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COCC expects to spend over $30 grand more with new presidential search

Search has already cost college nearly $70 grand

The college’s rollover budget might not be enough to cover the costs of the continuing presidential search.

Central Oregon Community College originally allocated $100 grand for the search process in the 2013-2014 school year. After a failed search, only $31,162 is remaining for next year.

Many of this year’s costs were unavoidable, according to Ron Paradis, the director of college relations.

“That included advertising, consultant fees, candidate travel, and then miscellaneous food and supplies for various parts of the search,” Paradis said.

Overall, the 2013-2014 presidential search costs added up to $68,838. That money was used in the community, too, as COCC purchased food for community outreach meetings, committee meetings and candidate visits. Even though the costs reached almost $70,000, it was cheaper than the previous presidential search. Ten years ago, when COCC went through a similar process, advertising and candidate travel costs were greater, while the consultant fee was “about the same,” according to Paradis.

And some fees will be saved this year, if the COCC Board of Directors gives the approval.

Currently, the college goes through the Association of Community College Trustees for search consulting. Their fee is the highest on the list. The organization charges $30 thousand a year. But since the college’s first search was unsuccessful, Paradis said that ACCT “does not consider this search to be completed yet.” If the board of directors approves, ACCT will provide their services free of charge next year.

At the same time, next year’s travel costs are expected to go up. Two out of three of this year’s finalists were fairly local, bringing candidate travel fees to a total of $6,224. Since COCC has now reviewed many application packets from more local candidates, the college expects to widen its net – and with that might come greater travel costs.

Paradis has been working with Kevin Kimball, COCC’s chief financial officer, on the project, and believes while the cost for a consultant might go down, other fees should fluctuate next year.

Meanwhile, if COCC decides to go with ACCT, although less money will be spent the college will still have to pay over $38 grand next year. That figure is not counting increased travel costs.. Even with some reductions, the board’s rollover from this year’s set aside budget will most likely not be enough to cover the costs, even though it will be close.

However, the board does not expect the impact of extra presidential costs to be significant, according to board member Laura Craska Cooper.

“We will not need to sacrifice other things at the college to fund the new … search,” Cooper said.

But while the budget may be manageable, starting off a second year of presidential searches will still take an effort, according to Cooper.

“It will be a lot of work and commitment from folks who have already given so generously of their time and talents,” Cooper said.

Costs associated with the Presidential Search:

Miscellaneous supplies: $182

Food, coffee, etc. for meetings: $8,150 *

Local advertising: $1,529

National advertising: $10,672

Consultant fees (including travel): $42,081

Junnelle Hogen | The Broadside
(Contact: jhogen@cocc.edu)

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