NMU Board Selects Presidential Search Firm, Committee

Friday 20, 2013

MARQUETTE, Mich.—The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees has secured an executive search firm and established a campus advisory committee to initiate the search for NMU’s next president. David Haynes’ interim appointment is scheduled to end June 30, 2014.

The board has selected Witt/Kieffer to identify potential candidates nationwide with the “best mix of skills, experience, vision and character” to fulfill the NMU mission. According to its website, the firm has locations in 17 major metropolitan markets and is devoted to a client base representing higher education, health care, life sciences companies and not-for-profit organizations. Witt/Kieffer reports a 93 percent satisfaction rating from clients and an average seven-year stay for leaders placed by the firm. Diversity and equity are billed as core values, with 86 percent of its slated candidates women and minorities. 

“We exercised due diligence in reviewing the search firm candidates and Witt/Kieffer seemed the best fit and most responsive to the needs we identified,” said Board Chair L. Garnet Lewis. “We also reached out to campus leaders for input on what qualities they desire in the next president. In reviewing nominations for the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, we were looking for those who demonstrate a good understanding of NMU operations and a big-picture view of the university. We spent a lot of time on selecting the PSAC to ensure a good cross-representation of employees, students, alumni and board members.”

The PSAC will assist the board in identifying qualified candidates for the presidency. Trustee Sook Wilkinson will chair the committee. Additional members are: Trustee Stephen Adamini; Nathan Bradbury, ASNMU; Sten Fjeldheim, NMU Nordic skiing coach; Felecia Flack, director of IT-Information Services; Alec Lindsay, associate professor of Biology; Joe Lubig, dean for teacher education and director of the School of Education; Trustee Steve Mitchell; Jane Surrell, director-prospect/advancement database management, NMU Foundation; alumna Rebecca Thompson, senior director of engagement at United Way for Southeastern Michigan; and Mary Jane Tremethick, associate dean and director of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

“The PSAC will review candidates according to the selection criteria approved by the NMU Board of Trustees,” said Wilkinson. “The committee will submit to the board its recommendations of the most-qualified candidates, but ultimately the final decision on Northern’s next president will rest with the board.”

Lewis said Witt/Kieffer will develop a job description over the next few weeks. The goal is to begin candidate interviews early in 2014 and have the presidential decision by spring.

Kristi Evans
News Director