News & Messages

Chancellor search committee votes to retain Funk & Associates

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Search Committee has voted to engage the search firm of R. William Funk & Associates to recruit candidates to succeed Chancellor Holden Thorp.

The committee interviewed three firms at its first meeting on Oct. 8 and voted unanimously to select Funk & Associates based on a presentation by principal R. William (Bill) Funk.  No contract or terms have been finalized.

Funk & Associates, based in Dallas, specializes in conducting searches at the senior leadership level for major colleges and universities, especially those that, like Carolina, are members of the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Funk formerly headed the education practice at Korn/Ferry International, an executive recruitment firm, for 14 years. He has conducted more than 350 educational searches for college and university presidents and chancellors and has helped recruit nearly 70 currently sitting presidents or chancellors.

Funk’s recent presidential or chancellor searches have included the universities of Southern California, Virginia, Kansas, Oregon and Minnesota; Cornell and Rutgers universities; and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Funk’s firm has recruited presidents for more than two-thirds of the public AAU campuses and more than half of all public and private AAU member universities.

Funk & Associates also assisted the University’s previous chancellor search committee in 2007 and 2008, as well as the last search for an executive vice chancellor and provost.

The firms interviewed agreed to take on the UNC-Chapel Hill search for a flat fee plus reimbursement for expenses related to the search, as well as administrative and support costs. Typically, search firm fees are based on a percentage of the placed candidate’s first-year compensation plus expenses.

The University will cover search-related expenses with non state-appropriated funds from the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation Inc.

Search committee members also received their charge from UNC President Tom Ross and briefings about the search process, equal opportunity hiring practices and open meetings and public records from General Administration and University officials.

For a link to audio from Ross’ remarks to the committee, refer to