The University’s Board of Regents announced Thursday the appointment of a presidential search advisory committee to appoint the next University president.
Alongside Russell Reynolds Associates, an executive recruiting firm appointed to lead the search, the group will find the replacement for University President Mary Sue Coleman, who announced her retirement in May. Coleman’s contract ends on July 31, 2014.
The search committee is comprised of the eight regents and eight faculty members, including Arthur F. Thurnau Professors Alec Gallimore, Timothy R.B. Johnson and Rebecca Scott; David Ginsburg, James V. Neel Distinguished University Professor of Internal Medicine and Human Genetics; Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, School of Information dean; Tiya Miles, Elsa Barkley Brown Collegiate Professor of African American Women’s History and Lynn Perry Wooten, Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy and Management.
Regents Chairman Larry Deitch (D—Bloomfield Hills) read a letter during the meeting that announced the creation of a website that will keep the University community updated with developments in the search.
“We are pleased to make this announcement of the faculty members who will take an active role in the search process for the successor to Mary Sue Coleman as president of the University of Michigan,” Deitch said.
The Advisory Committee plans to solicit feedback from the campus on pressing issues facing the University and essential qualities in a new president. The committee will hold public meetings in September and October to discuss those topics.
Deitch served as the chairman for the 2002 presidential search, along with current regents Andrea Fischer Newman (R—Ann Arbor) and Katherine White (D—Ann Arbor).
Business senior Michael Proppe, Central Student Government president, said he was disappointed to hear that students were not included on the search committee, which he advocated for in a letter to the regents.
He said students are deeply connected with the University and therefore should have a way to actively participate in the selection, primarily through placement on the advisory committee.
“But that said I am happy to hear there will be other avenues to become involved,” Proppe said, citing the creation of the website and the community meetings to be held in the fall.
Regent Denise Ilitch (D—Bingham Farms) asked Proppe to encourage the student body to utilize these avenues and play an active role in making their opinions heard on the selection of the new University president.
In an interview after the meeting, Proppe said he had never received a response from the regents to his repeated requests for student involvement.
“I was blind-sided by this,” he said. “(But) I do look forward to working with the regents and administrators in whatever system they do have set up.”
Regardless of the regents’ decision not to include students on the advisory committee, Proppe said he would still fight for a student voice in the selection process.
“We are going to make sure there is a lot of student input in this search because students are the most important stake-holder in this decision,” he said.
The 16-member committee in 2002 included two students: University alum Matt Nolan, former CSG president, and University alum Lisa Jackson, a doctoral student of psychology.
Coleman began her tenure in August 2002, becoming the University’s 13th president. Succeeding Lee Bollinger — who now serves as president of Columbia University — Coleman became the first female president of the University and will go on to become its fourth-longest serving president.
At the meeting in April, Coleman said she hoped to give the board “ample time to select the next president,” noting that the University “deserves the best in a leader.”