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Posted on Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor superintendent search: District still waiting for Osborne's decision

By Danielle Arndt


The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education and community are still waiting on a definite answer from New Jersey superintendent candidate Brian Osborne.

Courtney Sacco | Ann

Previous coverage:

One week ago, the Ann Arbor Board of Education offered New Jersey Superintendent Brian Osborne the position of leading its university-town district of 16,600 students.

But to date, Osborne has not responded to the board with a decision on whether he will accept the position.

The board voted 7-0 July 19 to extend a job offer to Osborne, superintendent of South Orange-Maplewood School District in New Jersey, and to enter into contract negotiations with him.

Osborne has been in discussions this week with board President Deb Mexicotte, whom trustees authorized to begin the negotiations with Osborne on their behalf.

Mexicotte told Monday formal negotiations have not begun at this time, but both she and Osborne "committed to making a good decision as soon as possible." On Friday, Mexicotte said there is no update and conversations are continuing, but nothing formal yet.

During their discussion during the weekend, Mexicotte said Osborne asked questions about operations and amenities in the school district.

Some members of the community have begun getting anxious about Osborne's delay to say he will be accepting the position, provided an agreement on his contract can be reached.

Ann Arbor parent and public schools advocate Steve Norton is surprised it's taken Osborne so long to think over the board's job offer.

"I would have imagined that if you were a finalist for a job somewhere, you'd be pretty far along in the process of considering what it might be like to move there," he said, adding that in everything he heard and read from Osborne, it seemed like Osborne had an intense interest in the district and did a significant amount of research and homework on the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

"So that makes me much more than a little surprised," Norton said. "A week might not be an unreasonable thing, but I would think in a very short order an answer ought to be given."

Osborne's board in South Orange-Maplewood also recently approved a $12,001 salary increase to try to keep him in the district. The salary increase would only be good for a year. When Osborne's contract expires in June 2014, a salary cap recently instated by New Jersey's governor will take effect and his pay will drop from $220,001 to $167,500.

But while community members are beginning to fret about Osborne's silence, trustees have faith in the process they've established. However, Vice President Christine Stead said if Osborne does not give Mexicotte a more definitive answer by Monday, she thinks it could be time to discuss next steps or back-up plans.

"If we haven't heard from him by then, then it'd be my expectation that that should trigger some kind of touch-base, regroup with the board around do we want to put something more formal in place in terms of a deadline or our expectations (for accepting the position)?" Stead said.

Stead added she is not that worried that the board has not received a decision from Osborne yet.

"I'm OK. I want this to be a good decision for him and his family that they are actually excited about," she said. "If they are uncomfortable or unsure at all... it's a big deal for them (moving), so hopefully they're thrilled and looking forward to it."

Trustee Glenn Nelson said he "quite deliberately" has not thought much at all this week about the superintendent selection. He said he's chosen to honor the delegation the board made to Mexicotte for this step in the process.

"In my view, negotiations are a very delicate thing. And we've delegated that to Deb," Nelson said. "I have complete confidence in her. ... I expect to hear from her when there is something definite to hear.

"Deb hasn't told me I should be concerned (about Osborne not taking the position). She also hasn't told me I should be relaxed," Nelson said, chuckling. "But I choose to live life optimistically."

On the idea of putting a deadline or timeframe on Osborne's decision, Nelson said he would defer to the board president and expect other trustees to do the same.

Teachers union president Linda Carter has seen the district hire 12 superintendents during her nearly 40 years with the Ann Arbor Public Schools, she said. She did recall one time a candidate taking a week to respond to the board's decision to offer him the superintendency.

But Carter said she understands the process of selecting a superintendent is a challenging process and accepting this position in Ann Arbor is a "major move."

"Ann Arbor is a very high-profile district and we do a quality job in educating children, but being able to come here and hit the ground running requires a thoughtful commitment," she said. "... Whoever the person is coming in, the spotlight is shining on them and it's challenging."

Carter hesitated with regards to setting an acceptance deadline, stating she does not want the district to come across as being threatening or desperate. But from the standpoint of the teachers union, Carter would like to see the board complete the superintendent hiring process and get someone in here prior to opening day for staff, she said.

