Search for new principal costing nearly $100,000

Documents reveal search cost, timeline for new principal

Principal Daniel Woolf's replacement will be confirmed and announced by the end of the year, documents suggest. Woolf will leave the principalship at the end of this academic year.
Journal File Photo

The search for Principal Daniel Woolf’s replacement is costing the University nearly $100,000, according to documents The Journal obtained through a freedom of information request.

The University hired Perrett Laver—which specializes in higher education headhunting—on Feb. 16 for an 18-month contract after Woolf announced he wouldn’t seek a third term as principal. The partnership was announced on March 20. 

The last three Queen’s principals, Woolf, Karen R. Hitchcock, and William C. Leggett, were all selected through an executive search firm similar to Perrett Laver. 

The firm’s $93,000 fee covered international advertising, research, and costs associated with conducting interviews, such as travel and accommodation for the firm’s consultants.

Perrett Laver is employed by dozens of respectable schools, including the National University of Ireland Galway, which the Connacht Tribune recently reported spent more than €100,000 on a search for a new president.                                                                                       

Before Queen’s hired Perrett Laver, it issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the contract. According to the RFP, the new principal will be confirmed and announced by the end of the 2018 calendar year “in an ideal scenario.”

On July 25, a Queen’s Gazette article announced that Perrett Laver had brought in a “range of highly qualified candidates.” 

The article reiterated the Joint Board-Senate Principal Search Committee’s pledge to recommend a candidate to the Board of Trustees by December, but didn’t mention a timeline for the announcement .

The University RFP hints at Queen’s priorities for potential candidates.

According to the documents, Queen’s is “committed to increasing the diversity of its community, and particularly its senior team.” 

The University specified it was looking for a headhunting firm that had assisted other institutions similar to Queen’s in successfully recruiting “qualified women, visible minorities, persons with disability and persons of indigenous [sic] descent for senior roles.”

The Joint Board-Senate Principal Search Committee worked with Perrett Laver for the duration of the summer to create a shortlist of candidates, who will be interviewed in September and October. 

Principal Woolf’s current term will end on June 30, 2019. 

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