WMU News

WMU seeks 'passionate,' 'innovative,' 'articulate' champion as president

Jan. 27, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The successful candidate for the Western Michigan University presidency will be "an articulate and passionate spokesperson for the institution" who has a "progressive, inclusive leadership style" and can "build a shared sense of unity and purpose among all University constituencies."

Those abilities are at the core of the qualifications laid out in a formal Presidential Position Specification approved by the WMU Board of Trustees at its Jan. 24 meeting. Approval of the specification is the latest development in the University's quest to fill the position left open when Dr. Elson S. Floyd left WMU earlier this month to become president of the University of Missouri system.

At its Dec. 13 meeting, the board approved the formation of a 14-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee and authorized the hiring of A.T. Kearney Executive Search of Alexandria, Va., to assist in the search. The advisory committee, which is charged with conducting an initial confidential review of candidates and recommending to the board a slate of candidates it considers best qualified for the position, began meeting in January and has reviewed the job description presented for board approval. Birgit M. Klohs, new chairperson of the WMU Board of Trustees and a member of the search advisory committee, presented the formal document to the board.

The formal specification approved includes specific position criteria, key institutional issues for which the new president must develop strategies and a description of the personal qualities the successful candidate should bring to the job.

Among criteria listed are expectations that the new president will:

  • maintain a unique, strong and financially stable institution and have the capacity to meet difficult fiscal challenges;
  • be a passionate, principled and hardworking leader who is also approachable;
  • be an energetic and innovative leader who will enhance the reputation of the
    University; and
  • be an articulate champion of the University's mission and goals, who can build an open and diverse campus, develop areas of academic and interdisciplinary excellence, and expand both graduate education and research activities by developing and fostering partnerships in the public and private sectors.

The Presidential Position Specification approved by trustees also included language that called for review of candidate credentials to begin immediately.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

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