Search firm hired for $70,000 to assist in search for CMU's next provost

Central Michigan University will pay $70,000 for a search firm to assist in the search for the next provost.

The Atlanta-based firm Parker Executive Search was chosen in the fall following a national search in which three firms were brought to campus for interviews.

Parker Executive Search will also be paid travel fees covering up to 12 percent of the consultant fee.

"The president made this decision," said Tim Hartshorne, a search committee co-chair. "I was informed during the middle of last semester when I was asked to be a search committee co-chair."

Hartshorne said CMU brought in a search firm to help assist with recruitment because the position is difficult to fill. University President George Ross told Central Michigan Life in December he hopes to have the new provost hired by April. Shapiro will not have a role in the process, Ross said.

"There are not a lot of people out there who would be able to do the job," Hartshorne said. "The value of the search firm is that they have contacts."

The provost is the second-highest ranked administrator at the university and is responsible for the university's academic division.

The search firm will be recruiting candidates over the next few months, and CMU plans to conduct on-campus interviews in early April.

"A lot of colleges use search firms," said Salma Ghanem, search committee co-chair. "They're able to help recruit more candidates. We are setting up a website with all of the information so the university community can be informed."

The current provost, Gary Shapiro, announced in September that he was resigning at the end of the 2012-13 academic school year to return to teaching in 2014. Shapiro has held the position for three years and has been an employee at CMU since 1978.

“The provost’s position is an extremely intense and busy position and I’m ready to pass it to someone new,” Shapiro told CM Life in September.

Shapiro has held numerous positions at CMU, including director of institutional research and associate dean of the College of Arts and Science.

In 2007, Shapiro acted as interim provost. He took the position again in July 2009 and remained there until August 2010, when he was appointed permanent provost.

As provost, Shapiro's job is to lead the seven academic colleges, the College of Graduate Studies, Global Campus, academic affairs and other parts of the university. He, along with Ross, came under immense scrutiny during the 2011-12 academic year after a contract dispute with faculty resulted in a series of 'no confidence' votes from several academic departments on campus and council of chairs.

After leaving July 31, Shapiro is expected to take a year off, while receiving a $254,000 salary, before returning to the classroom in 2014.


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