UC spent $80K to find chancellor

Sung-Mo "Steve" Kang beat out four administrators to become the University of California at Merced's second chancellor.

His appointment was blessed by the UC Board of Regents in January, and he took over the university's reins March 1.

Kang will earn $295,000 annually, a $35,000 increase over founding Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey's salary. Kang also will live in a house supplied by the university and receive a $9,000 annual car allowance, $10,000 in moving expenses and access to funds for official entertainment.

Kang's compensation concluded a seven-month search in which the UC system spent more than $80,000. The final numbers were supplied two weeks after his appointment after Bee inquiries into the guarded search.

Consultants with Edward W. Kelley & Partners out of Monterey Park led the search. They earned $80,000, which runs standard with industry practice of charging about one-third of the anticipated first-year salary of the administrator, said Brandy Ramos Nikaido, UC spokeswoman.

"When looking at these kinds of costs, it is important to keep in mind the many benefits that accrue to the university through the use of an outside consultant," Nikaido said in an e-mail. "For example, these kinds of searches involve many people and a lot of staff time, and the use of an outside consultant saves the university both time and money as compared to if we conducted the search ourselves."

A 16-member advisory search committee was named by UC President Robert Dynes in June.

UC officials said hundreds of people applied; about 65 were considered candidates. Fourteen were from California.

Two finalists were minorities. UC officials would not release the identities of the finalists, to protect their confidentiality and their current jobs. This is why there were no visits to candidates' home campuses, Nikaido said.

Of the five finalists, three flew to interviews with the committee in San Francisco, Nikaido said. One finalist was from outside California.

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