I.S.U. Spokesman Jay Groves said Saturday the choice was between five firms that the state had all previously vetted.
But, the board of trustees during a special meeting voted to select Greenwood/Ashler & Associates from Miramar Beach, Florida.
The firm will be paid $89,000 to find a replacement for Illinois State University President Dr. Al Bowman, who's retiring.
Groves said the unofficial timeline is to have a replacement in place by the start of the fall semester.
He said the new firm will be charged with formalizing that timeline and search process. The firm has done multiple searches for the university before, according to Groves.