University of Michigan faculty want input on presidential search
Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com
"This search comes at a critical time for U-M, the State of Michigan, U.S. research universities and higher education," the statement says. "Despite these successes, Michigan’s institutional values and academic leadership will continue to face serious challenges arising from both a complex volatile environment and the costs associated with higher education."
"...As you begin the search for the next president, we hope that you will... draw upon our expertise."
Board members have said a formal search for Coleman's replacement will begin this summer. Coleman was hired in 2002 and in the letter faculty called the search process that yielded her "excellent."
Faculty asked for clarity in the search process, saying they understood the need for secrecy, but asked that they be involved on all rungs of the search.
They asked that an advisory search committee be put in place, as in the 2002 search, and requested faculty representation on such a group. "Good use of our collective experience will strengthen the university," the statement says.
Board of Regents chair Larry Deitch said faculty will be consulted during the search, but the search framework still is being decided. He declined to comment further.
"There will be faculty involvement, absolutely," said regent Andrew Richner. "They can count on it."
Faculty also asked regents to take advice from the faculty senate on who should sit on an advisory committee and said it should be chaired by "a distinguished faculty member."
Aside from an advisory committee, faculty asked regents to hold open forums to get to the core of what university stakeholders want in their next president.
"Mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that the varying viewpoints of U-M's community are given due consideration," the statement says, adding later: "It is essential that the process include a broad, open conversation with the university community."
Thirteen members of the 14-member committee voted in support of the statement, with one member abstaining.
Kim Kearfott, chair of the committee, said she hasn't received a response from regents since submitting the statement on April 29.