The University of Nebraska Board of Regents this morning named four candidates in its search for a president — among them, Central Michigan University President George E. Ross.
“After much thought and many sleepless nights, I came to realize that sometimes, we need to be open to opportunities — even when we’re not looking, and even when our initial reaction is ‘no,’” Ross said.
“I did not seek this position and told the headhunter ‘no’ several times this spring and summer,” he said. “Central is home for Elizabeth and me. We love CMU, the culture and spirit here, our students and those who support them, including faculty, staff and alumni.”
The University of Nebraska is the state’s only public university, serving 50,000 students on four campuses, with 13,000 employees and a $2.4 billion annual budget.
Bill Kanine, chair of the CMU Board of Trustees, said opportunities like this are bound to happen in successful organizations.
“While I am sad that a visionary leader and great friend to our university might go elsewhere, I am deeply proud of President Ross and excited for his future. No matter the outcome, this opportunity says much about our president and much about CMU, affirming the extraordinary caliber of both,” Kanine said.
Ross will visit Nebraska later this month for a series of interviews.
“If this does happen, I will be delighted to help another university, another set of students, another group of faculty and staff maximize the transformative power of education,” Ross said.
“If it does not happen, I will remain as enthusiastic and determined as ever to lead this great university,” he said. “We have gained much ground as ‘One CMU,’ caring deeply for students, expanding our academic distinction and staying true to our brand. Those actions positioned us to attract a 27 percent larger freshman class this year.
“No matter what happens, the momentum we’ve created together will continue. At the end of the day, I hope students here at Central see this opportunity as further affirmation that those of us from CMU can put our stamp on the world anywhere.”
Ross has 28 years of higher education leadership and management experience. He was named CMU’s 14th president on March 1, 2010, following his presidency at Alcorn State University in Mississippi. Prior to that, he was vice president of finance and administrative services at CMU. He has worked at Clark Atlanta University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Tuskegee University. He also is a former certified public accountant.