WMU News

NMU's Bailey recommended for WMU presidency

May 1, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University trustees will vote May 9 to approve the nomination of Dr. Judith I. Bailey, president of Northern Michigan University, as the seventh president of Western Michigan University.

Bailey, who has been president of NMU since 1997, was among candidates reviewed by the WMU Presidential Search Advisory Committee. Her name will be placed in nomination before the WMU Board of Trustees at its next meeting Friday, May 9. Once approved, she will succeed Dr. Elson S. Floyd, who left WMU in January to become president of the University of Missouri system.

"The advisory committee met with some outstanding candidates, but Dr. Bailey impressed us all with her strong academic and research background and her dedication to issues of critical importance to the future of this University," said Birgit M. Klohs, chairperson of the WMU Board of Trustees and a member of the 14-person search advisory committee formed by the board last December. "Dr. Bailey's commitment to technology in higher education, her ability to forge strong relationships and her familiarity with state issues will be incredibly important assets in her role as WMU's new president."

A longtime higher education administrator, Bailey established a reputation at NMU both in the area of fund raising and in promoting the use of technology on campus. She is credited with success in leading that school's first comprehensive capital campaign and she spearheaded a campus initiative in 2000 that put laptop computers in the hands of every full-time student. NMU is the largest university to which IBM has awarded the designation of "ThinkPad University."

Prior to assuming the presidency at NMU, Bailey held positions as vice president of academic affairs and provost as well as vice president for research and public service at the University of Maine. Before that, she served in leadership roles in the cooperative extension operations at that university as well as at the University of the District of Columbia and the University of Maryland. She also has taught at George Mason University and the University of Maryland.

A native of North Carolina, Bailey earned a bachelor's degree in English from Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., and master's and doctoral degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1973 and 1976, respectively. She also attended Harvard University's Educational Management in 1994 and took part in the institute's 1996 alumni seminar.

Bailey began her teaching career as a high school language arts and social studies teacher in Chariho, R.I., then taught in the public school systems in Virginia's Prince William and Stafford counties before moving into the higher education arena.

She is a member of the Michigan Humanities Council, Rotary International and a number of professional organizations. In 2002, she was honored with a Chief Executive Leadership Award at the international assembly of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Higher Education. Bailey was honored for her leadership in a district that covers six Midwestern states, including Michigan. CASE is the professional organization for higher education professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, and development.

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

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400