OUSC passes bill and talks with presidential search firm leader

By Ali DeRees

The Oakland University Student Congress met Monday, Feb. 17 to share its opinions on the presidential search and approve a bill that will provide funding for the next Salsa Night.

This week’s OUSC meeting welcomed Mr. William Funk to speak and listen to members’ opinions as to who should be the next president of Oakland University. 

Funk is the founder and leader of R. William Funk & Associates, a higher education search firm based in Dallas, Texas that focuses on finding presidents, vice presidents, chancellors, provosts and deans for colleges and universities. 


The Oakland University Board of Trustees chose to work with the firm in December of this year. 

Funk said his firm has worked with 375 schools. It has successfully located presidents for universities such as Ohio State University. 

Funk came to the OUSC to gather opinions as to what is so compelling about Oakland University and what they want to see in the next president of the university. 

“It’s quite an opportunity, we think, to take this institution to the next level,” Funk said. 

Many members of the OUSC said that they wanted a president that was involved in student life and understands the potential and growth of the university. 

Student Activities Funding Board Chairman Phillip Johnson said that he wants to see a president who is “approachable and student friendly.”

Legislator Laina Townsend echoed Johnson’s thoughts and said she wanted to see “someone who is very involved in student life.”

Other legislators had more specific requests and opinions. 

Legislator Liz Iwanski said she’d like to see a president with “a future driven mind,” noting that the university is dealing with the issue of lack of space. 

Legislator Jeffrey Schuett said he wants to see a president who is more veteran friendly and “who understands the projected growth of vets.”

Legislator Ellen Searle noted that diversity is very important to the university and that the next president should “take an active role in promoting diversity.”

Funk said the search for the next president will take about six months and will be nationwide. 

“Coast to coast, border to border,” Funk said. 

In addition to this discussion, a bill providing funding to the Hispanic American Leadership Organization’s Salsa Night was passed by the OUSC.

Legislator Josh Pokrefky was in charge of the bill and said that $500 would go towards the overall cost of the event, which will be scheduled for March 14. 

CSA Director, Jean Ann Miller also celebrated the achievements of the 13th annual PB&J Day.


Contact Staff Reporter Ali DeRees at [email protected]