Storbeck and Pimentel


In early November, Deans Valentini and Boyce announced that they’d be replacing KSho with a candidate selected by the academic-admin-headhunter-pros at Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates. (As it happens, they’re the same people that situated KSho at JHop.)

While there is a student committee to aid the search, this outside help is a new twist on the usual undergraduate dean search we’ve seen over the years. The powers that be opted for the firm that boasts a collective “more than a hundred years of experience in the executive search industry.” (That’s almost as long as the Morningside campus has sat on earth!)

On a whim, Bwog asked Sydney Gross (media person for Columbia College) if we could see the contract. Unsurprisingly, she said no. So Bwog pawed through Storbeck’s client list for public universities that have used SPA to find a student affairs czar, and fired off some Freedom of Information requests.

To date, Bwog’s gotten one back, a contract from 2007 between Storbeck and the University of California, Berkeley. Here’s that contract, and here’re the resultant invoices.

What do those say? Storbeck/Pimentel’s services cost the People of the State of California $74,965.14.

To be frank, that didn’t sound like all that much to Bwog. I mean, you don’t even wanna know how many Lit Hum/CC adjuncts that’d fund—but $75k? That’s barely tuition. However, the Columbia contract is almost certainly more than that, for at least three reasons:

  1. The firm was founded in 2007. This search was conducted in 2007. So this was one of their first gigs. They probably didn’t have >100 collective years and 2,000 executive searches then, and their fee can only have risen with their reputation.
  2. Inflation: $74,965.14 then works out to $84,910 now.
  3. Berkeley got a special flat rate to recognize a pre-established relationship between Ms. Storbeck or Mr. Pimentel and someone at Berkeley. To our knowledge, Columbia does not have such a relationship.

So, how much will this finding this new Dean of Student Affairs cost? More than $75k.

Storbeck/Pimentel via