By Will Norton-Mosher

The search to find a new chancellor has begun, but few realize that international consulting firms are going to have a large influence in the selection process.

The University of California hired the international executive firm Edward W. Kelley & Partners (EWK&P) to help begin the search. Though an advisory committee of 16 members, eight of whom are from the university, run the selection process, they have to rely on EWK&P to select a pool of candidates before reviewing them.

Guy Lasnier, the executive communications coordinator for the university, said that the firm will work with the committee until a manageable number of candidates is found. The advisory committee will then review those candidates.

“The search process is a long process with hundreds of names initially,” Lasnier wrote in an e-mail. “Typically, those names are known only to the committee until they begin to narrow down the list.”

Glenn Millhauser, a chemistry professor on the search committee, said that the first meeting impressed him.

“I think the Search Committee is outstanding, with dedicated folks from both within UCSC as well as faculty, staff and administrators from around the system.”

Once EWK&P assembles, shortens and reviews a list, they will pass it on to the advisory committee and then to the president, who will recommend a candidate to the Board of Regents. Even then, the possible candidates will remain unknown to the public until a chancellor is selected.

William A. Ladusaw, the Dean of Undergraduate Education, explained the need for anonymity.

“It’s important to realize that when you’re choosing a candidate for chancellor, the candidates do not want it publicly known that they are candidates,” Ladusaw said. “You don’t want to out them too early. They already have jobs.”

He explained that qualified candidates are already employed, and that it would be in their best interests to remain unnamed.

Universities that have used EWK&P in the past have also kept them behind the scenes. They were not mentioned in the Currents article that was written during the search for Denton, but, in the article written on her death on Jan. 19 in the Chronicle of Education, it was revealed that EWK&P spent over 100 hours interviewing her.

Ladusaw said of EWK&P, “[They are] people who understand the qualifications for certain jobs, and they keep track of people. They keep prospects lists.”

Even more recently, EWK&P helped select and appoint Steve Kang, professor and dean of Baskin Engineering, to be the new Chancellor of UC Merced. EWK&P choose Kang from a group of hundreds of applicants and 65 candidates.

If the current chancellor search is similar to the most recent search, EWK&P will charge based on how much the chancellor will earn. According to an article written for the Modesto Bee by Michelle Hatfield, the company took $80,000, the equivalent of one-third of Kang’s salary, as compensation.

Once candidates are chosen and the advisory committee reviews them, UC President Robert Dynes recommends one candidate to the Board of Regents, who will make the final appointment. President Dynes hopes to make a selection by late summer.