Kent State to pay at least $179K for presidential search, contract details 'trade secrets' claim from search firm


Kent State will pay Russell Reynolds Associates, the executive search firm chosen to find the university’s next president, a $170,000 retainer for its services, plus a $9,000 administrative fee.

The total cost for the search, laid out in a contract between the two parties, will probably be more, and will equal one-third of the new president’s first-year total cash compensation, including their salary and any other “monetary inducements” accepted as part of the hiring negotiations. The $179,000 paid at the beginning of the search to Russell Reynolds will be credited against the total fee. (See the full contract below this story.)

The university’s search for President Beverly Warren in 2013 cost Kent State more than $250,000.

The contract also states Russell Reynolds considers its “processes, procedures, database, portal, candidate and search-related documentation and personal data, and all internal electronic and written correspondence to be confidential, proprietary information, and trade secrets.”

Among other terms and conditions, the university agreed to provide the firm an opportunity to deny any public records requests regarding the presidential search. If the firm claims trade secrets, the contract says Russell Reynolds will bear the burden of proving it.

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