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News >  Pacific NW

UI”s financial expert getting more costly

Associated Press

BOISE – A turnaround expert hired by the University of Idaho to remedy its money woes will cost the school significantly more than the originally announced $20,000 monthly pay figure, Idaho State Board of Education documents show.

The education board will consider the hiring of David Chichester, 59, as interim vice president of financial affairs and administration at meetings starting Thursday in Idaho Falls.

Documents included with the board’s agenda show Idaho must also provide Tatum Partners, an Atlanta-based headhunting firm, with a $5,000 monthly payment for “partial compensation for resources provided,” as well as a $25,000 security deposit to ensure Idaho doesn’t breach its contract.

In addition, the school must pay for thrice-monthly trips to Chichester’s Bainbridge Island, Wash., home, as well as providing a car and housing allowance.

Idaho President Tim White hired Chichester, a former financial officer at Starbucks Corp.’s Japanese unit, as the school attempts to retire $20 million in debt.

Without offering Chichester and Tatum higher-than-average remuneration, compensation experts said, the university would have struggled to attract somebody with his Harvard Business School credentials – especially without being able to offer stock options or other benefits that might come from a private-sector company.

“Why should someone walk into a situation that’s full of problems?” said Diane Posnak, managing director at Pearl Meyers & Partners, a New York-based executive compensation consulting firm. “It’s not surprising they would end up having to pay to get his services.”

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