Student liaisons added as nonvoting members to presidential search committee


Bohdanna Cherstylo

Student Liaisons Sean Foe (left) and Cassie Hock (second from left) at the Oct. 24 meeting.

Originally published Oct. 28, 2016. Updated Oct. 31, 2016, to include the Oakland University Student Congress’ statement.

As promised, the Board of Trustees announced the four remaining members of the presidential search committee the morning of Friday, Oct. 28.

The following members have been added:

  • Glenn McIntosh, vice president for Student Affairs
  • Kevin Corcoran, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Linda Gillum, associate dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs in the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Karen Markel, chair of the Management and Marketing Department and associate professor of management

They join Board of Trustees members Richard DeVore, Mark Schlussel, Melissa Stolicker and Ronald Robinson on the committee.

The additions were announced in a press release from Richard DeVore, chairman of the Board of Trustees and the presidential search committee.

The release also stated that Sean Foe and Cassie Hock, student liaisons to the board, will be made nonvoting members of the committee “to provide student perspectives and to solicit student input.”

This is in contrast to DeVore’s statement during the Board of Trustees formal session on Oct. 24 that there would be no students on the committee.

DeVore supported his original decision by saying it can be “awkward” to have students involved in the lengthy search process, which will likely end after graduation has passed.

Foe and Hock approached DeVore after the meeting to discuss alternatives, and Student Body President Zack Thomas sent him a five-page letter making the case for student representation.

“I think the conversation with the students is what influenced [DeVore],” said John Young, vice president of University Communications and Marketing.

Along with Anders Engnell, student body vice president, Thomas put out an Oakland University Student Congress statement on the matter.

“We [at Student Congress] are grateful that our Student BOT Liaisons, Cassie Hock and Sean Foe, have both been officially added to the committee,” they wrote. “. . . We are disappointed, however, that students will not have a vote on the committee. Though student input will be received, the Student Voice will not be heard.”

Thomas said he and Engnell will keep pushing for Hock and Foe to be able to vote on the committee.

As indicated by DeVore at the board meeting on Oct. 24, the board’s next goal is to select a search firm through an open-bid process.

After the meeting that afternoon, requests for proposals were issued to 15 national firms experienced in presidential searches.

Interested firms were asked to send proposals by Nov. 4, and the board expects to approve a firm at its next formal session on Dec. 5.

“Since we already went through this three years ago, the letter just needed to be tweaked and sent out to the major firms,” Young said.

DeVore’s release reiterated his goal of having the next president chosen by June 2017 and in place by Aug. 13, 2017, when President George Hynd’s contract expires. The board hopes to offer the next president a five-year contract.

Though the search will remain closed until there are two or three final candidates, DeVore said regular updates will be provided at Board of Trustees meetings and through University Communications and Marketing.

“The board and the board chair have committed to a communication schedule,” Young said.

After finalists have been narrowed down, the search will shift to an open forum in which the campus community is welcome to participate.

Questions or comments about the presidential search process should be directed to Victor Zambardi, vice president for Legal Affairs and secretary to the Board of Trustees, at [email protected].