WMU News

University of North Carolina officials react to news of Elson Floyd's selection as WMU president

April 27, 1998

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- On Friday, April 24, Dr. Elson Floyd, executive vice chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was selected as the sixth president of Western Michigan University. Floyd is expected to begin his new duties at WMU on August 1.

The following are reactions by UNC-Chapel Hill officials to Floyd's appointment as WMU president. These quotes were compiled by News Services at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Richard Stevens, chair, UNC-CH Board of Trustees, and Wake County manager:

"Elson Floyd is one of the most impressive university administrators I have ever known. He certainly made a significant contribution to UNC and will be greatly missed by students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, trustees -- all of us."

Molly Broad, UNC president:

"This is a grand opportunity for Elson Floyd to apply his leadership ability to Western Michigan University. He is ready to serve as a university CEO. We'll miss him."

Dr. Michael Hooker, chancellor:

"Today's announcement from Western Michigan is truly bittersweet for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While this is a wonderful professional opportunity for Elson, it is a tremendous loss for UNC. As I've said before, I knew this day would come -- I just had hoped it wouldn't be so soon. An administrator as talented as Elson does not remain in the number two spot for long. He has paid his dues many times over and deserves to be at the helm of a university, especially an up-and-coming one like Western Michigan. I have no doubt he will provide the strong leadership it needs as it moves forward into a new era.

"As executive vice chancellor, Elson has been a strong and able leader and a calming presence. Elson offers a rare mix as a leader. He is a consummate professsional who knows how to get the job done, yet tempers his leadership with the compassion, honesty and integrity that have won him respect from all of our campus constitutencies. UNC is a much better place because of the hard work of Elson Floyd, and I will greatly miss his counsel."

Dr. Richard Richardson, provost:

"Elson and I have worked together daily for almost three years and I will miss him greatly. His integrity, deep commitment to the mission of the university and care for our students, staff and faculty will remain with us long after he's gone. Having taught for four years at Western Michigan University before coming to Chapel Hill, I know the institution, and I'm sure that Elson will be a wonderful president for it."

Pete Andrews, faculty chair and professor of environmental sciences and engineering:

"It's a wonderful opportunity for him and a great loss for UNC-Chapel Hill. Elson was a recent recipient of the C. Knox Massey Award for Distinguished Service, and he has earned it many times over with his open and collegial approach to university decision-making involving faculty, students and staff, as well as administrators. We will miss him greatly and wish him all of the very best in this new challenge and opportunity."

Linwood Futrelle, Employee Forum chair and director of distributed support and networks, Academic Technology and Networks:

"This is a huge loss for the university. In his time here, Elson has been a tireless advocate of employees and their needs and has done everything within his power to help us adapt to the changes in the work environment. He was instrumental in including staff in the university's decision-making process. The Employee Forum will sorely miss the close working relationship we had with Elson. We wish him all the luck and success possible in his new endeavor. If the Employee Forum can offer him any assistance in his new role, we hope that he will call upon us."

Mo Nathan, outgoing student body president:

"I have mixed emotions at this moment. I am happy for Dr. Floyd and for Western Michigan University. They have in him a leader of remarkable energy, vision and character. UNC-Chapel Hill students came to view Dr. Floyd as a powerful advocate. We always knew we could go to him with any problem. This university will miss him dearly."

WMU media contact: Matt Kurz; matt.kurz@wmich.edu

UNC media contact: Mike McFarland; newsserv@email.unc.edu

UNC News Services: www.unc.edu/news/newsserv

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