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Presidential Search Update

  • Author:
    BOT members: Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster
  • Published:
    Spring 2019
Michigan State University is approaching an exciting point in its life as our presidential search committee considers a strong group of applicants seeking to become the university’s next president.
Our search committee is a diverse and inclusive group including representatives of the Board of Trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, deans, students and others. Trustee Joel Ferguson graciously stepped aside in January when he learned Trustee Brianna Scott was interested in joining, allowing fresh perspective from a new board member earlier in the process. 
The board retained MSU alumna and University of Virginia President Emerita Teresa A. Sullivan last year to assist us, and we picked Storbeck/Pimentel and Associates to facilitate the national search. MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup helped us prepare for the 22 forums we held with members of the campus community. Those sessions gave us a wealth of perspective to help develop search materials and selection criteria.
Now we’re looking over a very promising set of applications. It is a diverse, highly accomplished and experienced group of leaders holding high-level positions who seek to become our next president. 
The board is charged with making the final selection. It is our goal to announce the new president by June and welcome him or her to campus by the start of the 2019-20 academic year in July.
The search committee has worked to keep the MSU community updated through direct email, media interviews and our website. We have heard calls to disclose the names of applicants, but here we must exercise the discretion that state law allows us. We do not want the fear of jeopardizing existing employment relationships to discourage prospective candidates from applying. Search committee members and trustees all signed confidentiality statements for this reason.
The outcome so far is a set of extremely qualified candidates with great promise for leading MSU forward. I look forward to introducing one of these extraordinary individuals as Michigan State’s 21st president.
Dianne Byrum
Co-chair, Presidential Search Committee
Melanie Foster
Co-chair, Presidential Search Committee
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