Search firm will help UNM find AD - Albuquerque Journal

Search firm will help UNM find AD

Paul Krebs is technically still on the job for 10 more days, albeit while using vacation days.

And interim athletic director Janice Ruggiero is holding down the University of New Mexico athletics department in the meantime.

The search for a permanent replacement for Krebs has not officially started, but will as early as the end of this week.

The Journal has learned UNM will retain Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search, which specializes in job searches for higher education and college athletics, to identify finalists for the vacant position. Earlier this month, Krebs formally informed UNM he’d be retiring June 30.

While there is not a contract in place, the agreement with the search firm is believed to be for about $50,000, not including some logistical expenses such as flights, lodging and expenses for any candidate interviews the firm might do itself.

UNM, meanwhile, is expected to finalize an internal search committee this week with five or six people from around campus — none from athletics — who will ultimately review the search firm’s recommendation and decide on Krebs’ replacement.

That committee is expected to include multiple regents, Interim President Chaouki Abdalla, Executive Vice President of Administration David Harris and others.

A timetable to fill the position has not been named.

The search will proceed while an ongoing investigation from the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and a special audit called for by the state auditor’s office are conducted in the wake of revelations about spending on a June 2015 golf junket to Scotland that athletics used public money on, including for non-university employees.

INTERIM CONTRACT

UNM on Tuesday released to the Journal the terms of Ruggiero’s new deal as interim athletic director and a copy of the offer letter Harris sent her June 5.

The Journal requested on June 5 a copy of Ruggiero’s contract.

On Tuesday, the Journal received a copy of Ruggiero’s new contract that states she will be paid an annual salary of $206,250 through Dec. 31, which is a 25 percent increase over her previous contract salary of $165,000. It retains all other benefits from her previous contract signed in March for her position as deputy AD, though that has still not been released to the Journal.

Krebs earned an annual base salary and compensation package of $419,000.

In Harris’ memo offering Ruggiero the interim position, it states Ruggiero’s “qualifications and experience will be of assistance to me and of great benefit to UNM in providing continued leadership as we search” to find a permanent AD.

He also set forth five specific goals to focus on:

• Improving internal communications in athletics.

• Work with UNM on the “search process to fill the vacancy of AD.”

• “Review and update” the athletics department business operation manual “as needed.”

• Work with the purchasing department to revise current procedures to ensure compliance with UNM policy.

• Do whatever is needed to comply with the findings “of the audit currently underway regarding use of UNM funds.”

Harris also encouraged Ruggiero to apply for the permanent job, but she has not said publicly if she plans to do so. Should she apply, she would no longer be required to help in the search for the new AD, the memo states.

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