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13 named to advisory committee in search for president

Members represent faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and the community

Contact: Heather Smith


​Thirteen members of the advisory committee for the search for Central Michigan University's 15th president were appointed today by the Board of Trustees.

Board Vice Chair Tricia Keith will lead the committee. The other members are:

  • ­­­Trustee Robb Wardrop, serving as vice chair.
  • Trustee Bill Kanine.
  • Trustee Rich Studley.
  • Brad Swanson, chair of the Academic Senate.
  • Melinda Kreth, faculty member from the Trustees-Faculty Liaison Committee.
  • Tom Olver, president, Alumni Association Board of Directors.
  • Anna Owens, president, Student Government Association.
  • Steven Johnson, vice president, Enrollment and Student Services.
  • Dave Keilitz, alumnus, community leader, former athletic director.
  • Pam Murray, alumna, senior benefits administrator, Van Andel Institute.
  • René Shingles, chair of CMU's School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences.
  • Sid Smith, alumnus, community/business leader and former trustee.

Trustee Patricia Mooradian was named as an alternate member of the committee, agreeing to serve if necessary.

"These members have an enormously important role to play as we move toward selection of the individual who will lead CMU into the future," Keith said. "Hiring the president is the single greatest responsibility of the Board of Trustees. These committee members, who represent students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and community and business leaders, are integral to the process."

Trustees finalized the committee's charge and approved a confidentiality statement for its members. The charge outlines its role in seeking nominations and applications, working with the search firm, and identifying a confidential, unranked list of likely candidates.

Today's appointees align with the committee membership and procedures approved by trustees in 2009 and used in the successful search that resulted in the hiring of George E. Ross. Ross on Jan. 22 announced his decision to step down from the presidency.

The board also adopted an affirmative action statement for the search.

Following the board meeting, trustees were interviewing national firms to support the search process. Each of the firms being interviewed is on the university's preapproved list of search consultants and/or has done work previously for CMU.

The search process will include forums to secure input from the university community about the qualifications and skills desired in the next president. Keith said the forums will be announced once a search firm is in place. An online input form will be available as well.

Keith noted that selecting presidents is the key responsibility of the board. She said the process — including the names of finalists — will be confidential, as has been the protocol during the past several CMU presidential searches.

Search firms advise confidentiality in order to attract the best possible candidates, Keith said. A confidential process also was used in 2015 during CMU's search for a vice president for advancement. Bob Martin was hired in January 2016 as a result of that search.

The board plans to name a new president before Ross leaves on July 31. As a result, there are no plans to name an interim leader.


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