The University Record, June 3, 2002

Regents name next president following six month search

By Laurel Thomas Gnagey

Coleman (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)
“She was quite simply the best candidate in an extraordinary field and we will be fortunate to have her,” said Regent Laurence Deitch, in announcing U-M’s 13th president, Mary Sue Coleman. “We are very impressed with herbreadth of experience and superb credentials, and trust that the community will be as well.”

The regents, acting as the Presidential Search Committee, chose the current president of the University of Iowa from among a pool of candidates identified by a Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC). The 16-member advisory committee was chaired by Rackham Dean Earl Lewis and included nine additional faculty members from the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses, and two staff members, two students and two alumni.

During a special regents meeting May 29, Deitch praised the PSAC for its work. The advisory committee, which he described as a “broad-based group of committed and wise University citizens,” met formally 15 times and spent many additional hours on research in considering the more than 200 nominations that were submitted.

“Around here people often easily and glibly speak of their love of this institution,” Deitch said. “These 16 men and women proved it by their self-sacrifice, and dispassionate, thoughtful and wise counsel.”

Regents also thanked Interim President B. Joseph White and his wife, Mary, who received a standing ovation from those present. “From the day that we asked Joe to assume the presidency on an interim basis, he and Mary have poured their hearts and souls into the myriad responsibilities that are the president’s job,” Deitch said. “Joe not only kept the University running but enabled it to move forward with impressive momentum.”

“The only job that may be more challenging than that of president of the University of Michigan is interim president of the University of Michigan,” said Regent David Brandon. “Joe did a fantastic job.”

Deitch noted that the University will offer a more formal recognition to White prior to the completion of his tenure in the interim role. The former dean of the Business School plans to continue his association with U-M.

“After President Coleman begins her tenure as president on Aug. 1, I will be back with Plan A [teaching courses in the B-School] and I’m excited about it,” White said. “I really feel it’s a privilege to be a faculty member here at Michigan.”