Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Trustees elect new chairperson

September 25, 2000

AUGUSTA, Mich. - Colleen McNamara, a five-year veteran of MSU’s governing body, was elected chairperson of the university’s Board of Trustees on Friday.

McNamara, who joined the board in 1995, replaces former Trustee Bob Traxler, who resigned in August to accept a position on the Mackinac Island State Parks Commission.

“It’s really an honor,” McNamara said Friday. “It’s an honor that the rest of the trustees voted for me. I’m almost in awe.”

McNamara has served as vice chairperson for the last two years, and in accordance with MSU board bylaws, was to be named chairperson in January.

Because Traxler’s resignation left a vacancy, the board voted to elect McNamara three months early.

Bylaws stipulate each trustee must serve as chairperson and vice chairperson for two years, on a rotating basis. Members of the board serve eight-year, unpaid tenures.

As chairperson, McNamara said she does have some issues she wants to tackle - namely urban areas of the state. While the university does a lot in rural and western Michigan, she said MSU’s presence needs to be seen in larger cities as well.

“We do a lot in urban Michigan,” McNamara said. “I’d like to see us do more.”

MSU President M. Peter McPherson said he was pleased to have McNamara leading the board.

“Trustee McNamara will do a very good job as chair,” he said. “She will be good for this board and good for this university.”

Trustees who have already held the position are confident in McNamara’s ability to lead.

Dee Cook, who has served as chairperson and vice chairperson of the board, said there will be positive times under McNamara’s leadership.

“I totally support her and I supported the transition of keeping our chair and vice chair into place,” she said. “She’ll do a fine job.”

Other MSU trustees are also enthusiastic.

“I’m excited about it,” Trustee Robert Weiss said. “She’ll be a great leader.”

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