Columbus State University has hired Parker Executive Search for help in the hiring of the school's next athletic director.
Jay Sparks resigned the position to accept the women's basketball coaching post at Francis Marion University in early April. Since that time, Johnny Williams has served as the interim athletic director.
"We are still in the process," said Jan Burcham, the chairwoman of a seven-person committee that will make a recommendation to school president Timothy Mescon.
"We have had over 80 applicants, a variety of people," she said.
CSU is paying Parker a set fee of $45,000, plus expenses, according to a copy of the agreement between CSU and Parker. Parker will also reimburse candidates for "interview travel expenses and invoice the University for those reimbursements."
"They go out and solicit candidates," Burcham said. "They are well connected in the athletic world.
"They also will give us their insight. They are well-seasoned with a history of success."
CSU Assistant Vice President for University Relations John Lester said the money is being paid by the Columbus State Foundation and not by the school.
Daniel Parker, the vice president and managing director of Parker, wrote in the agreement: "Our search consulting services are designed to assist the client in providing marketplace information, identifying and assisting the client in recruiting and selecting well qualified candidates through a comprehensive search process."
Burcham said the committee doesn't have a time frame for when it will make a recommendation to Mescon.
"We are just in the beginning stages," she said. "We hope to have someone before fall semester."
Burcham is the Teacher Education Department chairwoman and a professor in Early Childhood Education.
The other members of the committee are Aaron Sanders, an English professor; Michael Johnson, CSU Auditor; Laurence Marsh, professor of business; Russ Carreker, local businessman; Chip Reese, dean of students; Glenn Stokes, professor of biology and faculty athletic representative; and Tom Helton, vice president of business and finance.