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


Retiree Newcomer

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

As of Sunday, Osborne has turned down the Ann Arbor job to stay in Maplewood, NJ.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

The President of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education, Deb Mexicotte, was informed on Saturday by Dr. Brian Osborne that he has decided to decline the offer to become the district's next Superintendent. "Dr. Osborne shared with me that due to a developing family issue, concerns about moving his family from the East coast and his desire to continue the work he has started in his current district, he has declined our offer," said Mexicotte. "While this is disappointing, the entire Board of Education was prepared for this possible outcome and will meet as soon as possible to plan the next steps in this process. Whatever those steps might be, the leadership in place in our district continues to have our support and confidence. Staff will be welcomed back in August, prepared and ready for the new school year. Students and families can be assured that the district leadership team, principals and teachers will be well prepared to welcome them back on September 3rd," Mexicotte continued. "I also want to wish Dr. Osborne, his family and his district all the best in the future."


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

For the past few weeks, I have been touched and inspired by the numerous and meaningful demonstrations of support for the work we are doing in SOMSD. I feel that the biggest contribution to public education that I can make at this time is to harness the momentum we have created in SOMSD and accelerate the progress we are making toward truly preparing all students for the myriad challenges they will face in college and career. We have a strong beginning to that journey in SOMSD, and much unfinished work in motion. There are also family considerations that influence my decision to stay in SOMSD. While Ann Arbor is a place we would be happy to make our home, the timing of this move would have a major impact on my family, including two young children whose upbringing is my highest priority. In addition, over the past few weeks, the medical condition of an ailing family member has intensified, compelling us to stay on the East Coast. I have appreciated getting to know the Ann Arbor community. Ann Arbor itself is clearly a wonderful and supportive place to live and raise a family. The district has enormous strengths that will help it overcome the formidable challenges that lie ahead. These characteristics reminded me of my commitment to overcoming similar challenges in SOMSD. I appreciate your consideration and offer. I wish you well in finding the best possible person to help move your district forward."


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 5 p.m.

Dr. Osborne issued a prepared statement that is being shared with both the Ann Arbor community and the South Orange/Maplewood community. He talks about the "thorough, professional, and transparent selection process" led by the AAPS Board of Education and that his decision was not an "easy" one. The Ann Arbor community will be informed of the Board of Education if a meeting is able to be scheduled prior to the next posted Regular Meeting of the Board on August 14. Statement from Dr. Osborne to the Ann Arbor Community "The Ann Arbor Board of Education conducted a thorough, professional, and transparent selection process. The entire school community is fortunate to have such dedicated public servants who are clearly committed to providing a great education to every child. I am humbled and honored by the confidence the Board and community have expressed, and appreciative of the learning opportunity that such a rigorous process provided. After deep reflection and deliberation, I have decided to decline Ann Arbor's offer and recommit to the unfinished work in my current district. This was not an easy decision. When approached about the superintendency of Ann Arbor, I responded because Ann Arbor embodies the qualities and values that originally drew me to the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD), and have made the work there so meaningful. They are both communities that cherish public education, value diversity, and are willing to address issues of race, class, and student outcomes. For our nation to make good on its promise of equal opportunity, all children must be fully challenged and supported, and leadership must ensure that diverse districts like these achieve equity and excellence for all kids.

A Voice of Reason

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

He declined the offer. Seems like the search firm would have someone sign an agreement that this guy would be willing to move if there was an offer made of XX amount; a binding agreement so they are not wasting our time. Also, going through the process so publicly did not really help with the second choice candidate because she will always be second; not a great way to start.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

Danielle, This news resources might want to update this story -- if Ann is not currently working on an update. Michigan Radio and the Ann Arbor Chronicle reports Dr. Osborne has declined Ann Arbor Public Schools offer for employment citing family issues.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

Correction -- "News Resource".


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

He is NOT coming!

Laura J

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Not waiting any longer! He declined the offer!


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

Just got an email that he TURNED IT DOWN!


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

There is more to this than we know. I'm hopeful but becoming concerned.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 3:03 p.m.

