Records: Failed UW president search costs about $216,000

A UW Madison sign

MADISON, Wis. — A failed search for a person to lead the University of Wisconsin System has cost taxpayers about $216,000, a cost unlikely to be recouped because of contract language with the company hired to help find the next president.

According to records obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal, the UW paid about $214,000 to Storbeck Search and Associates. The contract with the company didn’t specify a refund if the search failed.

Other costs were for travel-related expenses.

The presidential search collapsed in June when the lone finalist, University of Alaska System president Jim Johnsen, withdrew his name from consideration on the same day the search committee planned to make a hiring recommendation to the UW Board of Regents.