News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

Central Michigan University announces deadlines for presidential search

Central Michigan University President Bob Davies announcing the launch of a new four-year nursing degree program at the College of Health Professions building in Mount Pleasant on Jan. 29, 2024.
Rick Brewer
WCMU File Photo
Central Michigan University President Bob Davies announcing the launch of a new four-year nursing degree program at the College of Health Professions building in Mount Pleasant on Jan. 29, 2024.

Central Michigan University aims to select presidential candidates for the first round of interviews by Aug. 7.

Trustee Denise Mallett, who is chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, announced revised search timeline at the Board of Trustees meeting on June 25.

Mallett said she is satisfied with the progress of the search and shared these new deadlines:

  • Candidates have to apply by July 24 
  • First round of interviews with 10 to 12 best candidates will take place between Aug. 20-21 
  • Second round interviews will have three to four candidates in September 

The aims to have a new president on campus by Jan. 1, 2025, Mallett said.
“We’re not rushing, we feel like we’re on track and on pace to identify someone,” she said. “We have a huge pool, and we think we’re going to find talent. We are confident that we will have someone in place.”

Mallett said the applications have been coming in, and about 63 candidates have been nominated by their peers for this role.

“The great news is that there’s an interest out there,” she said.

CMU is using the services of Chicago-based search firm WittKieffer, Mallett said. The anticipated cost of the president search is $50,000.

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee consists of 20 participants, according to the CMU website. They include faculty, staff, community partners, alumni and students.

“We're looking for talent that can meet the needs of the institution, but just as important (the need of) our community,” Mallett said.

To review applications in a meeting on July 23, the committee will also hear from Shawna Patterson-Stephens, the vice president for Inclusive Excellence and Belonging, on how to conduct unbiased and inclusive review of applications, Mallett said.

“I think diversity benefits so many people in so many ranges,” she said. “When I think of diversity, I think of it ... I think of diversity of thought, diversity of experience. For example, if someone is coming from a different institution size ... we are allowing and keeping our minds open to the talents they can bring to us.”

Mallett said the committee is advertising in 10 different strategic outlets to reach a diverse pool of candidates. Some of those include publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Women in Higher Education.

“We don’t want to be the best kept secret,” Mallett said. “We don’t want to have an amazing engineering program that no one knows about ... And I’m excited about the possibility of finding the person that can ... build on success that we currently have.”

There is also now a presidential profile, which states the desired qualities for the next president.

Some of the expectations for the new leadership, according to the profile, are:

  • Continue implementation of the Strategic Plan 
  •  Increase enrollment numbers and financial opportunities 
  • Attract and retain high-skilled faculty and staff 
  • Improve the marketing and branding 
  • Strengthen relations with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe 

“We have so much to offer so many students, to the globe, to the world,” Mallett said. “We’re planning to extend the narrative of CMU in a very positive way. ...I'm looking for this person to bring that optimism and the passion to bring people along to work and grow and develop and be collaborative.”
Some of the personal qualities that CMU is looking for in a president are leadership, team-orientation, creativity and passion for higher education, the profile read.

“We’re being thoughtful about this search,” Mallett said. This will be a positive and wonderful change for the institution and the community. We’re building on the success of all the presidents that ... have laid the foundation and we look to move stronger and continue to make the CMU name known across the community and across the world.”

Outgoing President Bob Davies began his tenure in September 2018 and will have served more than six years when he steps down on Dec. 31. From now through 2026, CMU will pay Davies $1.25 million through an agreement he signed Jan. 16. According to his contract, Davies will receive:

  • $356,000 in deferred compensation in 2024
  • $468,735 during his President Emeritus term in 2025
  • $194,000 in deferred compensation in 2025
  • $234,377 during a "Faculty Term" in 2026

The agreement was approved by the board without discussion at the end of its Tuesday, Feb. 6 formal meeting.

Editor's note: WCMU's broadcast license is held by Central Michigan University. WCMU's newsroom is editorially independent from CMU, and the university is not involved in writing, editing or reviewing reports.

Masha Smahliuk is a newsroom intern for WCMU based at the Midland Daily News.
Related Content