On The News & Observer's editorial page today, some skepticism exists over the continual use of search firms by public universities.
UNC-Chapel Hill is once again using a search firm, this time to find its next provost. Soon, we'll be reporting on N.C. State's hiring of a search firm to aid in its upcoming search for a new chancellor.
These companies aren't cheap. Or, better put, they don't seem cheap. UNC-CH is paying William Funk, a well-regarded search consultant, at least $72,800 for his services. That's a lot of money to me, and it's probably a lot of money to you, too. But university leaders routinely say it's worth the money to find the best candidate; a provost is an institution's chief academic officer, a massive job.
And, these bills are usually paid with private money, not state appropriations, so technically, the state university isn't spending state money.
So what do you think? Is it money well spent?