MARQUETTE – The NMU Presidential Search Advisory Committee has identified “11 qualified candidates at this time” for the university’s top post, according to PSAC Chair Sam Benedict. He presented a progress report to the NMU trustees at their Dec. 12 meeting.

“We plan to conduct additional background searches on the credentials of these candidates and would like to begin interviewing toward the end of January,” Benedict said. “Overall, the search process is on track and on schedule. It is progressing as we hoped it would. We hope to be in a position to bring five names to the board in February.”

Benedict said the committee reviewed the professional vitae of 28 individuals. They are among a total pool of 70 compiled by A.T. Kearney, an executive search firm contracted by NMU to assist in identifying qualified candidates to serve as the universityÂ’s 12th president.

An online survey of employees and other constituent groups found that professional characteristics desired in a new president include the following: effective interaction with legislators; a commitment to build partnerships; and an ability to increase external grant support. Many said the candidate should have experience in higher education, but not necessarily in a presidential capacity.

Personal characteristics cited as important include being trusted to make the right decisions, hard-working and energetic, friendly and personable, and possessing strong leadership qualities.

ASNMU student government initiated a separate online poll aimed specifically at Northern students. Results show that the top-ranking desirable qualities in a new president are a direct, honest communication with students, employees and the community and a willingness to engage in shared governance – facilitating student involvement in discussions and decision-making. When asked what the new president should value as a university priority, the top two responses were academic excellence and “high touch,” or an emphasis on individualized attention to students.

“The board was pleased with the amount of thought and effort that went into the responses to both surveys,” Benedict said. “These results help augment the board’s own efforts to identify important qualities that a candidate should possess in relation to the university’s mission and vision.”

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director