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Presidential Search


CMU President Robert O. Davies announced his intention to step down December 31, 2024. The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees has announced the start of a national search for the university's 16th president.

Central Michigan University is a nationally ranked institution that fosters the transformative power of advanced learning while embracing a sense of community among our students, faculty, staff and more than 225,000 alumni around the world. From our roots as a teachers' college established in 1892, CMU has grown to offer nationally acclaimed programs in areas ranging from the health professions and engineering, to business and communications, and science and technology.

Developed with community input

Approximately 200 students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, community partners and supporters participated in the April listening sessions hosted by search firm WittKieffer. Additionally, 350 individuals submitted feedback using the online submission form.

Information collected from the forms and listening sessions was compiled and synthesized by the search consultant. This information was used to develop the presidential leadership profile, including the section outlining opportunities and expectations for leadership and the section on desired professional qualifications and personal characteristics.

Board of Trustees action on presidential search process

To make the presidential search process as inclusive as possible, the CMU Board of Trustees adopted the following practices to guide the search process:

Search process and timeline

A maroon rectangle with the words March-May: developing the presidential profile on it above three icons. From left to right: a maroon icon of three people with thought bubbles above the words soliciting community input, an icon of three people with the same thought bubble above the text search advisory committee meetings, and an icon of papers pinned in place above the words finalize presidential profile and job description. A second maroon rectangle with the words May-August: seeking candidates on it above three icons. From left to right: a maroon icon of a megaphone above the advertise position, an icon of a group of people above the words solicit nominations, and an icon of conversation bubbles above the words search firm outreach. A third maroon rectangle with the words August-October: reviewing applicants on it above three icons. From left to right: an icon of a resume above the words committee assesses applicants, an icon three people with one inside a magnifying glass above the text committee identifies likely candidates, and an icon four people sitting at a table talking above the words confidential screening interviews. A fourth maroon rectangle with the words October-December: selecting the 16th president on it above two icons. From left to right: an icon of a box with a checkmark in it above the text trustees conduct due diligence, and an icon of a handshake above the words CMU Board of Trustees votes to appoint next president.

Presidential Search Advisory Committee

The national search for CMU's 16th president will be led by a search advisory committee, which is tasked with recruiting, screening and engaging prospective candidates. At the February 6 meeting of the CMU Board of Trustees, Trustees approved procedures for the selection of a president, including an expansion of the search advisory committee to ensure representation from all key university stakeholder groups.

Denise Williams Mallett, vice chair of the CMU Board of Trustees, will lead the presidential search effort. Other members of the search advisory committee representing faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors and the community are:

  • Trustee Todd Regis, Chair, CMU Board of Trustees
  • Trustee Todd Anson, CMU Board of Trustees
  • Trustee Sharon Heath, CMU Board of Trustees
  • Tangela Cheatham, deputy athletic director, CMU Athletics
  • Tracy Davis, Chair, Academic Senate; faculty member, Department of English Language and Literature
  • Todd Fridline, representative, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
  • Deb Gross, executive secretary, Registrar's office; President, CMU Office Professionals Local 6888 (UAW)
  • Mary Moran Hill, vice president, Finance and Administrative Services
  • Nick Hussein, faculty member, Department of Marketing, Hospitality and Logistics
  • Stephen Juris, Chair-Elect, Academic Senate; faculty member, Department of Biology
  • Shana Kingma, graduate student, CMU Innovation and Online
  • John Kulhavi, CMU alumnus and Trustee Emeritus
  • Paula Lancaster, Dean, College of Education and Human Services
  • Stephanie Mathson, faculty member, education librarian and coordinator, Library Research & Instruction Services
  • Scott Nadeau, President, CMU Alumni Association
  • Amy Perschbacher, Mayor, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
  • Penny Queller, CMU alumna and supporter
  • Cedric Taylor, faculty member, School of Politics, Society, Justice and Public Service
  • Tyler Zimmerman, President, CMU Student Government Association

The search advisory committee will participate in listening sessions with university stakeholder groups to gain insight and perspective into the needs of the university community and to understand the key characteristics, qualifications and experiences necessary for CMU's next president.