Though speculation has swirled rampantly about who will succeed Bill Martin as athletic director since Martin announced his intention to retire next year, little has been known about how his successor would be chosen — until yesterday.


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Information about how Martin’s successor will be selected was posted on the Vice President for Communication’s website yesterday morning. The posting answers key questions about how the process will work and who will be involved in the search.

In an interview last month, University President Mary Sue Coleman emphasized that she will seek advice from a small advisory committee, but that the final decision would be hers and hers alone.

Though at the time Coleman said she did not have a committee assembled, the names of individual committee members who will aid Coleman in the process were released this morning.

Provost Teresa Sullivan, Tim Slottow, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and men’s basketball Head Coach John Beilein will serve on the committee to advise Coleman. Additionally, Education Prof. Percy Bates, the faculty athletic representative, and Liz Barry, the managing director of the Life Sciences Institute and a former University associate vice president and deputy general counsel, will serve on the committee.

According to the information posted online, committee members were chosen because of “their knowledge of particular aspects of the athletic director role” and because of Coleman’s “respect for their judgment.”

To coordinate the search and manage the application process, the University has contracted with an outside firm. The firm, Spencer Stuart, is one of the world’s leading executive search firms.

According to information released yesterday, Spencer Stuart has assigned Jed Hughes, an alum of the University, to lead the firms efforts in the search process. Hughes is a senior partner at the firm and is responsible for the company’s sports-related searches. Hughes spent 20 years coaching intercollegiate and professional football and has worked under five Hall of Fame coaches, including Bo Schembechler.

Yesterday’s posting largely avoided defining when the search will be completed, citing only that the search will cease once a candidate has been selected.

“The search will remain open until an announcement of a selected candidate,” the release states. “President Coleman has stressed that she will make a thoughtful and deliberate choice.”

A full job description for the position was also released yesterday. According to the release, duties will remain consistent with Martin’s current duties — essentially managing all activities of the overall department.

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