November 12, 2013

Thank you from NMU Board of Trustees

NMU Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,

We want to thank all of you who participated in last week's small-group and open-forum discussions regarding the presidential search with Dr. Kate Haley of Witt/Kieffer, the search firm hired by the NMU Board of Trustees.  While it took a little extra time to secure Dr. Haley as our Witt/Kieffer consultant, we believe those of you who reviewed her outstanding credentials and had the opportunity to interact with her will agree she was worth the slight delay.

In a national search such as ours, it is critical that Dr. Haley have the opportunity to hear and understand what characteristics in a president are most important to the NMU family.  Many of you interrupted your busy schedules to share your thoughts on this and we thank you for your time and ideas.  They are invaluable to the work ahead in selecting the president that will best help NMU accomplish its collective goals and overcome challenges.

Dr. Haley was busy while she was on campus. During her time, she met with the NMU Leadership Team members and the Presidential Search Advisory Committee; did a series of small-group discussions with faculty, staff, student leaders, alumni and community leaders; and participated in open forums for faculty/staff and students. Her full itinerary is listed below.

What happens next?  As of today, the presidential search website has been made live at This will continue to grow into a robust site of information for both potential candidates and the campus community.  Currently, it provides as much preliminary information as we have available at this time.  Over the next few weeks, Dr. Haley will be completing the presidential profile and call for applicants, which will include an overview of the campus input from her visit.  These will be posted to the website by the end of the month.  Additional work between now and the start of the application review in February includes the Presidential Search Advisory Committee finalizing its upcoming meeting schedule, Witt/Kieffer actively recruiting high-caliber candidates from around the nation and globe and the university preparing finalist material packets.

If you have comments on any of the three areas of discussion from Dr. Haley’s visit, please send them to by 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15. Your comments will be kept strictly confidential.  The discussion areas were:

  • special opportunities and challenges offered by NMU for its next president
  • top five agenda items the next president must address
  • qualities, qualifications and experiences that the next president should possess to be successful at NMU

Again, thank you for your time and input.  Our goal is to provide regular updates on the progress of the search via the website, so please check that regularly.



L. Garn Lewis, chair of the NMU Board of Trustees
H. Sook Wilkinson, NMU Board of Trustees member and chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee



Dr. Haley’s Nov. 7-8 Visit to NMU

Thursday, November 7, 2013 (in order of meeting schedule)

  • Leadership Team
  • Non-Represented Administrators
  • Union Representatives (AAUP, AFSCME, AP, NMUFA, TOP)
  • Vice Presidents
  • Academic Cabinet
  • Academic Department Heads
  • Community/Alumni/Donors
  • Faculty/Staff Open Forum
  • Dinner  with Sook Wilkinson, Chair of Presidential Search Committee
  • ASNMU Leadership and Student Open Forum


Friday, November 8, 2013

  • Cindy Paavola, Director of Communications; Theresa Nease, Secretary of the Board; Sook Wilkinson, Chair of the PSAC; and Garnet Lewis, Chair of the Board – Discussion on communication needs and presidential search website
  • Senate Executive Committee
  • NMU Board of Trustees (some on campus, some via conference call)
  • President David Haynes
  • Search Committee