Wednesday morning’s meeting with Stan Carpenter and Charles Bunting, open so the public might offer opinions on qualities to look for when the two select a new president for Wayne State College, was canceled due to weather.
Charles Bunting, the lead consultant for the firm hired to help with the search, was caught in the blizzard in the northeast United States.
Carpenter, who is Chancellor of the Nebraska State College System, and Bunting will not be meeting for the first time when the session in Gardner Auditorium is rescheduled.
Carpenter and Bunting worked together for 15 years in the Vermont State College System. Carpenter served as the Director of Employee Relations from 1982 to 2000, while Bunting was the system chancellor from 1985 to 2000.
The firm Storbeck/Pimentel has helped find many notable academic officials, including the Vice President for Academic Affairs for Nebraska Wesleyan University and Bemidji State University’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Nebraska State College System will pay the firm at least $66,000 for the search consultation, according to figures released at the NSCS Board of Trustees meeting last week in Lincoln.
“I know Chuck Bunting very well. I used to work for him and he’s been in this business for a long time. The firm has a lot of contacts and an excellent reputation,” Carpenter said on Tuesday.
Carpenter said this is the first time that a consultation firm has been used by the NSCS in a presidential search process.
“I talked to a few different firms and I settled on this one,” Carpenter said. “I did not do a request for proposal. The policy does not require that.”
Carpenter denied that hiring a consultant with whom he worked closely represented a conflict of interest.
“I don’t work for him now,” Carpenter said. “He works for us now.”
Carpenter, the system chancellor for 15 years, has sometimes had a strained relationship with NSCS faculty.
“There is some concern among the faculty senators about partnering with someone who has been combative with faculty,” Dr. Mark Leeper, a WSC political science professor and Faculty Senate president, said.
“Faculty members are apprehensive because of the addition of a consulting firm run by someone Stan is very familiar with, through their relationship at the Vermont State College System,” said Maureen Carrigg, a mass communications associate professor.
“The first thing that faculty want is shared governance so everyone can have their own input into the process.
“On the positive side, having a consulting firm may afford us a wider range of candidates.”
Carpenter sent out an email Monday, Jan. 19, forbidding the WSC advisory search committee from talking to the Wayne Stater and requiring that all media requests go through him during the presidential search.
“I want all messages to be the same and make sure everyone gets the same news,” he said on Friday. “I don’t want any missed communication. We will keep all media up to date on the search for the president.”
While Carpenter will reschedule the cancelled Wednesday morning sessions, he was set to attend the first meeting of the advisory committee late Tuesday afternoon.