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President Bachand retiring

President Bachand plans to retire in December 2022 after serving as president for seven years. Courtesy Photo | Kyle Will

President Bachand announced his intent to retire in Dec. 2022 to students through an email.

Bachand joined SVSU in the summer of 1978. He served as an assistant professor of criminal justice. He joined after working for the Detroit Police Department.

In February of 2014, Bachand was appointed as the president after a nationwide search.

Bachand said he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at the school.

“In two words: fulfilling and rewarding. My time in the classroom was wonderful. I remain in contact with many of my former students to this day,” he said. “The challenges of administration have been trying at times, but I have enjoyed those roles too, because it’s important to me to create the learning environment I experienced as a college student. I have a niece and nephew currently attending SVSU and I am thinking about them and their experience as we make decisions.”

His favorite part of the job has always been working with the students. “Working with students always has been the favorite part of the job for me,” Bachand said.

“Even after I joined the ranks of administration, I continued to serve as the academic advisor for a handful of students each year. That’s not something most university presidents do, but I carried it with me because it’s important to me to maintain that direct connection with students. I hear what’s going well for them and what’s going not so well, and both of those perspectives are valuable.”

His favorite memory has been watching students graduate. “Graduation,” he said. “Seeing students cross the stage and complete their degrees is inspiring. Celebrating with their families is wonderful. That’s why we were so determined to hold Commencement this past May. We had an outstanding team who made it happen because we all understand the significance of that occasion.”

He said the Board of Control will decide who will replace him. “Our Board of Control will oversee the search process,” he said.

“They are currently evaluating presidential search firms. Once a firm is selected, they will work together to outline how the search will be conducted.

The Board looks for a number of different things when looking for a president. “When I was a candidate for president, the Board was interested in a number of factors,” Bachand said. “What is your vision for the university? How will you recruit students? These are the sorts of questions I received, plus many others. It’s a complex and demanding job, but I think SVSU is a wonderful institution and I have every confidence that the Board will identify strong candidates and ultimately make a good choice.”

He said that while he doesn’t feel there would ever be a right time to retire, he’s ready for the next chapter.

“I don’t know that there is ever one “right time,” but in speaking with my wife Liana, I recognized I am ready for a new chapter,” he said. “I also expect to remain in the presidency for another year, so it was important to give notice and allow sufficient time for the search process.”

Alyssa McMillan

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