Records show Georgia Southern spent $50k on Athletic Director search

Jared Benko’s first official day as the Georgia Southern University Athletic Director was April 1, 2020.

Records show Georgia Southern spent $50k on Athletic Director search
Jared Benko will begin his tenure as Georgia Southern's athletic director on April 1. (Source: WTOC)

STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Jared Benko’s first official day as the Georgia Southern University Athletic Director was April 1, 2020. Records show that it cost the school $50,000 to get him to Statesboro.

A contract dated January 8, 2020 was signed by University President Dr. Kyle Marrero, entering into an agreement with Chicago, Illinois-based DHR International.

DHR International conducted the national search for Southern’s next athletic director after former AD Tom Kleinlein resigned.

The contract is for a fixed-fee of $50,000 to be paid in three installments. The first payment was due when the school and company entered into the agreement as a retainer. The next payments were due 30, and 60 days later, respectively.

DHR International will also be reimbursed for any “search-related indirect expenses”. The contract states that those expenses will be billed at 12% of the retainer, and include things like administrative, support expenses, communications, and database management.

Any direct, out-of-pocket expenses will be approved and billed on a monthly basis. That would include candidate and consult lodging, travel, and meals.

If any candidate DHR International brought to GSU is employed by the school besides Benko within the next two years, Georgia Southern will pay DHR an additional fee that will be one-third of that person’s first year salary.

Benko signed a one-year contract, but if he leaves Georgia Southern (voluntarily or involuntarily) within two years from his hiring date (March 4), DHR International will fill the position again at no additional cost.

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