1. Ms. Arndt, can you report on the specifics of what is being offered and what is open for negotiation? If it turns out that the contract is pretty "cut and dried", the slow response is a concern. 2. I still think somebody with local ties, say a 100-mile radius, is more likely to have their heart here and to stay awhile. Not many local candidates surfaced, and I'd be interested in knowing why.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

Most jobs in the real world go as follows: A person is interviewed, sometimes repeatedly, and often visits the area with his / her family. A verbal offer is extended, with a written offer coming within a day or two. A deadline is given to the candidate for a response. They asked questions, negotiate changes to the offer, and either accept or reject the offer, usually within 1-2 weeks. In this process, everything is the same up to the offer. A verbal offer is extended for the job, and the candidate agrees to enter into contract negotiations, but the broad terms should be part of the offer, i.e. we're offering you the job for 5 years for $XX per year, with XX weeks vacation and a car. The candidate accepts, and they enter into contract negotiations with a set period to complete them. The salary doesn't change, but little details get tweaked. Therefore, Osborne should have been ready to say yes, or no, to the verbal offer within a few days after confirming with his family that they were good with his decision. Clearly he is either considering staying with lobbying from his district or looking at other opportunities. If you do the math, he's probably better off staying another year, letting the economy pick up some more, get more for his house, and a bigger salary elsewhere. On the negative side to doing that is that a huge number of New Jersey superintendents are going to leave in the next year because they won't want massive salary cuts. Deb Mexicotte needs to call him today or on Monday morning and ask for an answer. If he wont' give one, then she should give him 24 more hours to answer, then withdraw the offer and move on.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

I still say he's dead in the water!


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

I would think less of Osbourne if he didn't take the time he needs to work through this and other options with his family. WE lost the former sup unexpectedly. We have an interim. We would like to have a new sup in place soon, but our desires are not Osbourne's emergency. He should take time as any potential CEO would do. Ann Arbor is a great place, but we are not the center of the universe, as many seem to think we are. Unrealistic expectations, people. I am quite surprised at the level of naïveté, but not the hubris shown here.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 5:12 a.m.

likewise, our "emergency" may not prove to be Osborne's desire......just have to wait now. Mich and Detroit and the last departure of Sup-warning signs for any one's brain in decision making mode. the local candidates would have been better due to "extenuating " circumstances at play. Ann Arbor should get over itself so it can move on.....should try something other than expensive searches and these "formidable" people coming in here, only to get nervous and uncomfortable.

Maria Huffman

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

He is not a CEO, so I don't understand how that figures into your calculus of evaluating his response time to the AAPS BOE. As time passes,it becomes more likely that the Interim Superintendent will be left making major decisions for this upcoming year, and so it's more likely Osbourne won't be deciding directly on the big issues. Instead, he will more likely to be in a position to be managing reactively what David Comsa has done before him.

Jack Panitch

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, "Witness," rent it and watch it. Pay special attention to the scene where the community comes together with hand tools, horses and sweat to raise a barn to give a young married couple their start in life. Two weeks ago, your community got together to complete the process of hiring a new superintendent. It's all about giving public school students a fighting chance: the same chance our parents promised and delivered to us. For some reason, commenters on this site have entirely lost that perspective. I witnessed the entire interview process, I am proud of the seven people who conducted it, and I know that the community represented itself well throughout. We can all point fingers. I can point a finger at my neighbor for not supporting the enhancement millage. My neighbor can point a finger at the AAEA for extending its contract to avoid RTW. The AAEA can point a finger at Arne Duncan or Lisa Lyons or whomever. And then nothing gets rebuilt. It certainly remains our democratic right to voice opinions respectfully. Nobody died, nobody got hurt, we're not at war. However, the community is trying to rebuild. Please keep that in mind and figure out where you can best contribute. "Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community." John W Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under LBJ Cynic: a faultfinding captious critic; especially : one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest Captious: marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections "The right to criticize government is also an obligation to know what you are talking about." Lent Upson, 1st Executive Director of CRC So, take a deep breath, make an adjustment and re-engage.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

@Jack Very telling that you did not mention ANY reason for fingers to be pointed at you!

