Engaging a Search Firm

Criteria for the Use of Search Firms - UIC

In accordance with Illinois law, 110 ILCS 305/80, the use of search firms is prohibited except in the case of a Presidential search or where the President and Board of Trustees can demonstrate a justifiable need for guidance from an individual or firm with specific expertise in the field of the hiring.

Beginning July 1, 2013, requests for the use of a search firm must conform to one (or more) of the following criteria:

  1. Search for the President of the University;
  2. When the position is at a level of seniority that requires strict confidentiality in the initial stages and a level of interaction with potential candidates is required that current staff cannot appropriately provide;
  3. When the position requires extensive recruiting and networking due to a highly competitive market, as well as to create a diverse candidate pool;
  4. When the potential candidates are in a specialized function outside traditional areas of higher education.


The process to request a search firm for the UIC campus is as follows:

1. All requests must be in writing and include the following information:

  • Name of the College and Unit conducting the search
  • Title of the position to be filled
  • Name of the search firm requested
  • Letter identifying cost and justification including criteria set forth above

2. Requests must be routed as follows:

  • Unit submits request to relevant Vice Chancellor for approval
  • Relevant Vice Chancellor shall email approval and all items defined in Item 1 to the Chancellor for review and approval
  • Following Chancellor approval, the request will be forwarded to the President for final review and approval
  • Following the President’s review, the Chancellor’s office will communicate the final decision to the requesting unit. Final approval must be included in the submission of the search request documents to the Office for Access and Equity and must also include the anticipated dollar amount of the contract for tracking purposes.

NOTE: Search firms may only be engaged following final written approval from the President as is required by law.


This policy is in addition to the purchasing requirements set forth by the Office of Business and Financial Services