NMU Campus

NMU Presidential Search


The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Advisory Committee invite applications and nominations for the position of president.

The university seeks a strategic leader who will lead and transform this dynamic four-year, public, comprehensive university that has grown its reputation based on nationally recognized academic programs, cutting-edge technology initiatives and its award-winning leadership programs.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the president serves as the chief executive officer of the university and is charged with providing the vision and leadership required to advance Northern’s mission. While leading in an environment of shared governance, the president is responsible for overall academic, student, financial and philanthropic leadership and the strategic direction of the institution.

It is preferred the successful candidate have the following qualifications:

  • An earned doctorate or terminal degree.
  • Unquestionable character and integrity.
  • Executive leadership experience within a complex academic environment.
  • Record of leadership in promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and creating a cohesive, collaborative and inclusive culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain professional relationships with all constituents based on trust, mutual respect, transparency and credibility.
  • Unwavering commitment to shared governance and experience working in a collective bargaining environment and building healthy, collaborative relationships with represented employees.
  • Commitment to the student-centric philosophy of NMU, with a focus on student success and engagement.
  • Ability to provide visionary and inspirational leadership.
  • Exceptional communication and listening skills and the ability to empower success.
  • Strong acumen in budgeting and finance with demonstrated success in navigating amongst shifting financial landscapes.
  • An understanding of the importance of the university’s role in community and economic development.
  • Familiarity with higher education policies and best practices as it relates to increasing enrollments, recruitment and retention and additional sources of funding.
  • Track record of building and mentoring leadership teams that deliver results.
  • Demonstrated success in strategic planning and the articulation of mutual goals.
  • Commitment to strengthening existing academic programs and establishing new programs to support NMU’s strategic plan.
  • Appreciation for the role of the Board of Trustees with a willingness to create strong lines of communication and partnership.
  • Willingness to make strategic choices, timely decisions and responsive actions.
  • Successful track record of major gift fundraising and developing relationships with donors.
  • Successful track record of developing external relationships, including alumni, members of the community, media, legislators, other government officials and leaders in the private and non-profit sectors.
  • Commitment to environmental and social sustainability.
  • Ability to quickly develop a bond with the Upper Peninsula, its roots, its people and its traditions.
  • Unwavering support for the academic and athletic success and well-being of student athletes.
  • Commitment to a robust arts community.


The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, complete CV, and references) or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the Board.

Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to August 1, 2022.

Submit to:

Laurie C. Wilder, President

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President

Parker Executive Search

Five Concourse Parkway

Suite 2875

Atlanta, GA 30328



Phone: 770-804-1996 x 109


An overview of Northern Michigan University and the strategic leader we seek to transform our dynamic university

Equal Employment & Institutional Equity

Northern Michigan University does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs and activities sponsored by Northern Michigan University.

Presidential Search Updates

NMU Presidential Search Timeline Revised

In an effort to ensure active engagement among all constituency groups, the Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) at Northern Michigan University has revised its timeline. Campus interviews with finalists will take place in September, with NMU's next president ideally selected by the end of that month, shortly after Homecoming.

“The accelerated timeline required for our initial goal of completing the search by May 1 was proving unfeasible because of scheduling challenges that have surfaced early on for our 23-member committee,” said Chris Greer, chair of the PSAC. “Selecting Northern's next president is incredibly important. We want to ensure full and active representation throughout the process, so we adapted the schedule to allow for that.”

The revised timeline is for applications due on August 1, 2022, select semifinalists and conduct initial Zoom interviews by the time the fall semester begins, and schedule on-campus interviews for finalists the week of Sept. 12 or 19. The NMU Board of Trustees is expected to announce its selection the week of Sept. 26.


Opportunities to Get Involved in the Process

Here are two ways you can be involved in the search for the next President of Northern Michigan University.

Listening Sessions Provide Valuable Feedback

Jan. 31, 2022 - The Northern Michigan University Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) recently held listening sessions with various constituency groups. Faculty, staff and students, alumni and community members, and former NMU trustees were given the opportunity to share their thoughts regarding important characteristics for NMU's next president. About 250 people took part in one of seven virtual sessions that were scheduled, each lasting one hour. Read More

Presidential Search Listening Sessions

Jan. 20, 2022 - Listening sessions have been scheduled for January 26-28 and will be virtual meetings using Zoom Webinar. Members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee will be present to listen to the input.  The sessions will be moderated by Parker Executive Search and feedback from the sessions will be used to create the position description for the next president.

Participants must register for their desired session using the links provided. Once registered, information on joining the session will be sent by email.

Listening Session Schedule

Wednesday, January 26

Faculty Session – 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. - Register for this Session

Community Session – 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. - Register for this Session


Thursday, January 27

Open Session – 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. - Register for this Session

Staff Session – Noon – 1:00 p.m. - Register for this Session

Student Session – 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. - Register for this Session


Friday, January 28

Open Session – Noon – 1:00 p.m. - Register for this Session

NMU Board Appoints Presidential Search Advisory Committee

Jan. 5, 2022 - The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees approved Presidential Search Advisory Committee appointments and the committee's charge during a special meeting held virtually Wednesday night. Read More

NMU Board Selects Search Firm, Approves Schuiling's Interim Contract

Dec. 1, 2021 - The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees today agreed to retain the services of Parker Executive Search to identify prospective candidates for Northern's next president. The board also approved an amended employment agreement with Interim President Kerri Schuiling. Read More