In November of 2021, President Bachand announced his intention to retire in December of 2022. SVSU has since been looking for its fifth president.
The school enlisted the help of WittKieffer, a global executive firm that can help with matching leadership candidates up with job postings all around the country.
Vicki Rupp, chair of the board of control, said the school selected WittKieffer out of a few different selection firms.
“We sought and received proposals from a handful of search firms,” she said. “After interviewing those firms and conducting our due diligence, we selected WittKieffer, and we have been pleased with their performance to date.”
WittKieffer and the Board of Control held listening sessions throughout Feb. The sessions were open to students and staff and provided the firm a better idea of what to look for in the next president.
They used this information to come up with a leadership profile which was released to students and the public through an email.
Some of the most important things is finding someone who understands SVSU.
“The most important things in the profile are the elements that speak to SVSU’s character and culture,” Rupp said. “We have much to be proud of, even as we recognize that we must continue to transform and grow as a university. It is important for candidates to understand who we are as a university and as a community, and I think the profile captures us well.”
Besides what’s included in the profile, the board is also looking for someone who is a strong leader.
“We are seeking someone who is a strong and visionary leader, and who can work effectively and collaboratively with students, faculty, staff and other key stakeholders,” she said. “A successful university president must be many things and exhibit many qualities to a diverse group of constituencies.”
The school is currently in the recruiting phase of the process.
“[We’re] seeking and encouraging candidates to apply for the decision,” Rupp said. “The search advisory committee will interview candidates in late spring or early summer, and they will provide a list of eligible candidates to the Board of Control. The Board will then interview candidates and make our selection. All of this work is expected to remain confidential out of respect for candidates’ privacy and the desire to identify the best possible leader for SVSU.”