Maria Huffman

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

To Mr. Panitch, The community did not complete the hiring process. They can't. An acceptance by the possible new Superintendent will complete the hiring process. We are not rebuilding a community, we are in the process of restructuring many important tenants of how schools(and many other societal institutions) are conceptualized,funded and managed, and we are also changing our expectations of what these institutions deliver and how the services are delivered. Many people who commented on this article are neither captious nor cynical, to my understanding.In my view, they bring practicality and valid life experiences to the conversation.

Laura J

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

I was impressed by his credentials, resume and his answers to the questions posed by the BOE. I am NOT impressed with his lack of response to the job offer. To go this far in the process, you should have been fairly certain you would move if offered the job. If he is this ambivalent in his response to the offer, we should cut our losses and redo the search. Ditch the "search company" and find someone who has roots and wants to be in Ann Arbor. Motivation and local roots will make up for a lackluster resume in the long run.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

I think Judge Smails said it best ...

Maria Huffman

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

No decision is a decision.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

At this point, I wouldn't characterize Mr. Osborne as a "decision maker."

Wake Up A2

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

Brian and Deb have at least one thing in common, the size of their EGO.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 8:57 p.m.

Some would insist that Waiting for Godot should take no more than a few minutes.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

DonBee speculated that perhaps "Ray&Assoc has Dr. Osborne applying for other jobs and he is interviewing elsewhere actively. Since this is a "do over" for Ray&Assoc, they would make far more money placing Dr. Osborne somewhere else." Huh? Isn't this unlikely? AAPS hired Ray&Assoc to represent AAPS, not to represent Osborne. It would surely be unethical for them to work at placing him elsewhere. (And very bad stab-in-the back PR for Ray&Assoc.) And they would make more money just how?? AAPS owes them the contracted-for fee, but wouldn't be paying it if Ray&A then placed Osborne elsewhere. The level of impatience on this comment board is pretty astonishing. A week or two or three for negotiating the contract details hardly seems excessive for this sort of chief executive position.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

One Week! CALM DOWN PEOPLE! Obviously the people commenting do not have experience with the hiring process in academics. For some education jobs, it can take months, up to a year, to accept and hash out all of the details. Obviously this will not be the case here, but one week is nothing to fret over. The article said "official negotiations" did not start. He is obviously taking with the board. I think that this thoughtful consideration of the offer is something that you should look for in a leader, not a quick answer without thought. And the notion that we should drop him after a week is a prime example of quick and thoughtless decisions that create major issues in the future. You may say he should have not applied if he was not 100% sure. Well 100% of the information is sometimes not given to candidates during interviews, a lot of that information comes after the offer. One week is not that big of a problem. Patience is obviously needed.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

If I were him I would RUN RUN RUN. Helicopter parents and rash decision makers make this job impossible. No one will ever succeed in this position.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

@teeters You should run for the BOE you would fit right in.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 6:58 a.m.

You are so correct, interesteda2.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

Um, I do have 25 plus years experience with hiring in academics. This is not a job that takes "up to a year", or even "months" to accept and hash out the details. This is a job that should have been offered with a deadline and if it wasnt then he needs to be called and told the offer is withdrawn as of 6 pm Monday.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Cut to the chase and dump him. Far to long to make a decision which reflects poorly on him and leaves one to speculate about his decision making ability.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

You seem to forget the alternative candidate was not so great. She would be in a very commanding position in her negotiation if we 'dump him'. Good luck with that.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

Look in the A2PS mirror first. Say that You already have a great job paying 220.001k plus bonuses for another year. During which time you can pinpoint a better opportunity than AAPS. You have tested the job pool and now know that you are a "winner". You have a nice life now so any immediate disruption better be worth it. You can snub the top ten list-of-everything city in the U.S.. Then go for the other's who are (or want to be) better. The idea of being a professor at Harvard has suddenly gained greater appeal than the once "liberal" UM. People in Ann Arbor are very selfish and contentious. a lot of know it all whiners,.too including some downright scarey folk . They close the streets on Saturdays because of terrorists. People don't like their own City Council representatives. And you thought cronyism and corruption was bad in New Jersey. There is absolutely no support for the tough job ahead in Ann Arbor - it is a no win situation. Now, honestly, what would you do?


