Searching for a President for the University of Michigan

In 1996, the University of Michigan conducted a search for a new president.  Under the state's Open Meetings Act as it was then understood, any aspect of the search process that included members of the Board of Regents had to be conducted in public.  The Board decided to divide the search into two phases:  a private preliminary phase, in which a Presidential Search Advisory Committee ("PSAC") that included no Regents would make recommendations, and then a prolonged public phase in which the Board would participate.  I was asked to chair the PSAC. The search process yielded four outstanding finalists, and ultimately an outstanding president, but the process also deterred many outstanding potential candidates and was demeaning to those who did participate.

The following documents provide some perspective on the search:

Final Presentation of the PSAC to the Board of Regents, October 17, 1996

Testimony Before Michigan House Committee on Higher Education Regarding Open Meetings Act, December 3, 1996

Op-Ed Column in Trusteeship Magazine, July/August 1997