WMU News

Seven more named to Presidential Search Committee

Oct. 1, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- Seven additional persons have been named to the Presidential Search Advisory Committee at Western Michigan University, said Richard G. Haworth, chairperson of the committee and of the WMU Board of Trustees.

Haworth also announced that the committee will conduct a public session on Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Kirsch Auditorium of the Fetzer Center to receive input from the University and local community. The public session will be from 2 to 3 p.m. or later if necessary.

WMU President Diether H. Haenicke announced in June that he would retire from the presidency next July to return to the faculty. The Board of Trustees established the Presidential Search Advisory Committee in July and named three trustees to it: Haworth; Richard F. Chormann of Kalamazoo, vice chairperson of the committee; and Lori B. Waddles of Detroit, vice chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

The new members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and their affiliation are: Dr. Raymond E. Alie, professor of management, Faculty Senate; Dr. Ariel L. Anderson, associate professor of education and professional development, WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors; Dr. Lewis Walker, chairperson of sociology, administration; Imelda Reyes-Phetteplace, a senior majoring in nursing and Spanish from Kalamazoo, Western Student Association; Debra R. White, secretary, Haworth College of Business, staff; Wendy L. Stock, vice president, NBD Bank, Grand Rapids, alumni; and Richard M. Fluke, president, Hospital Network Inc., Kalamazoo, general public.

"Our goal from the start has been to provide the widest possible representation and participation in the search process," Haworth said. "The committee's composition exceeds the requirements of the state's open meeting law."

Haworth emphasized that persons who cannot attend the public session can communicate with the committee through its secretary, Betty A. Kocher, who also is secretary to the Board of Trustees. Copies of materials provided at the session also will be available from Kocher.

Those materials include key questions, such as: What are the principal issues facing WMU in the next three to five years? What is your analysis of WMU's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? Persons also will be asked to use a form to identify characteristics that are most important for a candidate to be successful as WMU president.

The Board of Trustees also established constituent groups, each made up of representatives of the faculty, students, staff members, administrators, alumni and the general public as well as members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. The names of these representatives are to be announced later.

The board originally established four constituent groups, but the consultant, Dr. John H. Kuhnle (pron. KOON-lee) of Korn/Ferry International, suggested that participation would be better if two groups were formed, using the same number of persons as for four groups. Participants were nominated by their respective constituencies and are now being contacted.

The two constituent groups, each consisting of 22 representatives and the three trustees, will meet in one session each with the consultant to help develop an institutional profile and desired presidential characteristics. Comments from the constituent groups and the public session will be used to create position specifications that will be presented to the Board of Trustees at its next meeting Oct. 31 for its review and approval.

Once a position description is approved, the position will be advertised. The committee will then seek out candidates "observing the equal opportunity/affirmative action and other relevant personnel policies and applicable state and federal law and following proven procedures that will lead to the appointment of the best qualified person for the presidency," the board stated in a resolution establishing the advisory committee.

By spring 1998, the committee expects to present the names of five unranked finalists to the full board. Once five candidates are identified, the board by law must wait 30 days before making an appointment. The finalists will be invited to the campus for public presentations. They also will be interviewed in a public session of the Board of Trustees.

Individuals are encouraged to contact the Presidential Search Advisory Committee through Kocher in the Board of Trustees office. Her telephone number is 616 387-2360 and her email address is betty.kocher@wmich.edu. The latest information on the search is available by telephone at 616 387-4004 and on the World Wide Web at www.wmich.edu/wmu/search/.

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