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

I think it will become a liability for Osborne that he put himself out there in a very public superintendent search and then has not said yes. If he wants to move on to another job, not Ann Arbor, and use this process as feather in his job search cap, I think it will backfire. Donbee's ideas about what the hold up could be make sense to me. I will be very surprised if he says yes and if he does, think that this kind of beginning will be very problematic and one that will be referenced in times of stress in upcoming years.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

If no answer by Monday, time to move on. Oh, and BOE, you MUST use a different search firm. Ray & Assoc. is pathetic.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

If he hasn't said yes after this long, he's not going to.

Steve Hendel

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 4:05 p.m.

Is our offer being used as a bargaining chip?

Kirk Taylor

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

Even though they come and go so quickly, what does it say when the hiring a superintendent gets so much attention, yet the I have never in my life read a story about a district hoping to hire a well-regarded teacher. Teachers, you know, the people who actually work with our children.

J. A. Pieper

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

AAPS has never given this higher considerations to hiring of a teacher. When I was hired, I lost all but two years of my experience, but at the same time, a football coach was hired, given a job as a high school teacher, and allowed to keep all eleven years of his previous experience!

Kirk Taylor

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

Please excuse the typo above. * ...yet I have never


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

I've only made it through the first couple of pages, but this is a very interesting read:


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

There is no such place as "north orange" in New Jersey.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

almost like reading the life is the same in north orange.

Steve Norton, MIPFS

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

I think most of the comments here are getting way too negative. As I said to Ms. Arndt, I was surprised that Dr. Osborne reached the finalist stage, having done all the homework he did about AAPS, without some clarity on whether he wanted to take the job if offered. On the other hand, we have no idea what other personal or family considerations may be shaping his decision. My only point is that an extended period of uncertainty is not good for him or for Ann Arbor. I presume that the Board of Ed has communicated this to Dr. Osborne, and that they have agreed on some sort of deadline. I don't expect them to roll this all out in public. Regarding a comment above about negotiations, my understanding was that Dr. Osborne was deciding whether or not to enter into negotiations, not that they have already started. I do not think Dr. Osborne is playing games. But the sooner we know which direction AAPS is to go, the better.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Danielle I don't think most of us are unclear that formal negotiations have not started. But most job applicants do not "accept the position" until they know what the contract involves. Otherwise where is the power to negotiate?

Danielle Arndt

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

Steve, thank you for your thoughtful comment and for highlighting the part about negotiations. To all readers, formal negotiations have not begun yet. The board is waiting for a definitive answer from Brian Osborne on whether he will accept the position prior to entering any formal contract discussions.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Osborne may be involved in other super searches in the country. There is no way to know if this is his only option beyond staying in his current job. Taking a week or two to make a major decision that involves moving from another state is not outside the realm of reasonableness, and doesn't necessarily mean he isn't committed. Given the negativity for his candidacy from the A2 activist parent group, he is right to be careful in his choice.

Retiree Newcomer

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

It was a week ago yesterday - Friday, July 19 - that the decision to hire him was made. If he can't make up his mind or is negotiating for too many contract sweeteners, such as being allowed to teach at U-M, then it's time to move on. He is not the only candidate.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

This business about "BOE egos" is such nonsense. Nothing is more egotistical than saying "times up, we're retracting the offer". This whole process has been way too public.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 3 p.m.

I agree that they need to stop this silly process and move on. But, the BOE egos are now involved.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

I agree with the board's and Linda Carter's very professional approaches. This process has been carried out in a very professional way throughout. Whoever is fortunate to become superintendent will benefit from the professional ways the board and union are working together for the good of the community. Thank you all!


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

I disagree.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 2:39 p.m.

