March 20, 2018, Vol. 24, No. 14

Michigan Tech Presidential Search Update

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In a letter sent to the Michigan Tech community, Presidential Search Committee Chair Bill Johnson and Vice-Chair Brenda Ryan, both members of the University’s Board of Trustees, provided an update to the campus community on the status of the search for the next Michigan Tech President. Below is the complete letter:

The selection of the President is the most important and significant decision that any University Board can make. In April of last year, when President Glenn D. Mroz announced his intention to return to faculty, the Board of Trustees developed a search process to be inclusive, collaborative, transparent, and legally compliant. While the final selection of a President rests solely with the Trustees, we created a process designed to ensure all of the University Community voices were heard.

The Presidential Search Committee (PSC) and our search consultants from Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates (SPA) have worked tirelessly together over the past several months in order to find the next President that is best suited to lead the University. The Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee have been very pleased with the outcome of the entire search process and the feedback received from the campus community; we are confident in our ability to find the next University President.

Presidential Search Committee

After receiving more than 70 applications from a diverse and well-qualified national pool of candidates and determining more than 40 of those applicants fit the Leadership profile developed from input from the entire campus community, the PSC was able to narrow that down to 10-12 applicants for consideration to move to the interview stage.

On January 30, 2018, the PSC and search consultants met to discuss the interview questions and protocol and note-taking guidelines. When the PSC was initially formed, all members committed to and completed implicit bias training. To reinforce the training, Lorelle Meadows, Dean of the Pavlis Honors College, and Renee Hiller, Director of Human Resources, led the group in a discussion on implicit bias. In addition, Bill Johnson discussed how the characteristics of a good leader will lead to their success at Michigan Tech.

The PSC, with coordination by SPA, completed the first round of interviews in the Presidential Search. There were more than 6 but less than 12 candidates participating in the interview process. Upon completion of the interviews, the PSC narrowed the list to six candidates. The PSC and SPA then conducted reference checks on all six candidates.

The final meeting of the PSC was held on February 21, 2018. The PSC discussed the candidate interviews and reference results to develop the list of semi-finalist candidates to recommend to the Board of Trustees. The Charge from the Chair of the Board of Trustees to the PSC was to identify and bring forward three or four semifinalists for the Board’s consideration by the end of February of 2018. We are pleased to share with you that the PSC has completed this task and has recommended four outstanding semi-finalists to the Board of Trustees for their consideration. The PSC is confident that any one of the semi-finalists will make a great leader as the next President of Michigan Tech.

As a show of gratitude for their dedication and commitment to the Presidential search over the past several months, an Appreciation Dinner was held Wednesday, February 21st for the PSC as well as recognizing the staff that were instrumental in providing support during the search.

Throughout the search, we have remained diligent in protecting the confidentiality of all applicants in order to attract the most highly qualified candidates. The Board of Trustees and the PSC have followed best practices for executive search processes in a very competitive higher education marketplace.

Future Steps

The Board of Trustees will conduct extensive interviews with all semi-finalists. The Board of Trustees is still on track to select and announce a new President by late April, with the new President scheduled to start July 1, 2018. The new president will be named at a special Board of Trustees meeting and the campus and community will have an opportunity to meet and welcome the President-Elect.

Brenda and I, along with the rest of the Trustees, would like to personally thank the members of the Presidential Search Committee and the University Community in our search for the next President of Michigan Technological University.


Bill Johnson
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Member, Michigan Tech Board of Trustees

Brenda Ryan
Vice Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Vice Chair, Michigan Tech Board of Trustees