Governor Rick Snyder appointed Nancy Schlichting — the former CEO of the Henry Ford Health System — to the MSU Board of Trustees. She will replace former Trustee George Perles, who recently resigned due to health issues.
This came after a Monday meeting student representatives from the university had with Dick Posthumus, Snyder's chief of staff. At the meeting, student representatives expressed the need for a trustee who is dedicated to shared governance, experienced with sexual misconduct policy, is a "catalyst for change" and more.
“Michigan State University is a world-class institution that has struggled with a tragedy that never should have happened. With the right leadership taking the appropriate actions, the entire MSU community can come together to help survivors heal, ignite culture change, and help the university move forward stronger than ever before,” Snyder said in a press release.
“I am confident that with Nancy’s experience and expertise, she is the right person to help shape MSU’s future because she can be a catalyst for change in culture to ensure students have the best possible learning environment at this outstanding university.”
Schlichting has experience with working on boards. She has sat on the Duke University Board of Trustees, the boards of the Duke University Health System, The Kresge Foundation, Ardent Health Services and others. She is also a member of the International Women's Forum and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the press release said.
She is the author of "Unconventional Leadership: What Henry Ford and Detroit Taught Me about Reinvention and Diversity," a book in which she discusses her experiences with cultural transformation, community engagement, innovation, strategic leadership and diversity.
"Being a woman on the rise in a male-dominated domain and being a closeted lesbian running Catholic hospitals represent two pieces in a larger puzzle of experiences that made courage and confidence mandatory for me," she wrote in the book.
As the former CEO of the Henry Ford Health System, the press release said she helped lead the company through a "dramatic financial turnaround while continuing award-winning patient safety, customer service, and diversity initiatives."
“Nancy has a remarkable personal story that should be an inspiration to so many young people attending MSU,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said in the press release. “She has been described as having the determination required to lead through adversity and not being afraid to forge her own path to achieve excellence for herself and those she has served. That’s exactly what MSU needs right now.”
Schlichting received her bachelor’s degree in public policy studies from Duke University and a master's degree from Cornell University. The press release also notes she received honorary doctoral degrees from Eastern Michigan University, Central Michigan University and Walsh College.
Schlichting joins the five current members of the Board of Trustees, as well as recently-elected Trustees Brianna Scott and Kelly Tebay, in January. Schlichting will serve the remainder of an eight-year term ending Jan. 1, 2023.