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Higher Education Agency Seeks Funds to Hire New Chief

Posted: 03 November, 2013

LINCOLN, (Neb.) - The Nebraska state agency in charge of overseeing higher education policy needs to hire a new executive director, but the search is at a stand-still until the agency has the money to do so.

The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education has asked the Legislature for about $72,000 for a search firm and salary raise for a new hire said interim Executive Director Carna Pfeil.

Pfeil, the commission's associate director of finance and administration, started his position in August after the resignation of Marshall Hill. Hill left for a position with a Colorado-based organization.

The agency had to make a similar funding request of the Legislature eight years ago when it hired Hill because the search and hiring process is an unplanned cost, Pfeil said.

Board Chairman Ron Hunter said the search can't begin until the agency gets the money.

“We don't have any funding at all that would carry us through something like this,” Hunter said.

The Nebraska Legislature does not go into session until January, and it will be at least March before lawmakers decide on the commission's request.

Pfeil said she will stay on until a new director is in place, which the commission hopes will occur by July 2014 if all goes according to plan.

The requested money would go to pay for a search firm, related expenses such as candidate travel, and to bump the salary range to about $190,000 annually from the $169,500 Hill made and Pfeil is making. It also will cover a payout the commission estimates will be about $48,000 of unused vacation and sick time for Pfeil when she retires.

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