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Posted on Mon, Sep 9, 2013 : 11:03 a.m.

University of Michigan to seek input on presidential search during public meetings

By Kellie Woodhouse


University of Michigan's central campus

Melanie Maxwell I

The hunt for the University of Michigan's next president is sure to be very secretive, but the school is hosting a series of forums at which stakeholders can voice opinions on what qualities they want to see in their next leader.

The Board of Regents and its seven-member search committee are already in the midst of searching for Mary Sue Coleman's replacement and will be surveying staff, faculty and students during September. Earlier this year Coleman announced she will retire July 31, 2014.


Mary Sue Coleman file photo

Forums are scheduled for the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses during the weeks of Sept. 16 and Sept. 23.

"We want to hear from students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and others as we begin the process of finding the 14th president of this great university," regent Laurence Deitch said in a press release. Added regent Kathy White: "The forums have been scheduled at different locations, during different times of the day to allow for the broadest possible input."

During the sessions, a search consultant from Russell Reynolds Associates will offer a brief explanation of the search process. Attendees will have the opportunity to give input on the qualities they hope to see in the next president.

Members of the Board of Regents and members of the search committee will attend all sessions.

The meetings will take place as follows:

  • Sept. 17, 3 to 4 p.m., Michigan Rooms C-D, University Center, UM-Flint campus. This session is primarily for the UM-Flint campus community.
  • Sept. 17, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Auditorium, Biomedical Science Research Building, 109 Zina Pitcher Place. This session is primarily for faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus, including those who work in the U-M Health System.
  • Sept. 26, Noon to 1 p.m., 100 Hutchins Hall, Law School. This session is primarily for faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus.
  • Sept. 26, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Auditorium 3 (1200), Modern Languages Building. This session is specifically designed for students on the Ann Arbor campus.
  • Sept. 27, 2 to 3 p.m., BorgWarner Auditorium, UM-Dearborn campus. This session is primarily for the UM-Dearborn campus community.
  • Sept. 27, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Blau Auditorium, Ross School of Business. This session is primarily for the Ann Arbor community and public at large.

The final decision about who will be U-M's next president lies with the board. Working in secret, the search committee will present a pool of finalists to the board and will collaborate with the search firm. U-M announced in June that it will pay the firm $300,000 —and is budgeting an additional $50,000 for expenses— to facilitate the search.

The search committee is composed of seven faculty members, some who hold administrative positions. There is no student or community member on the committee, unlike in previous presidential searches at the school.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Sep 10, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

love the snow-covered campus when it's 100 degrees out


Mon, Sep 9, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

None of the faculty members were chosen by the faculty senate, there are no student or community representatives. This is all window dressing. The Regents and the administration have developed a corporate culture over the last 20 years and pay nothing more than lip service to shared governance with the faculty and students.


Mon, Sep 9, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

One hour sessions at a time when classes are in session? This is PR not consultation.