Money Well Wasted

As Youngstown State University begins its second search for a university president in a year, AGB Search, LLC. — the firm responsible for assembling a list of candidates and assisting with the selection of a new president — will conduct the search at no additional fees, as per the contract they signed before the search that brought Randy Dunn to Youngstown.

YSU’s contract with AGB states that if the selected candidate leaves within 12 months, then the firm will conduct another search. This time, the only fees YSU will pay are travel expenses for AGB consultants and whatever is spent on advertising the position. Overall, that saves the university from paying three fees totaling $65,000 to AGB.

But there are other costs that the university will have to pay to woo candidates. The last time all of this went down, the university spent some serious cash hosting, entertaining and evaluating the final list of eight applicants such as:

• $291.90 on background checks for James Moran and Randy Dunn, the two finalists.

• $7,391.03 spent reimbursing the applicants for travel expenses.

• $16,596.63 for meals and accommodations at the Hyatt Regency in Pittsburgh on April 11 through 13.

•  $10,282.85 on food provided by Sodexo for on-campus events involved with the presidential search — including three dessert receptions for three finalists that cost $2,195 each.

Yes, most of the tab for this search is being picked up by AGB, but there will still be a lot of money thrown around in the upcoming search. While he was here, Dunn made budgets cuts — which included laying off faculty — and worked on increasing enrollment in attempts to rectify YSU’s budget problems.

Now, due to his impending departure, the university gets to pay all that money —without the consulting fees of which YSU spent just under $44,000 last time — yet again. Sure, Dunn saved some money in his tenure, but the money we spent getting him to actually come here is money that YSU will never see again.