Board Names New President
Wong is Northern Michigan University’s 13th president. The NMU
Board of Trustees this morning unanimously voted to offer him
the position and he accepted.
has served as vice president for academic affairs at Valley City
State University in North Dakota since 1999. VCSU is the state
system’s “model” campus for curriculum innovation emphasizing
technology. It was also the second university in the nation to
implement a 100 percent laptop computer initiative.
previous administrative positions include provost and academic
vice president, along with six months as interim president, at
the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo; and academic dean
at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., where he started
as a faculty member.
is expected to begin serving as NMU president on or before July
1. He hopes to "exploit technology" to begin some advance
preparations before he arrives on campus.
are thoroughly excited and look forward to joining Northern Michigan
University," said Wong during a telephone interview from
his office, with his wife, Phyllis, by his side. "The thing
that really sold us on Northern was the spirit of the people,
the university's student-centered approach, and its reputation
for quality academics. I really want to thank the board, the university
and the community for their confidence in offering me this opportunity.
I also hope people appreciate the incredible job that Mike Roy
has done as interim president. I look forward to working with
him and other members of the team."
Wong, who serves as director of online learning at Valley City
State University, said she quickly became enamored with the university
and surrounding area during their campus visit last month.
had a chance to get out in the community and visit with local
residents," she said. "They are very friendly and they
have a great sense of pride in where they live. I was intrigued
by their spirit."
Wong holds a doctorate in educational psychology from Washington
State University, a master’s in experimental psychology from Eastern
Washington, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Gonzaga University
in Spokane, Wash. He describes his leadership style as strategic
really have a deep respect for the inquiry process –
listening, questioning and seeking the opinions of others,"
he said. "I think a president should help set goals and lead
an institution down the desired path, but trust in the talents
of people to get there. I have never been disappointed in trusting
people too much. From what I have gathered, the talent on this
campus is exceptional. ... A president should be the catalyst
for everyone's dreams and remove barriers so people can be creative
and think outside the box."
Weber, vice chair of the NMU board, said he and fellow trustee
Sam Benedict had an opportunity to visit VCSU and meet with Wong
am optimistic that he could be one of Northern's strongest presidents
ever," Weber said. "I have that much confidence in him
and his ability to lead this university."
added, "We had a marvelous visit there and received very
good feedback on Dr. Wong from staff, faculty, alumni and community
addition to casting a unanimous roll-call vote in favor of Wong's
appointment, a number of trustees praised the input received from
students, employees and community members after campus visits
by four finalists.
people came to the Web site with very thoughtful comments on interactions
they had with the candidates or on research they had done,"
said Mary Campbell, chair of the board.
a similar note, trustee Doug Roberts said, "I want to commend
those who took the time and effort to respond to the survey. Their
input was definitely a factor in my decision, which is why I overwhelmingly
support Dr. Wong's appointment."
will assume the post previously occupied by Judi Bailey, who left
NMU last spring to become president of Western Michigan University.
Mike Roy has been serving as interim. He will return to his former
position as vice president for finance and administration. Details
of Wong’s contract with NMU remain to be finalized.