WMU News

Search committee narrows field

February 6, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- The Presidential Search Advisory Committee at Western Michigan University has reduced the number of candidates for president of the University significantly, said Richard G. Haworth, a member of the Board of Trustees and chairperson of the committee. It will continue to accept nominations and applications for the position until finalists are selected.

The committee met Feb. 5 to screen about 60 candidates for the position, which becomes vacant July 31 with the retirement of WMU President Diether H. Haenicke, who will return to the faculty. It now will begin a process of checking references of remaining candidates.

"We have some very exciting candidates in the pool," Haworth said. "We want to be sure that we keep them interested in Western Michigan University and in its presidency. Ours is one of the finest presidencies in the country."

Haworth said the interview phase would begin in March, adding that the committee hopes to recommend five finalists for the position at the March 20 meeting of the WMU Board of Trustees. That would enable the Board of Trustees to make an appointment at its April 24 meeting.

"State law requires that we wait at least 30 days between announcing finalists and naming a president," Haworth said. "Each finalist will be interviewed at a public session of the Board of Trustees and make a public presentation on our campus."

Haworth stressed that his goal is to have the public phase of the campaign take place before the end of the winter semester in April so that as many members of the University community and the public as possible can participate in the process. WMU seeks a president with "a progressive, inclusive leadership style," according to the position description for the job.

The Board of Trustees established the Presidential Search Advisory Committee in July and named three trustees to it. It completed the committee Oct. 1 with the appointment of representatives of the faculty, staff, students, alumni and public. The committee developed search criteria after constituency and public sessions.

Haenicke, who came to WMU in 1985, will have served 13 years as president and currently is the second longest serving president of a public university in Michigan. He previously had been the chief academic officer of both Wayne State University and the Ohio State University.

Persons may contact the Presidential Search Advisory Committee through its secretary, Betty A. Kocher, secretary to the Board of Trustees. Her telephone number is (616) 387-2360 and her e-mail address is <betty.kocher@wmich.edu>. Information also is available on the World Wide Web at <www.wmich.edu/wmu/search> and by calling (616) 387-4004.

The consulting firm Korn Ferry International is assisting the University in the search.

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