InsideHigherEd has the news from North Carolina here:
The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors named Cecil Staton the next chancellor of East Carolina University in April 2017. Nine months later, the executive search firm hired to recruit Staton refunded $110,000 in professional fees from the search.
University system leaders blocked the search firm, Witt/Kieffer, from any of their future business. At issue was “inaccurate salary information for Staton’s previous posts in Georgia,” according to a report in Business North Carolina citing three people familiar with the situation.
The incident offers insight into the incentives and pressures swirling within the often-expensive world of recruiting executive-level leaders in higher education. Firms are frequently paid based on the starting earnings of the candidates they find, and they can be asked to become involved in negotiations between candidate and college. As a result, search firms can quickly find themselves navigating ethically murky waters between the universities that pay their bills, the candidates they recruit and their own self-interest. …
UO has Witt/Kieffer on contract through 2019, and is currently using them for the Grad School Dean searche, and used them in the recent hiring of Law School Dean Marcilyn Burke, SOMD Dean Sabrina Madison-Cannon, and VPR David Conover.
Presumably UO GC Kevin Reed is doing his due diligence on this.