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MSU names members of the Presidential Search Committee

August 22, 2018

The 19 members of the committee to search for a permanent president for MSU were named on Wednesday. During the search update, co-chairs in the presidential search MSU Trustee Dianne Byrum and Trustee Melanie Foster gave the announcement and answered questions.

Byrum said there was a waiting period before forming the committee to allow faculty to return to campus, so they could provide input on the process.

"Our goal was to assemble a diverse inclusive search committee that reflected the broader MSU stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, deans and alumni and we have done that," she said.

Trustee Foster announced that the committee includes nine women and 10 men, five of which are people of color. She said the ultimate decision for the permanent president belongs to the Board of Trustees, the committee exists to create a pool of applicants for the Board to select from.

Calls for transparency and inclusion in the search process have come from students, faculty and other members of the MSU community.

Many attendees at a June press conference expressed doubts in the Board of Trustees willingness to listen and attendees at Wednesday's conference echoed those concerns.

In the committee to create a pool of applicants for permanent president to present to the Board there are four members of the Board (trustees, Byrum, Foster, Joel Ferguson and Dan Kelly) out of a total of 19 members.

Natalie Rogers, a member of Reclaim MSU who attended the update expressed concern over the committee.

"What's the point of having a separate committee," Rogers said. "It's concerning for sure."

The 19 members of the committee, including trustees Byrum and Foster:

Debra Bittner: President of the Clerical Technical Union of Michigan State University, and president of the Coalition of Labor Organizations at MSU

Pero Gaglo Dagbovie: Professor of African American history and an associate dean for the graduate school

Prabu David: Dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Joel Ferguson: MSU Board of Trustees member

Mary Finn: Director and professor in the School of Criminal Justice

Thomas Glasmacher: Professor of physics and astronomy, and Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) Laboratory director and project director 

Linda Hubbard: President and Chief Operating Officer of Carhartt, Inc.

Tomas Hult: Director of the International Business Center in the Eli Broad College of Business

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Dan Kelly: MSU Board of Trustees member

Leo Kempel: Dean of the College of Engineering

Bonnie Knutson: Professor in the School of Hospitality Business

Wanda Lipscomb: Associate professor of psychiatry 

Mark A. Murray: President of Meijer Inc. and director of DTE Energy and Spectrum Health

David L. Porteous: Former MSU Trustee, current Board of Trustees member of the MSU College of Law

Katherine (Cookie) Rifiotis: Senior at MSU and president of the Associated Students of Michigan State University

Gregory J. Spray: Ph.D Candidate at MSU and Council of Graduate Students (COGS) representative.

Felicia Wu: Professor in the College of Agriculture and in the College of Natural Resources

Trustees Byrum and Foster announced a presidential search timeline at a press conference on June 27 where they also announced listening sessions to include MSU community input during the search process would begin in early July.

The presidential search timeline

  • July–October 2018: Host listening sessions with stakeholders
  • July 2018: Issue request for proposals from presidential search firms
  • August 2018: Form the search committee
  • September 2018: Conduct search firm interviews and make a selection
  • October 2018: Finalize the position profile and make public
  • November 2018–January 2019: Identify candidates and conduct initial interviews
  • February–May 2019: Host finalist interviews with the Board of Trustees
  • June 2019: Announce the selection of the new MSU president


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