Firm selected for presidential search

Committee selects same firm that placed Provost James Lentini, Dean Kevin Corcoran and Dean Michael Mazzeo


Bohdanna Cherstylo

Oakland University Board of Trustees held a meeting on Monday, Dec. 5 to discuss new plans, continuing projects and successes of the school year.

Paige Brockway, Editor-in-Chief

Oakland University has selected Washington D.C.-based firm Academic Search to conduct its presidential search.

Though a contract has not yet been signed, the selection was announced at the Dec. 5 Board of Trustees meeting. Board and presidential search committee Chair Richard DeVore said the contract will be completed within the week.

Academic Search was selected after the search committee sent requests for proposals to 16 firms, 12 of which responded. After narrowing choices down to four finalists, the committee conducted video conference interviews on Friday, Nov. 2.

Academic Search was the “unanimous choice,” DeVore said.

The firm is led by President Jessica Kozloff, who has agreed to perform the search herself, according to DeVore.

“We’ll have her undivided attention,” DeVore said. “She will not engage in another search until we get down to the finalist role.”

Kozloff was previously president of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and has been president of Academic Search since 2011.

The firm will be paid a flat fee of $90,000 for the search, which is significantly lower than the compensation requested by the other firms that submitted proposals.

DeVore said the norm is for search firms to charge about one-third of the salary of the position they are filling. Though no salary has been set for OU’s next president, current President George Hynd earns $400,000 per year. If the next president earns a salary equal to or higher than Hynd’s, $90,000 will be a relatively low fee for the search.

Beginning in January, discussion forums about the search will be open to students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni and other interested parties.

“Then, and only then, will we formulate the new position in terms of what our leadership skills are that we’re looking for,” DeVore said. “In addition to that, we will also — then, and only then — start advertising . . . So, we’re going to do this in the right order.”

The presidential search committee has thus far kept its promise to provide regular updates on the search.

The committee is made up of:

  • Board of Trustees Chair Richard DeVore
  • Trustee Mark Schlussel
  • Trustee Melissa Stolicker
  • Trustee Ronald Robinson
  • Glenn McIntosh, vice president for Student Affairs
  • Kevin Corcoran, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Linda Gillum, associate dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs in the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Karen Markel, chair of the Management and Marketing Department and associate professor of management

Cassie Hock and Sean Foe, student liaisons to the board, also serve on the committee as nonvoting members.

Hynd’s contract expires Aug. 13, 2017. DeVore has previously stated that he hopes to have the new president chosen by June 2017.

This isn’t the first time OU has used Academic Search to fill a position.

“[Kozloff’s] firm has placed a number of people we know and love, not the least of which are Dean [Michael] Mazzeo, Dr. [James] Lentini and Dean [Kevin] Corcoran,” DeVore said. “So, I think we’re three-for-three.”

Lentini, meanwhile, is trying to dispel rumors that he has applied to be president of Ohio University, following an erroneous report by The Athens NEWS.

The article listed Lentini as one of 11 applicants revealed through a public records request. Lentini said the university’s search firm did contact him to discuss his curriculum vitae, but he did not communicate with Ohio University or apply for the position.

“My name is out of the loop,” he said.