Following the resignation of former Michigan State University president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. this October, the university’s board is now tasked with finding a permanent replacement.
To bridge the gap, the board confirmed then-provost Teresa Woodruff as interim president. Following her appointment, former trustee Melanie Foster was not reelected and former trustee Pat O’Keefe resigned. Given this turnover, board chair Dianne Byrum says MSU will wait to begin the search for a permanent leader.
“We really need to have the full eight members of the board before we can start in earnest,” Byrum said.
Foster will be replaced on Jan. 1 with Dennis Denno, a Democratic legislative staffer who was elected this November; O’Keefe’s seat awaits a gubernatorial appointment, which Byrum hopes will occur by January, though there is no formal deadline for that appointment.
Based on her understanding of the upcoming transition, Byrum expects the search to begin in the spring of next year.
The board is in conversation with Isaacson Miller, an executive search firm that has been used to find deans and administrators at MSU in the past and is currently searching for a candidate to helm MSU’s Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity.
Once the firm identifies finalists for the position, the board will begin interviewing the candidates and will eventually select a permanent replacement.
When asked about the transparency of the choice, Byrum said it will be comparable to the search for Stanley, which involved 30 “listening sessions” with different campus groups, two of which were open to the public at large.
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