FLINT Former Business School Dean B. Joseph White is expected to be named interim president of the University this morning at a special formal meeting of the Board of Regents.
University Regent David Brandon said White has been approached about serving as interim president and has agreed to take the position if it is offered to him. White stepped down from the top of the Business School this summer after serving two five-year terms.
“The reality is a decision can be made and won”t be made until there is a public meeting,” Brandon said after yesterday”s monthly regents meeting. Today”s meeting at 9:30 a.m. is the first special public meeting the regents have held since University President Lee Bollinger announced earlier this month he will become Columbia University”s chief executive in July.
By state law, the regents can only appoint someone to an interim or permanent position at a public meeting.
“Tomorrow will be an important day if in fact an interim is named,” Brandon said yesterday. Once an interim president is announced, the regents can focus their attention on the search for a permanent successor for Bollinger.
Brandon said the date of Bollinger”s resignation has not been set, and the decision may ultimately be determined by Bollinger and the interim president. Bollinger is expected to leave no later than December.
“I think that is something that shouldn”t be discussed and decided by those two individuals,” Brandon said.
“I think a logical time would be the end of the semester,” he said, emphasizing that no date had been officially determined.
The regents met with some of the University”s deans yesterday morning, one of several private meetings they have held since Bollinger announced his impending departure. Brandon said the discussion yesterday focused on the structure of the search for Bollinger”s successor.
The regents made no public announcement about White”s expected appointment during their monthly meeting yesterday afternoon at the University”s Flint campus.
Michigan Student Assembly President Matt Nolan and Michael Chapman, president of the student government council in Flint, both asked the regents to consider making students an integral part of the search process. Chapman requested that the regents include faculty and staff on the Flint and Dearborn campuses.
Other than those two references to the presidential search, the regents went about business as usual.
Chief Investment Officer Erik Lundberg made a presentation on the University”s investment status after the last fiscal year, which ended July 30.
The University”s overall investments total $5.4 billion. Almost three-quarters of that, $3.6 billion, is invested in the University”s long-term portfolio.
Lundberg said the University looked to be in good shape. The University uses benchmarks such as the Nasdaq and the Standard and Poor”s 500 to measure the University”s performance in certain investment sectors. While the University”s total marketable securities fell by 2.2 percent in the last fiscal year, the benchmark fell by 6.7 percent. That relationship was mirrored in the individual sectors of domestic and international equities, fixed income and absolute return.
The University”s investments fell a little less and gained a little more than its benchmarks, which is what the University is programmed to do, Lundberg said, and the overall outlook is positive.
“It is difficult to predict, especially the future, of difficult and volatile markets with undifferentiated returns across asset classes. Eventually normalcy is going to return and the University as investors will be rewarded for assuming risk prudently,” he said.
The University is prepared to stay on course with its investments, Lundberg said.