In its search for a new president, Ohio State spent about $95,000 on advertising for a nearly $120,000 university symposium held this semester.
The breakdown of the Symposium on the University Presidency costs was released to The Lantern Wednesday.
The symposium, a discussion about what qualities a president should have and what a president should expect in his or her term, was held Aug. 30. It was hosted by Harvard Graduate School of Education professor emeritus Richard Chait. Tufts University President Emeritus Lawrence Bacow, Tulane University President Scott Cowen, Washington State University President Elson Floyd, University of North Carolina system President Thomas Ross and University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan were the scheduled panelists, but Cowen was unable to make it because he was “stuck in the airport,” Chait said Aug. 30.
The event cost about $118,000, including travel, hotel rooms, honoraria, which are payments given for professional services on which there is no set price, transportation, dinner and advertising, according to a document emailed to The Lantern Wednesday by OSU spokesman Gary Lewis, filling a public records request filed Aug. 16.
“The panel was an important part of the search committee’s strategy and helped its members to refine their vision,” Lewis said in the email.
OSU spent more than $95,000 for advertising in three different media outlets – The New York Times, The Columbus Dispatch and The Chronicle of Higher Education, according to the cost breakdown.
OSU’s contract with private search firm R. William Funk & Associates was finalized Sept. 17. OSU will be paying the firm a fixed fee of $200,000, as well as reimbursing the firm for direct, out-of-pocket expenses and an additional cost of $20,000 to cover administrative and support expenses, according to the contract.
A Sept. 15 university statement said all candidates and finalists of the presidential search will be kept private.
It has been nearly four months since former OSU President E. Gordon Gee announced his retirement June 4. Gee retired July 1, the same day Interim President Joseph Alutto assumed the position.
The announcement of Gee’s retirement came days after controversial remarks Gee made at a Dec. 5 OSU Athletic Conference became public. Comments about Notre Dame and the Southeastern Conference in particular brought national attention.
Presidential Search Committee Chair Jeffrey Wadsworth said July 19 the process is expected to take about 300 days based on how long searches take at other universities that are considering outside candidates.