money. But should get rid of HB1182 because of this waste?
    You’ve mentioned before that Social Security payments haven’t had a increase in 5 years. After checking, your technically wrong. The link below show no increase in 2010 and 2011 and increases in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. There is no increase this year.
    No before you go all NRA on me Stace the COLA increases have been small and the COLA this year was because gas prices have dramatically dropped. But what isn’t taken into account is what the people on Social Security spend there money on. Medicine and food have gone up, among other things.

    https://www.ssa.gov/news/cola/automatic-cola.htm

  10. @Roger do you find that such obtuseness encourages an open and civil debate? Our state colleges receive significant funding from South Dakota tax payers. Good to see snarky discourse is more important to you than dealing with an obvious problem.

    @Owen As pointed out to me on the campaign trail by folks on SS, and as you point out, they have not seen an increase of significance that is enough to offset the increases they have seen of daily expenses to include increased taxes, and fees that our “super-majority Republican” legislature enacted with the Democrats.

  11. I’m leaning Roger’s way. Stace has a nice campaign line about zero-COLA for SS recipients, but that’s not directly related to the apparent Regental extravagance. Pierre can’t revamp Social Security. Pierre can’t work up the courage to fund necessary competitive wages for teachers in a more progressive way. But legislators of sufficient curiosity could ask the Regents why it costs two professor salaries to hire a new President.