University of Missouri

Mizzou paid $75,500 for search firm’s assistance in athletic director search

Mizzou Minute: Should Tigers fans be excited about Jim Sterk?

Missouri beat writer Tod Palmer discusses the hiring of new athletic director Jim Sterk and the reputation he brings to the Tigers athletic department.
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Missouri beat writer Tod Palmer discusses the hiring of new athletic director Jim Sterk and the reputation he brings to the Tigers athletic department.

Missouri’s athletic director search, which netted former San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk on Tuesday, came with a price tag of $75,500.

The University of Missouri System Board of Curators agreed to pay North Carolina-based Collegiate Sports Associates that sum plus agreed-upon expenses for assistance in identifying Mack Rhoades’ successor, according to a copy of the contract obtained by The Star.

The agreement also stipulates that if Sterk if fired or leaves his post with the Tigers for any reason other than death or disability within two years from his start date, Collegiate Sports Associates will reopen the search at no additional fee.

Under such circumstances, Mizzou would only be responsible for agreed-upon expenses provided the search for Sterk’s successor commenced within three months.

Collegiate Sports Associates also agrees not to recruit anyone who directly reports to Sterk for six months and will not seek to recruit Sterk for another position during the term of his employment at MU.

Sterk will be formally introduced at 11 a.m. Thursday during a news conference at Memorial Stadium’s Columns Club.

When former Tigers athletic director Mike Alden resigned in January 2015, then-Missouri chancellor R. Bowen Loftin contracted Korn Ferry for $75,000 to assist in the search that resulted in hiring Rhoades.

Subsequently, Rhoades resigned July 13 to become Baylor’s athletic director. According to the terms of the Korn Ferry contract, Mizzou received a one-year guarantee. Rhoades stayed in Columbia for approximately 14 months, but had he left last April the firm would have performed a search for his successor with no additional retainer.

This time, Missouri agreed to pay Collegiate Sports Associates a $38,000 initial retainer, which included a one-time $500 “office support fee,” and another $37,500 upon completion of the search.

The contract spelled out the following services:

▪ Assist with the development of a profile for the position and advertising in industry publications;

▪ Manage inquiries, recommendations and applications;

▪ Create and maintain a confidential database of candidates, which MU interim chancellor Hank Foley and other members of the search committee could access;

▪ Identify and recruit candidates that fit Missouri’s desired profile;

▪ Assess interest from and communicate with priority candidates on behalf of the university;

▪ Consultation on preparation of a “Candidate’s Notebook” and with the employment contract.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

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