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George E. Ross and William Weideman

Trustees commend Ross, begin plans for search

Chair says efforts to identify CMU's 15th president to begin immediately

Contact: Heather Smith

​To the Central Michigan University Community,

It is with immense appreciation and respect that our Board of Trustees has accepted President George E. Ross' decision to step down from his position, effective July 31, 2018.

President Ross served eight years as the 14th president of Central Michigan University. He has advanced academic excellence, emphasized student success, formalized our commitment to shared governance and communications, and enhanced our reputation as a nationally recognized university.

He has rallied the campus community around "One CMU" and moved the university forward in upholding diversity and inclusion. Importantly, he has mobilized the identification and pursuit of opportunities in the educational marketplace, helping all of us to see the power of evolution.

M-photo.jpgPerhaps most unique is President Ross' deep connection with students and commitment to their success. Truly the students' president, Dr. Ross is known for hosting pizza nights in residence halls, speaking in classes, meeting with student organizations and mentoring those students who ask him to do so.

President Ross and First Lady Elizabeth Ross are tremendous ambassadors for CMU, in their relationships with community members, students, faculty, staff and alumni. They are champions for our university, beloved by many.

They will be greatly missed, and we wish them many years of happiness as they enter the next phase in their lives.

The question now becomes "what happens next?"

First, the trustees and I fully expect the momentum of CMU to continue. Essential work is happening with the organizational review, chief diversity officer search, and planning of academic programs to address student and employer needs. We'll break ground this spring on the new Center for Integrated Health Studies and publicly launch the capital campaign. These efforts will continue to move forward.

CMU last year updated its strategic plan with three imperatives focused on nurturing student success, fostering scholarly activity and strengthening partnerships in Michigan and beyond. This plan will continue to be our roadmap. We will continue to drive each strategic imperative.

Second, the appointment of a president is the most important responsibility of the Board of Trustees, and we will immediately begin the process to identify CMU's 15th president. We will hire a nationally recognized search firm and appoint an advisory committee led by Trustee Tricia Keith, with representatives from the trustees, faculty, staff, students, business and community leaders, and alumni.

An open forum will be scheduled to engage the entire campus community and gather input about the qualifications and skill set necessary in our next leader. This feedback will help our advisory committee, search firm and then the full Board of Trustees as it selects CMU's new president. We will continue to communicate as we move through the search process.

Rest assured that Central Michigan University's position as a nationally ranked university will remain strong. Our commitment to excellence in academics and student success is unwavering.

Please join me in thanking President and Mrs. Ross for their significant contributions to this great university, to its students, faculty, staff and alumni, and to the communities and businesses with which CMU partners.



William H. Weideman

Chair, Board of Trustees

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