ST. PAUL - The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has dropped its presidential search firm after the company signed on with another Big Ten school.

Regents hired Storbeck/Pimentel and Associates in August after Eric Kaler said he would retire in June 2019 following his eighth year as U president.

But Michigan State University last week announced that it, too, would hire Storbeck/Pimentel for its own presidential search.

That move “created significant concern as to potential confusion for candidates,” according to a message posted Wednesday, Oct. 3, to the University of Minnesota’s presidential search webpage.

The contract called for payments totaling $224,000 plus the cost of travel, advertising and background checks. Storbeck/Pimentel will have its expenses reimbursed but has agreed to return its fee.

Regents said they’ve replaced the firm with Washington D.C.-based AGB Search - created by the nonprofit Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges - which will get $150,000 plus expenses.

AGB’s website lists nine other clients searching for a president but none anywhere near the size of the U.