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Posted on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

Ann Arbor school board votes to offer Brian Osborne superintendency

By Danielle Arndt

Previous coverage:

The Ann Arbor Board of Education has voted unanimously to offer the position of superintendent to Brian Osborne of New Jersey.


Brian Osborne will be offered the Ann Arbor Public Schools superintendent job.

File photo

Osborne currently is the superintendent of South Orange and Maplewood School District. He he's been at the district for about 6 years.

Osborne was selected over Jeanice Kerr Swift, the assistant superintendent of instruction, curriculum and student services for Colorado Springs School District No. 11.

Both candidates were narrowed down from a group of six semifinalists and 61 initial applicants to make it to the final round of interviews. The candidates toured the district, interviewed with the board and had several opportunities to meet with and answer questions from district staff and community members Tuesday and Wednesday.

Read the live blog from the meeting to see what board members said while making their selection:

The meeting started at 5:30 p.m. at the Balas Administration Building.

School board President Deb Mexicotte and a representative from Ray & Associates, the superintendent search firm the district hired, will call Osborne Friday night to formally offer him the position. Mexicotte said the board will expect an answer from him either tonight via phone or "within a day or two."

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

BTW? Anyone know what the salary will be? I hope half of what they offered that Green character. Can't wait to see him mess up AAPS.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 7:07 p.m.

This is one huge mistake. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? Sad day for Ann Arbor. Glad to hear they will be recalled.

Dog Guy

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

Dr. Osborne, you are loved and needed by South Orange and Maplewood School District. Go home. Ann Arbor's loss would be your gain.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

It was a weak field and he probably was the best. But let him know time is short, big things are expected, and he is expendable. Trolling for a job for his wife is so pathetic

Danielle Arndt

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

Tangimpahoa, today's story clarifies that the adjunct professorship inquiry was for him:


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

The board should ignore the salary "bonus" he got in NJ since next year it would drop to $167k. Don't go more than $210.

Top Cat

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

His first act should be to begin each school day by piping "Born to Run" into all the classrooms.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 10:08 a.m.

@ Danielle and -- thank you for the excellent news coverage and live blogs. Thanks to Kellie Woodhouse for filling in when Danielle was gone. The salary questions @ Ruth Kraut brought up and @DonBee responded to in last night's story are important ones I would like to understand better. Also, the adjunct faculty idea for Osborne or his spouse: which ever of those are true vs. hearsay or partial information from trustees last night, this needs elaboration or it will continue to be a criticism (maybe rightly so) if he accepts the job. My understanding is that a lot of people can work as an adjunct at the UM and it doesn't mean a whole lot in a practical way, other than they can teach a course or a seminar more like a visiting scholar who returns. Then there are adjunct faculty who are more like permanent employees in non-tenure track positions. I also understand from friends at the UM that the School of Ed has a different set up in some areas and adjunct could mean something like working on a grant temporarily or working on a project. If Osborne wanted to be affiliated with the School of Ed and use resources that would help the district, that could be a plus, not a sign that he is only ambitious. If it is for his spouse, that is not unusual for one partner in a relationship who is sought after by an employer to ask about employment possibilities for a his/her mate. If he is so great, wouldn't we want his spouse and family to love it here, too? I think ambition is a good quality and should not be seen as a liability unless it is a more negative mix of self-interest + ambition that makes a person not care too deeply about anyone other than his or her own gain. The self-interest piece is what Green was criticized for and also a point of criticism about Edmonson by commenters who said they had worked with him. I have not read a criticism of either Osborne or Swift about being self-interested and insincere.

Danielle Arndt

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 4:48 p.m.

aaparent, today's story clarifies that the adjunct professorship was for him:


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 9:57 a.m.

