Presidential Search - Search Process and Timeline

The search for a president was led by a 13-member committee appointed by the Board of Trustees. The committee was aided by executive search firm Witt/Kieffer.

Beginning in March 2018, the committee held targeted meetings on campus to develop the leadership profile for CMU's 15th president. 

The committee welcomed input from all members of the CMU campus community regarding university values and priorities, as well as the leadership competencies most important for the next leader.

March 15

Search advisory committee held first meeting with search firm Witt/Kieffer

March 22-23/April 4

Search advisory committee held a series of open sessions with campus stakeholders to develop the leadership profile and position posting. These meetings were an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members to share the qualities they felt were most important for the next president.

  • Thursday, March 22
    Education and Human Services Building – French Auditorium
    5:00 - 5:45 p.m. – Open forum for faculty, staff, students and community members
    7:00 – 7:45 p.m. – Student forum

  • Friday, March 23
    Powers Ballroom
    9:00 - 9:45 a.m. – Faculty and staff forum
    11:00 – 11:45 a.m. – Open forum for faculty, staff, students and community members

  • Wednesday, April 4
    Mt. Pleasant City Hall
    7:00 - 8:00 p.m. – Community forum

Individuals who were unable to attend the open forums were able to submit input via email to

The committee also met privately with smaller groups of individuals such as the president's Cabinet.

April 19

The Board of Trustees approved adoption of the leadership profile developed for use in the search for CMU's 15th president.

June 6

The Board of Trustees' presidential search advisory committee met to review more than 70 applications received for the top leadership role at CMU. They identified candidates they planned to confidentially interview during the month of July.

June 28

Trustee Tricia Keith, who led the presidential search advisory committee, said the committee interviewed 11 candidates and recommended five for consideration by the Board of Trustees.

July 30

Central Michigan University Executive Vice President and Provost Michael Gealt was appointed interim president this afternoon during a special meeting of the Board of Trustees.

July 31

The Board of Trustees announced a special meeting to appoint 15th president.

August 2

The Board of Trustees appoint Robert O. Davies president-elect.