ASU Dealt Temporary Setback in Search for New Chancellor

MARCH 31, 2006 - Posted at 4:44 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - The company that Arkansas State University hired in February to assist in its search for a Jonesboro campus chancellor has terminated its contract with the university because of issues surrounding its requirement for confidentiality.  As a result, the search will be brought back to the campus and handled by the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee that was appointed in February.

Academic Search Consultation Service of Washington, D.C., notified ASU president Dr. Les Wyatt Wednesday that the firm could not continue its national search for the most qualified candidates.  The company had been hired to develop the best possible pool of candidates by using its proven expertise, extensive contacts, and long-time experience.

Confidentiality at this stage is essential to the success of the firm's proprietary search process, the firm's finance and administration director wrote to President Wyatt.  "In light of the fact that confidentiality of the prospecting phase of the search process has now been questioned under the freedom of information laws of the state of Arkansas, Academic Search Consultation Service is hereby terminating under mutual consent its contractual relationship with Arkansas State University."

The firm has not provided any names or information to ASU, and it is returning all fees and expenses ASU has paid thus far, about $20,000.  The firm also will not bill ASU for expenses.