UT taps firm used by UNC system for chancellor search

A beauty shot of the outside of Mossman Building on November 7, 2018. Photo by Steven Bridges

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A firm used by the University of North Carolina system during the search for East Carolina College's chancellor is now being used by the University of Tennessee.

UT Has been searching for a chancellor since 2018 after it parted ways with Beverly Davenport following a tumultuous football season that saw the firing of both Butch Jones and Athletic Director John Currie.

A UT representative confirmed that the university had enlisted the help of search firm Witt/Kiefer, previously used by the University of North Carolina System to find a chancellor for East Carolina University.

According to a letter from the University System of North Carolina's president Margaret Spellings to the Board of Governors, the search firm Witt/Kiefer "handled the most recent Chancellor search at East Carolina University." Spellings indicated in the letter that the search firm did not perform satisfactorily and "did not meet our expectations in terms of communications with the search consultants."

The firm refunded the North Carolina system $110,000, according to the letter.

The UT representative said, "While we are not aware of the specific details surrounding what happened at UNC, it is important to note that UT's own executive search team is working in conjunction with Witt/Kiefer" tor remain a part of the search process.

The firm "was selected to lead this search based on their more than 50 years of experience in the field and strong overall record of successful placements," the representative said.

On April 10, the university announced its list of finalists for the chancellor position, including the president of East Tennessee State University, Brian Noland.

The others are: William Tate, Bill Hardgrave and Donde Plowman. For more information on the candidates, go here.