Saturday, February 08, 2014
The Fleecing of UF:
According to the local paper today, the University of Florida paid $90,000 to a search firm in its effort to replace law school Dean Bob Jerry. What they got for that was a list of 24 names along with CVs and application letters. Some of the names were DOA. In fact, it took the 11 person search committee only 2 hours to go from 24 to 10. Now also consider this. The firm likely did not start from scratch. If it had conducted any searches recently, it's likely UF got a recycled list. It's like paying new car prices for a used car.
Two words come to mind here -- fleeced and incompetent. Fleeced is what happened to UF. It got 24 names that my 22 year old could have found in half the time. This is not a rap on the 4 finalists. I think all of them are up to the job. The problem is that there was utterly no need to spend 90K to find them. One has to wonder what the 11 person search committee was expected to do. What a display of incompetence at least with respect to the decision to hire the search firm at this price.
But it does not stop with 90K. There are 11 people on the committee. I do not know if the University foots the bill for their visits from out of town but if so add a little. Add a great deal more for 10 campus visits for the ten left after the culling the list. And some of them evidently flunked the interview. Maybe an initial conference call could have weeded them out. Now there is full bore campus visits (at which, by the way, the law faculty only meets the candidates in faculty meetings) and wining and dining candidates, committee members, alums and all that. My prediction is a total tab pushing 140K.
If academics ever wonder why funding is short and why those of us in the business are viewed with distrust, here is one small example. UF buys a Cadillac search that is unnecessary and, as usual, passed the tab on to others.What the hell, You can always raise tuition.
90K pissed away.