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University of South Carolina selects recruiter for presidential search

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:16 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The University of South Carolina has selected a recruiter to assist with its presidential search.

On Tuesday, the Presidential Candidate Search Committee’s Chair Thad Westbrook announced that the university has selected R. William Funk & Associates to assist with the search for a new president.

The president of the University of South Carolina serves as the chief executive of the entire University of South Carolina system and of the system’s flagship research university in Columbia.

The Funk & Associates consulting firm, based in Dallas, specializes in recruitment for roles in higher education. Interim President Harris Pastides has agreed to serve in the position until a successor is found.

“Funk & Associates has extensive experience conducting successful searches for university presidents and chancellors across the United States. The firm’s recruiting strategies have helped place many impressive candidates, including minorities and women, at leading universities throughout the country and within South Carolina,” said Ernest Jenkins, chair of the Faculty Senate for the Palmetto College campuses and a member of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee. “These advantages, and their history of outreach to members of university communities, make them a compelling choice to assist us.”

R. William Funk & Associates has recruited presidents or chancellors to 13 of the 14 institutions in the Southeastern Conference, as well as at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the United States, including Rutgers University, The Ohio State University, University of Louisville, Indiana University, University of North Carolina, University of Virginia, Purdue University, Michigan State University, University of Texas and San Diego State University. The firm recruited the current presidents of Clemson University and the College of Charleston.

R. William Funk & Associates previously recruited Joan Gabel to be provost at the University of South Carolina in 2015; Gabel is now president of the University of Minnesota.

The firm previously assisted with the University of South Carolina’s presidential search in 2008 and with the university’s searches for the chief executive officer of the My Carolina Alumni Association and for the president/chief executive officer of the university’s Educational Foundation.

The firm’s founder, R. William “Bill” Funk, will lead the recruiting effort, personally interact with the candidate pool, and report directly to the Search Committee and the university’s Board of Trustees.

“We don’t believe in a ‘formula’ approach to president searches,” said Funk. “Each institution is different and there are precedents that must be honored when organizing and executing the search process. At the same time, we are particularly proud of our role in bringing forward outstanding women and minority candidates for consideration by the search committees with which we have worked.”

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