The Michigan State University Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting tomorrow to “discuss personnel action.” While the university will not comment on the meeting’s purpose, it’s expected the board will announce that Kevin Guskiewicz will be the next president of MSU.
The meeting comes two weeks after a Thanksgiving deadline for a presidential announcement Dennis Denno, leader of the presidential search committee, promised in early September, and after weeks of Guskiewicz being the sole finalist for the position.
The meeting will take place Friday, Dec. 8 at 8 a.m. on Zoom.
Chronicle of Higher Education reporter David Jesse first reported the special meeting to announce Guskiewicz as president Wednesday afternoon on X, formerly Twitter. The Detroit News followed hours later, citing sources close to the search that an unanimous board vote is expected.
Guskiewicz is the current chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a position he’s held since 2019. He’s known for his research on concussions.
The decision would end a search process shrouded in secrecy and under scrutiny.
The search was conducted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, which collected applications and facilitated the process. A committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni were tasked with screening the candidates and providing feedback to the board.
Both groups signed legal agreements that mandated secrecy for all aspects of the search.
John Isaacson of Isaacson, Miller told The State News on Oct. 24 that the committee had concluded its work and turned over its recommendations to the board.
Sources with knowledge of the board’s deliberations told The State News on Nov. 15 that the board had narrowed it down to two final candidates, Guskiewicz and University of Texas at San Antonio President Taylor Eighmy.
Shortly after The State News sent messages to both candidates, Eighmy withdrew his name from consideration, leaving Guskiewicz as the sole candidate.
In written statements made to MSU's faculty weeks ago, Guskiewicz said he’s had “very direct and honest conversations” with MSU’s board — who have been accused of interfering in the university’s last two presidencies — about working more cohesively with his theoretical administration.
“If I were fortunate to be selected as the next president, I would only accept the role if I were given the opportunity to lead (MSU) without undue interference; instead, leading in a trusted partnership with the trustees, faculty, and staff," Guskiewicz wrote in the statements.
He wrote that he is “confident that the trustees are committed to this” and that he believes the board “values the principles of shared governance.”
The writings — which were initially written anonymously but later attributed to Guskiewicz and obtained by The State News — are the only public glimpse into his weeks-long discussions with MSU’s board over the presidency.
Reporters Alex Walters and Owen McCarthy contributed to the contents of this article.
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