I too wear rose colored glasses.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

Let the begging begin, the board is an embarrassment when a potential candidate has control of his own employment. I guess maybe they think a prespective Superintendent comes around once in a lifetime or every couple of years. The jokes on you.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

I guess we get what we deserve. We voted the BOE into their positions and leave them there. Yet they prove time and time again that they are inept, clueless, lost and arrogant. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Basic Bob

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

"Osborne has been in discussions this week with board President Deb Mexicotte, whom trustees authorized to begin the negotiations with Osborne on their behalf." The task was assigned to a person who can't prevent a simple board meeting from extending past 2 am. Clearly time management is not one of her strengths. Time to move beyond the informal conversations and get down to brass tacks.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

If you we're Osborne, would you work for Mexicotte? Not me!


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

I see three possible scenarios for the delay: 1) Ray&Assoc has Dr. Osborne applying for other jobs and he is interviewing elsewhere actively. Since this is a "do over" for Ray&Assoc, they would make far more money placing Dr. Osborne somewhere else. 2) Someone in his current district has pulled strings with a local university in New Jersey and he is working out an adjunct position that will bring in enough in 2014 go make up for the pay cut next year. 3) Someone in his family has serious reservations about moving to Ann Arbor. If Ms. Mexicotte does not know which of these it is, then she does not have Dr. Osborne's trust. If I were in her position and knew, I would not tell anyone, but I would if in her position try to know which one it is. If it is the first one, pressure could be applied to Ray&Assoc. If the second Eastern and the UofM could both have short discussions with Dr. Osborne. If the third, bringing the family out for a few days might solve the problem. This is could be done. I just hope the Ms. Mexicotte is aware and taking the right steps.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

This makes a lot of sense, especially the info about Ray and Associates financial interest. I have little faith Mexicotte is aware of the points and taking steps. It's good to know Nelson remains in his bubble being optimistic yet not entirely and just plain not thinking about this all too much but having faith in "Deb" Stead's comments are rational. That is commendable. A brief break from the usually BOE approach to talking about serious matters in terms of feelings, emotions, hopes and dreams and dodging facts. The offer has been on the table for more than a week. Even if he does say yes, this is a bad beginning. @aamom- Danielle Arndt said above in another set of comments that they are not talking about contracts yet.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

I would suggest one more scenario: failure to agree on the terms of the contract.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Osborne and Mexicotte do not know each other. They are strangers only meeting several times. Plus, if Osborne is working on other career opportunities, he definitely should tell no one. The delay is a failing of our BOE in making an open ended offer with no decision date. A poor hiring practice. All of my job offers for top level positions always had deadline dates. Not a single one was an open ended offer where each could string the other along if they wished.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

"Osborne has been in discussions this week with board President Deb Mexicotte, whom trustees authorized to begin the negotiations with Osborne on their behalf." They're negotiating terms of a contract or employment agreement. What's the big deal? These things can take weeks (offer is given, then sent to attorney, then counter-offer, then sent to attorney, and so forth). Do we have such hubris that our feelings get hurt that this process takes time?

Danielle Arndt

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

Well, there hasn't been much contact between the two. But from my understanding, it has been mostly touching base and Osborne asking more questions about the district and the community itself. He is expected to inform Mexicotte of his decision prior to formal discussions about a contract taking place.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

So what exactly are Deb Mexicotte and Osbourne discussing? How often he wants to go home.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

@Danielle: Thanks for clarifying. So what exactly are Deb Mexicotte and Osbourne discussing?

Danielle Arndt

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

1bit, formal contract negotiations have not started yet.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

@jcj: No, the better question is what qualifies any of the Board to be in a position to determine who should be the superintendent or negotiate contracts. With that said, these folks have won their place due to an election and are entrusted with this task. And who should supervise Deb anyway? Certainly not a gaggle of internet commenters.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

President Deb Mexicotte, whom trustees authorized to begin the negotiations with Osborne on their behalf MAJOR mistake! Letting her do ANYTHING without supervision.

