MSU Board of Trustees to select adviser for presidential search
The MSU Board of Trustees said it will hire an adviser as a guide for the search for a new university president.
"This action is a preliminary step to ensure the input of all stakeholders is garnered and considered before further action, such as the retention of a search firm, is taken," a statement from the Board of Trustees said. "Our goal in selecting an adviser is to identify someone with deep experience and stature in public higher education leadership who can ensure student, faculty, staff and stakeholder input are a key part of the search effort and to facilitate conversations that clarify institutional goals and translate them into specific hiring criteria."
The Board of Trustees said it wants to keep the search transparent.
"In our effort to promote transparency and provide opportunities for input, we will continue to provide updates as this process evolves," the release said.
However, MSU Interim President John Engler at the Associated Students of Michigan State University meeting on March 29 offered a caveat.
"I would just say, I’ve said this to faculty groups, I’ve said it to lots of different groups, but if you think about Michigan State University, and what kind of university you are, I would argue that we’re attractive enough as a job that people should want to be president and the women or men that we could attract, that they are already presidents somewhere else," Engler said. "So when that’s the case, then you’re going to have a process that’s going to be a little bit different than if you had the door wide open. You’re not going to have a beauty contest where three sitting presidents of other universities will come here and go through a public process. The search committee is going to have to be trusted by the campus.
"There isn’t privacy guaranteed or protected, I don’t think they’re loose cannons. We’ll see how that will work. But that really, then, puts even more pressure on having the right search committee. By the way, at the meetings, I must say, I’ve probably had more than 50 to 100 people volunteer to be on the search committee. Everybody’s ready to do that job."