By the end of the week, the multi-billion dollar corporation that is the University of Michigan is expected to have a new executive officer.
University President Mary Sue Coleman and University Regent Rebecca McGowan’s (D-Ann Arbor) announced yesterday their nomination of Sally Churchill for University vice president and secretary. Coleman and McGowan will present their recommendation at Thursday’s University Board of Regents meeting.
While Churchill’s approval as executive officer would require a majority vote, the board is expected to confirm the nomination.
As vice president and secretary, Churchill, who currently works for the University as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel, would serve as the primary communicator between the regents and Coleman, as well as performing other duties. The vice president and secretary, McGowan said, is a position that “is central to the board being able to fulfill its role of corporate governance.”
The decision was made after a two-month search by a board subcommittee.
McGowan said the applicant pool included many “very experienced people, largely from the University.”
After reviewing all the applications and completing a handful of interviews, the board’s search committee selected Churchill, a University alum. “
Certainly the subcommittee and the president (agreed) that Sally Churchill was our person,” McGowan said.
The search came on the heels of former Vice President and Secretary Lisa Tedesco’s resignation in February. Tedesco had served as vice president for seven years.
Tedesco, who taught in the University’s School of Dentistry before serving as vice president, will return to academics at the University of Columbia, where she will pursue a fellowship, said Carol Volker, an administrative assistant in the Office of the Vice President who worked with Tedesco.
As an assistant general counsel, she has represented the University in a wide variety of cases, including those involving various building projects and environmental issues.
If confirmed as University vice president and secretary, she could deal with similar issues upon taking office May 1.
“(Churchill) works on so many of the issues, many of which have enormous financial implications that come before the board,” McGowan said.McGowan went on to say that Churchill’s knowledge of corporate governance gave her an advantage in the selection process, and that her enthusiasm and dedication to the University are very valuable to the regents.Churchill said she decided to apply for the position so she would be able to play a larger role in the Coleman administration. “I wanted to help the administration with a number of exciting initiatives and projects,” she said. “I thought that this role would get me a little closer to being able to do that than my current position.” Although the regents still have to formally approve Churchill, McGowan is confident in her recommendation and said she feels Churchill’s legal background would be an asset to the University.