I am curious how Osborne responded to the offer and how the negotiations will proceed. Will President Mexicotte be the only trustee talking with him about the contract and the logistics? Whatever the process was with Dr. Green, I think the board should use a different process. @DonBee had good suggestions for a contract with incentives that would counter the desperation expressed by Trustee Patalan at the end of last night's meeting. I hope that the board follows this recommendation to build in a few key metrics and protection for the district. Green was treated as an executive Goddess of sorts, left to work for too long in a data collection and research phase and then emerge with a set of proposals that did not work in a practical way. The BOE needs to learn how it contributed to that playing out. Now is that window to set things up differently. Can our BOE, many of whom have really big emotions, feelings and concerns they express over and over again, act in an effective way? Can the BOE set this up so that if Osborne accepts the offer, he can have a real chance to succeed when he (if he says yes) will have to oversee a lot of unpopular changes? If Osborne is willing to talk more to the media directly than Dr. Green was, he can do a better job at communicating in a focused way than any board member right now other than Trustee Stead.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 3:21 a.m.

FUGGABOUT the Superintendent! He is HIRED. The next shake up is about to hit the waste of money and the raise in millage at the Bus System! I kid you not !


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 2:51 a.m.

Good news! I hope it's a reasonable offer and that he accepts. Lot of work to do, but he is clearly the best choice. Good luck to him in the rest of the process.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

Unamimous. Now that is a good omen! Will the BOE require Dr. Osborne to be here and start work by this fall ? His current contract goes 'til June 2014. Will the BOE match his current salary $221,001 awarded last week or stick to their 180k - 220k? Not that the hopeful enthusiasts would care at this point. Congratulations A2SI Dr. Brian Osborne. Like dancing with the BOE - that's a onesie and a twosie (A2SI) .


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 1:23 a.m.

I hope they realize that we should not over him a big increase over his current compensation level because the cost of living there is about double what it is here.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

@nunya I am intrigued with NJ using enrollment to determine salary. The more I think about it, the more I like it. That way no part of the school population can be ignored. If the high achievers all leave for private, you've got to do something. If the kids from one elementary all leave for private/charter due to a principal, you have to do something about it.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 4:17 a.m.

In New Jersey, superintendent salaries are based on enrollment. New Jersey School Board Association data shows that superintendent turnover has spiked sharply since the salary cap was enacted: in 2011-2012, 31.4% of N.J. school districts lost their superintendents. New Jersey superintendent salary caps are based on student enrollment. ( Under the salary cap, the enrollment in Mr. Osborne's district results in a salary of $ 175,000. However, if the district loses 125 students, Mr. Osborne's salary drops $ 10,000. (


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 2:54 a.m.

Salaries are based on performance and credentials as well as experience, not on financial need (cost of buying a house). Offer him a market rate that is in line with the range published for the position.

Usual Suspect

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

The Parents for Change or whatever they're called is not going to be happy about this.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 12:24 a.m.

Our long national nightmare is over.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

The statement is sarcasm directed at the hyperbole being spewed by folks over this matter.

Jack Gladney

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 4:04 a.m.

Do you know something that the rest of this blessed nation doesn't? (Please say, "Yes.)


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 12:08 a.m.

Congratulations to Dr. Osborne. It is nice to see the board united on this decision. Now begins the transition for Dr. Osborne, finding a place to live, packing, moving and helping his old district deal with his departure. I wish him all the best in the transistion. To Dr. Swift, thank you for applying and giving the opportunity your best. I hope you find the Superintendent position you are looking for.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 6:51 a.m.

So far we have not heard back from Dr. Osborne. There are matters for discussion and negotiation such as salary... The dance of offer, counteroffer, and hopefully acceptance, before a contract is agreed to.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 1:07 a.m.

Usual Suspect- He said he would be enrolling his children in AAPS and expects them to finish their schooling here.

Usual Suspect

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 12:44 a.m.

You're assuming he's moving here. Did anybody ask him if he's going to, or will he commute, like our last Superintendent?

Ann English

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

I was hoping for a man to take the job; more than one woman offered the position in recent years who took it, resigned later because of incompetence at the job.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

Wow. Can't believe you said that.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

It's always wonderful when misogynistic statements are made by other women. Are you sure your last name isn't Coulter?

Laura J

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

Way to generalize! I'm sure all women are just as you say!


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

Amen sister!


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 1:07 a.m.

Misogynistic much Ann?


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

Hope he accepts the position.

The Infinite Jester

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

Good luck to him!