FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky lawmakers quickly approved the University of Louisville’s request to pay a consulting firm up to $170,000 to handle the search for the university’s next president.

The university will hire R. William Funk & Associates of Dallas, under a contract lasting through June 30, 2018, as WDRB first reported Friday.

Bill Funk, the principal of the firm, is one of the leading higher education headhunters having placed more than 400 university leaders in a career spanning more than 30 years, according to a 2014 profile in the Dallas Morning News.

Most recently, Funk’s firm oversaw the University of Kansas’ search for a chancellor earlier this year under a contract reported to be $183,500.

Funk did not return a call for comment Monday.

Unlike the last time U of L officials appeared before the General Assembly’s contract review committee, lawmakers put up little resistance to the university’s spending request.

Sen. Paul Hornback, a Republican of Shelbyville, asked whether “all the controversies” surrounding the university in the last couple of years would dampen the pool of applicants for the job.

“I believe we are a strong university that is going to be able to attract a very good set of candidates for this position,” Lee Smith, the university’s interim chief operating officer, told the committee.

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