Search Firm Policy

In July 2012, Governor Quinn signed into law Public Act 97-0814, which limits the use of search firms by the nine public universities in Illinois to searches for the University President and other searches for which the President and the Board of Trustees demonstrate a “justifiable need.” The law became effective on January 1, 2013, and requires each of the Illinois public universities to develop and implement a policy and accompanying criteria by July 1, 2013.
Requests for the use of a search firm must conform to one (or more) of the following criteria:
  • Search for the President of the University;
  • When the position is at a level of seniority that requires strict confidentiality in the initial stages and a level of interaction with potential candidates is required that current staff cannot appropriately provide; 
  • When the position requires extensive recruiting and networking due to a highly competitive market, as well as to create a diverse candidate pool;
  • When the potential candidates are in a specialized function outside traditional areas of higher education.

The policy and criteria provide guidance to the campuses as each determines whether engaging a search firm is appropriate. Requests approved by the campuses will be forwarded to the President for final approval. Search firms may only be engaged after the campus/department receives this final written approval from the President. In the case where the President requests to use a search firm, the Chair of the Governance, Personnel, and Ethics Committee of the Board of Trustees will review the request and confer final approval. In furtherance of Board of Trustee oversight, the Board will receive periodic updates and reports concerning the use of search firms.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on May 29, 2013.

Public Act 097-0814

Campus Procedures

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