UCF Presidential Search Committee met for the first time Nov. 20, 2017, to find President Hitt's successor. (Kyle Swenson)

A firm with a chequered past when it comes to scouting university presidents in Florida is being considered by the University of Central Florida Presidential Search Committee to help find President John Hitt’s successor.

Back in 2014, William Funk & Associates was given a vote of no confidence in the firm’s ability to find FSU’s next president by the school’s faculty senate, according to inside Higher Ed.

If selected, UCF will pay William Funk $100,000 for its service.

The board was presented with six possible contracts with prices ranging from $99,000 to $150,000.

Along with this controversial selection, two other firms were selected to the next round: Korn Ferry, which would cost the university one-third of the total compensation of the new president, including base salary; and Parker Search, which UCF contracted to hire Athletics Director Danny White and would charge $150,000.

These firms will be presented to UCF Board of Trustees Chairman Marcos Marchena, who is expected to make a final decision on which firm will search for the next UCF president by Wednesday.

The committee also decided to use an outside third-party firm to determine the salary of UCF’s next president. This decision will cost UCF approximately $30,000, according to UCF Vice President and General Counsel Scott Cole.

During the meeting, Marchena stressed to the search committee what qualities make a great president. 

“You’re looking for someone who can stand on the shoulders of a giant and not only reach for the stars, but actually catch one. No pressure, no pressure at all,” Marchena told the committee. “We achieve that goal by staying true to UCF’s culture.”

He hopes the committee will have made their recommendations for Hitt’s replacement by March.

UCF Student Government Vice President and student representative on the committee, Cristina Barreto, did not have much to say during the search firm selection process and, following the meeting, declined to speak with Knight News about William Funk or the search process in general.

The search committee will meet again on Dec. 4.