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ASMSU passes bill advocating for importance of student, faculty voices on presidential search committee

October 6, 2023
<p>Representatives at the first ASMSU meeting of the semester at the International Center on Sept. 7, 2023.</p>

Representatives at the first ASMSU meeting of the semester at the International Center on Sept. 7, 2023.

Photo by Sonya Barlow | The State News

The Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, passed a bill advocating for the university's presidential search committee endorsements to have approval from all faculty and students on the committee. The bill passed unanimously at ASMSU's general assembly meeting on Oct. 5.

Bill 60-27 pushed back against Presidential Search Committee Chair and Trustee Dennis Denno's comments to The State News in September. In his comments, Denno said the person the Board of Trustees selects doesn’t need an academic background and may not be someone recommended by the committee.

ASMSU's bill aligned with previous pushback against Denno's comments. A letter — signed by 17 deans, seven vice provosts, one associate dean and the director of MSU’s FRIB laboratory — called for a “public and explicit reaffirmation” from the Board of Trustees of their commitment to a presidential search that follows the “best practices for executive searches in higher education.”

The faculty senate passed a non-binding resolution on Sept. 19 stating that the selected candidate should be endorsed by a majority of the presidential search committee’s faculty. In order for them to endorse the candidate, “the president should be equally qualified to serve both as the executive officer of the governing board and as the chief academic officer of the institution and the faculty,” the resolution said.

Additionally, Interim President Teresa Woodruff told The State News that her successor should “be a great academic who understands student pursuits.” 

ASMSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Alissa Hakim, who introduced the bill, said that it was written in solidarity with the faculty senate’s resolution. 

“We’ve expanded on that to include that they shouldn’t only be approved by faculty, but also student representation on the committee,” Hakim said. “We also included that whoever is receiving the endorsement of the presidential search committee should be dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, to promoting the 2030 strategic plan, and should have experience as a scholar, academic and (on a) university administration.” 

ASMSU President Emily Hoyumpa serves as one of two undergraduate students on the presidential search committee, and she encouraged all representatives to vote for Bill 60-27. 

“This just gives me something else that I can advocate for all of you,” Hoyumpa said.

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