BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -The Southeastern Conference has retained Korn Ferry, an executive recruiting firm, to assist in the search for a new commissioner.
Korn Ferry will begin work immediately in identifying potential candidates to replace Mike Slive who announced in October that he will retire in July of 2015 after 13 years as commissioner of the SEC. Jed Hughes, Vice Chairman of Korn Ferry, will lead the firm's search team.
Dr. David Gearhart, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas, serves as chairman of a search committee consisting of presidents and chancellors of SEC institutions.
"Korn Ferry offers the expertise and experience necessary to assist us in identifying candidates for a position of this significance to our institutions," said Gearhart. "Their proven success at bringing highly qualified individuals to high profile positions is well-documented and gives the committee great confidence in their ability to do the same for the SEC."
Among the commissioner positions for which Korn Ferry has identified successful candidates are the Big 12 Conference, Major League Baseball and the National Football League, and Hughes was instrumental in the hiring of the Pac-12 commissioner.
Gearhart said a high priority has been placed on Korn Ferry meeting with key constituency groups within the SEC, including athletics directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives, student-athletes and conference office staff.
In addition to Gearhart, the search committee consists of Dr. Judy Bonner, President of the University of Alabama; Dr. Eli Capilouto, President of the University of Kentucky; Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University; and Dr. Bowen Loftin, Chancellor of the University of Missouri.