Better Call Stan

Sarah Lentz, Staff Writer

None of the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustee members contacted were willing to comment on Board action taken in the meeting on Nov. 4, 2014.

In that meeting, the Board revised policy 7016. It bumped the scale the Board could pay consultants–$25,000 to $50,000–without having to follow a competitive request for proposal (RFP). That figure is now $35,00 to $70,000.

Previous to the revision, all consulting contracts over $50,000 had to be open for consulting firms to bid on the job. In that meeting, the policy was changed to exclude contracts under $70,000 from the bidding process. In the Board minutes, it was noted these prices had not been changed since 2006.

The Chancellor was also “delegated the responsibility for selecting and negotiating on behalf of the Board, consulting contracts for the System Office or System wide where the total cost is expected to be under $70,000.”

“Stan [Carpenter] is handling everything we’re working on,” said Board member Jess Zeiss. Like the other members contacted, he referred questions to the NSCS central office in Lincoln.

In January, the contract for Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, represented by Charles Bunting as the lead consultant in the WSC presidential search, was approved for $66,000 plus expenses. That’s just under the amount that would force the decision away from the Chancellor and open up the position to competitive applicants.

Prior to being a consultant for the WSC presidential search, Bunting was the chancellor of Vermont State Colleges (VSC) while Carpenter was the VSC’s Director of Employee Relations. They worked together for 15 years.

An advertisement for the WSC presidency has run only once in one publication, “The Chronicle of Higher Education.”