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As we search for the next president of the University of Michigan, we are enthusiastic and optimistic about the process that will occur in the coming months. The constitution of the state of Michigan specifically spells out that regents have the responsibility of selecting the president of the University. But we cannot and should not do that alone. 

In order to make an inclusive choice that represents the best of the University, we need to hear student voices. Upcoming listening sessions provide students, individually and collectively, with an opportunity to speak directly to the search committee about what they want in the next president. This is the person who will shape the institution that will soon become their alma mater.

We urge students to get involved in the search process because the University exists to serve students. 

As co-chairs of the search committee, it is easy for us to remember the time spent in your shoes as students here. At the same time, we understand that much has changed since we were in school and future needs of the next generation of U-M students will evolve even further. It’s critical that we listen to the voices of students when considering who should lead this institution. We urge you to step up and participate in the search process.

As a start, the Board of Regents created positions on the search committee for both a current undergraduate student and a current graduate student. Huda Shulaiba is the undergraduate student on the committee. She is a student in the School of Information studying data analysis and English. Brandon Bond is the graduate student on the committee. He is a first-generation U-M alum and current graduate student in the Schools of Public Health and Social Work. 

We also respect and appreciate the work already underway by the Central Student Government to communicate opinions related to the search as we are getting started. In this case, it is not just up to representatives to carry the messages for all students. Each student has the chance to participate. 

We understand that students are busy with campus life, but we encourage you to participate in the opportunities that have been created to give you a voice. 

Throughout February, we will host a series of virtual listening sessions to provide you with an opportunity to share your thoughts. If you are unable to attend, please share your input through our online survey.

Information on the listening sessions, survey and the committee’s work and members is available at the presidential search website

There are two questions we will be asking at the listening sessions and in the survey:

During the next three to five years, what priorities should the new president set to be successful?

What background, qualifications, and experience should the next president possess to be successful in advancing the University mission?

We have high hopes for the next president. It is one of the most significant jobs in all of higher education and one that can shape your campus experience and the future of the University of Michigan. Without student input, the search process will be incomplete. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to make your opinions known. 

Regents Sarah Hubbard and Denise Ilitch are co-chairs of the Presidential Search Committee.

Sarah Hubbard: regenthubbard@umich.edu

Denise Ilitch: dilitch@umich.edu