Truman Administration Discloses Presidential Search Funds

Truman State University Administration recently disclosed the amount of money spent to conduct the presidential search process which resulted in Sue Thomas being selected as the seventeenth president of the University.

The total cost of the presidential search process, which added up to $157,439.66.

This money was used to pay for consulting services such as teleconferences, advertising, travel to interviews, background checks and degree verifications, according to the Truman Institutional Support Budget for Fiscal Year 2017. In addition, this money went toward campus constituent group meetings with the presidential search committee, stakeholders committee, and Board of Governors, as well as lodging and meals for the semifinalist and finalist candidates.

Dave Rector, Vice President for Administration, Finance and Planning, says this money was set aside shortly after former University President Troy Paino announced his leaving, and it was budgeted in the Institutional Support section of the 2017 fiscal budget. Rector said this money has almost been paid in full except for a small amount of travel expenses from the last couple of weeks, and therefore, will not further impact the budget cuts Truman has recently seen. Rector said the money set aside for the presidential search budget was standard in comparison to recent information in the media regarding the costs for presidential searches.

Mike LaBeth, Board of Governors chair, says while Thomas was an internal candidate, the closed search process, money spent and time invested were still crucial in the search process.

“We wanted to find the best person to lead our university,” LaBeth said. “Dr. Thomas went through the same interview process just like everyone else. We did not go into the search saying, ‘We’re going to hire Sue Thomas’. We all went in with open minds. It was a process. It was unanimously decided that Dr. Thomas was going to be our next president and I don’t think that happens very often. I think that shows we as a board made the right decision because we were all on the same page. At the end [Thomas] stood out. She’s the one we felt would lead our University in the right direction.”