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Presidential Search Frequently Asked Questions

Who will select CMU’s next president?

The process for selecting a university president is outlined in the CMU Board of Trustees Policy Manual. And, although the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees will make the final selection for the next university leader, all university stakeholders — including students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and partners, and community members — will have opportunities to participate in the search process.

The presidential search advisory committee will provide opportunities for campus and community members to share thoughts and suggestions on the development of the presidential profile. With input from the community, the search advisory committee will seek out, screen and interview candidates for the position. The committee will present candidates to the Board of Trustees and, in alignment with its bylaws, the Board will select the university’s next president.

When will the search begin?

The Trustees announced the start of the search process at its formal session meeting Tuesday, February 6, 2024. The search was announced following the announcement that CMU President Robert O. Davies planned to step down at the end of 2024.

How were the members of the search advisory committee selected?

The procedures for the selection of a president, including the formation of a search advisory committee, are outlined in the CMU Board of Trustees Policy Manual.  The manual also includes specific language regarding which individuals/roles must be included on the search committee, including a set number of trustees and representatives of bodies including the Academic Senate, Student Government Association, Alumni Association and more. 

In addition, individuals representing several university stakeholder groups also may be selected to serve. The Board of Trustees received several nominations for individuals to serve on the advisory committee; trustees selected individuals who could bring a diverse array of perspectives to the search process.

Who is on the search advisory committee?

The CMU Board of Trustees announced the membership of the search advisory committee at its special session Friday, March 15. Names, titles and affiliations of the committee members are posted on the presidential search webpage.

Why is CMU using a search firm?

The CMU Board of Trustees selected executive search firm WittKieffer to support the national search for the university’s next president. WittKieffer will serve as a resource for the Board of Trustees and the search advisory committee. Using a search firm allows the university to expand the scope of its search. WittKieffer will help CMU identify and reach out to potential candidates, conduct research and due diligence on candidates, and assist with advertising the position.

About WittKieffer
WittKieffer is an international executive search and leadership advisory firm serving clients in higher education, healthcare, academic medicine, and the life sciences – sectors committed to improving the quality of life of people and communities. Its services include leadership recruitment; interim leadership placement; succession planning; executive transitioning, coaching, and mentoring; and team and culture development. Founded in 1969, the firm is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

How can I participate in the search?

The Board of Trustees welcomes all CMU stakeholders to participate in the search process for the university’s next president. Individuals may participate in listening sessions to provide input on the important qualifications, experience and characteristics necessary for the next president; they also may share their thoughts by sending an email to by completing the online form. Please note the online form will close at the end of the day Tuesday, April 16, 2024. Times, dates and links for listening sessions will soon be available on the presidential search webpage. 

How will the CMU community be informed about the progress of the presidential search?

When appropriate, the Board of Trustees will provide updates to the university community at its public meetings and also may direct University Communications to share information on the presidential search webpage and through CMU News. A general timeline for the presidential search is available on the presidential search webpage, along with times, dates and links for upcoming public listening sessions.

However, many aspects of the presidential search process are confidential; for example, it is a common national practice to maintain the confidentiality of the nominees and candidates during the search process. Maintaining a confidential search enables candidates who may be employed at other institutions to participate without risk to their professional standing; providing this option allows CMU to recruit the largest, most diverse and most talented pool of candidates.

How will the search be advertised?

The Board of Trustees selected WittKieffer to support the national search for the next university president. WittKieffer will identify and connect with individuals whose qualifications and experience may align with the CMU Presidential Profile.

CMU will post the information about the position on the university’s website and to various online job boards and professional associations, including but not limited to The Chronicle Of Higher Education. CMU community members are invited to share the position description with friends and colleagues who may be interested in the position.

The Board of Trustees also strongly encourages members of the CMU community to nominate candidates for CMU’s next president. Individuals may be internal to CMU or from institutions and organizations worldwide. Nominations should be sent via email to

Can I nominate someone – or myself – for the position?

If you are interested in nominating someone, including yourself, as a potential candidate, please send an email to All nominations are confidential and will be reviewed and considered.

When will we know who has been chosen?

CMU’s Board of Trustees is committed to finding the right leader to serve as CMU’s 16th president – and the process will take time. A projected general timeline for the search process is available on the presidential search webpage, and we hope to meet our anticipated year-end deadline. Once the search is complete and a final candidate has been selected and appropriately vetted, the Board of Trustees will meet publicly to appoint the president and direct University Communications to coordinate a public announcement.