Luisa pomeranian

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Danielle, do you know if he has applied with any other districts? Could he be waiting to hear from one of them? Otherwise he may be in discussion with family members. They also have to be on board. Let's not get impatient too quickly. He may be weighing the impact of the Detroit bankruptcy. I would in his shoes.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Whether he applied to other districts is no one's business but his own. If he is juggling offers, that is how it works at high level positions with top candidates. I would be skeptical of someone accepting an offer immediately without taking time to consider the many factors involved. AAPS is a complicated situation, especially with an activist parent group pushing another candidate.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

Was this guy a professional athlete before he applied for this position? I mean it's almost like some of those high profile sports negotiations.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

The Ann Arbor BOE should be recalled and run out on a rail!


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

I'm trying to vote you up.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Must be BOE members voting me down!

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

I was hoping for tar and feathers.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

Yes, you are correct. The sooner the better.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

If he does decide to bless us with his half hearted presence, it won't matter.He is dead in the water before he starts.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

This guy is simply using Ann Arbor to get a better deal from his current employer. This is another example of poor management by the Ann Arbor BOE. When he turns the offer from Ann Arbor down will we again be stuck with someone who is second best? The BOE should have offered the job to a local candidate. Hopefully someone who is already in the AA Public School system.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

Dr. Osborne was recently given a $12,001 salary increase to $220,000 to try to keep him in the district. But when his contract expires in June 2014, a salary cap recently instated by New Jersey's governor will take effect and Osborne's pay will drop to $167,500 -- so it's not about negotiating a better deal with his current employer.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

No one who applied in the district or as a local had the experience. They just weren't good enough. Ann Arbor deserves a great SI- that's what he hefty salary is for. Not just anybody jst because they're "local." The problem is a new search will cost $$.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

If Osborne is not confident he is up for the challenge, that's fine. Say so, and we will move on. Be courteous, and give an answer by Monday. If you decide to accept the job, you will need to be decisive. Thoughtfulness is one thing, dragging your feet is another. There ARE other people out there who want the job.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

Based on some of the comments in the article above, it looks like our egos and arrogance might be showing again. Oops! We might be a high profile school system in Michigan, but not when you look at all states and cities.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:11 a.m.

Don't hold your breath, otherwise we'll call you blue boy.

Jack Gladney

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

More like dead boy waiting for the ressurection.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:04 a.m.

AAPSBOE you are being played. Take control of the situation, withdraw your offer and move on. If he has a salary cap going into effect next year and he is still thinking about staying he will probably stay. The longer you let him think the more insulting it is to your second choice.

Howard Beale

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:02 a.m.

Hopefully he didn't use the term "decisive leader" anywhere in his résumé. Anyway, this non-response is simple to solve...Tell him he has until noon on Monday to let us know his decision and make sure to provide him with a firm start date. Otherwise move on to the next or start the search over. If he wasn't serious about taking the job and making the move to Ann Arbor he shouldn't have tossed his hat in the ring.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:19 a.m.

I'd cut him off now and thank him for the time. We need to move on without him. I agree, he has not been decisive.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11 a.m.

Is the candidate all in or not? One would hope that if he were not 100% committed to the future of A2Public Schools, for any reason personal or professional, he would have dropped out before becoming a finalist. Due diligence at this point makes for an inauspicious start.


Sun, Jul 28, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

It would have been nice to offer to somebody free to start the job in 30 days or so. He needs to give 90 days' notice. That makes sense but... After all this time and procedure, in September, we'd be starting with an interim. As to the slow decision, I know lives are complicated, but the candidates should have been developing plans all along to get to A2, and if they haven't been, what kind of planning would they do for our school? Of course, I wanted a more vigorous local search, so there wouldn't have been so much planning needed in the first place.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

He isn't "in" at all until he accepts the job. This isn't working at McDonald's.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:35 a.m.

We also have to remember who is negotiating for us.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

I believe not. This delay does not bode well. In fact, I would rescind the offer and move on. When a new candidate is found, turn the hiring process over to an expert.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 10:37 a.m.

The board voted LAST Friday, not yesterday. Any job offer from an organization that knows what it is doing includes an acceptance deadline. It would also include a specified period for completed contract negotiations.


Sat, Jul 27, 2013 : 11:14 a.m.

You are correct. Most job offers have a deadline. But, this is the AA BOE. They march to a different drummer.