The University Record, October 21, 1996

PSC confirms four finalists for post

Bollinger
Chodorow
Christ
Faulkner

 

The Board of Regents, acting as the Presidential Search Committee, has accepted the recommendations of its Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) in naming four finalists for the position of president. The action was taken Oct. 18.

The finalists are Lee C. Bollinger, provost and professor of government, Dartmouth College; Stanley A. Chodorow, provost and professor of history, University of Pennsylvania; Carol T. Christ, vice chancellor, provost and professor of English, University of California at Berkeley; and Larry R. Faulkner, provost, vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The PSAC, chaired by Law School Dean Jeffrey S. Lehman and comprised of faculty, staff, student and alumni members, presented its recommendations to the Board Oct. 17. Members of the Board then had a chance to go over materials about the recommended finalists as well as others on the PSAC's list of 302 individuals considered for the position. Both sessions were open to the public.

At a public meeting Oct. 18, the eight Board members each had the opportunity to state which candidates they would choose to invite to campus as finalists. Regents were unanimous in their opinion that they should invite to campus the four finalists recommended by the PSAC. Regent Shirley McFee, co-chair of the Presidential Search Committee, noted that the Regents continue to have the opportunity to add candidates to the list of finalists "at any stage up to the final determination."

"The Presidential Search Advisory Committee came up with a distinguished list of candidates," said Regent Nellie Varner, also co-chair of the Presidential Search Committee. "I feel that the candidates having gone through a rigorous process and having reached the stage of finalist, we certainly owe them the opportunity to be interviewed by the Board."

Added Regent Philip Power, "A great deal of thought and care went into the work of the advisory committee. I came away from their presentation yesterday enormously impressed with their diligence, their thoughtfulness, and their aggressiveness in pursuing candidates."

Regent Laurence Deitch, calling the University of Michigan "the world's greatest public university," said, " a reflection of that is that this committee has developed four extraordinary candidates, all of whom I am convinced will be presidents of major research universities within the next few years."

The 12 members of the PSAC, speaking before the Board in a special meeting Oct. 17, described a process that began in March and encompassed hundreds of hours of gathering opinions from University constituencies, advertising for and actively recruiting top candidates from leadership positions in academic and other organizations, collecting biographical information and confidential references on each of the proposed candidates, and conducting personal interviews with a select list of prospects.

Lehman noted that although the PSAC had originally intended to present a list of five recommended finalists, last-minute alterations in the search process made necessary by a court ruling earlier in the week led one of the five to withdraw.

Nevertheless, he said, the four finalists recommended to the board have indicated their willingness to remain involved in the modified search process and represent "a remarkable group." Each of the four is "a person of the highest integrity;" knows how to listen; is curious about the world; is an accomplished scholar; has a lot of energy; loves the craft of teaching; is committed to the special responsibilities of leading a public institution; is "decent and admirable," and has a "wonderful sense of humor" and a "genuine humility."

Bollinger, who has been provost of Dartmouth College since 1994, holds a B.S. degree from the University of Oregon (1968) and a law degree from Columbia University (1971). He began his academic career as assistant professor of law at the U-M in 1973, progressing to associate professor and then professor. He served as dean of the Law School from 1987-94.

Chodorow, who has served as provost at the University of Pennsylvania since 1994, spent the majority of his career at the University of California at San Diego, where he held positions of assistant professor, associate professor and professor of history from 1968-94. There he also served as dean of arts and sciences, and then dean of arts and humanities and associate vice chancellor for academic planning, 1985-94. He earned an A.B. in 1964 and Ph.D. in 1968, both from Cornell University.

Christ was named vice chancellor and provost at the University of California at Berkeley in 1994. Prior to that she was dean of humanities and then provost and dean of the College of Letters and Science, 1988-94. Beginning in 1970 she also has been assistant professor, associate professor and professor of English at Berkeley. She received a B.A. degree in 1966 from Douglass College and M.Ph. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1969 and 1970, respectively.

Faulkner has held his position as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1994. Prior to that appointment he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1989-94. His other academic positions include assistant professor of chemistry at Harvard University, 1969-73; assistant professor, then associate professor, then professor of chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1973-83 and 1984 to the present; and professor of chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, 1983-84.

Beginning with Christ today (Oct. 21), the finalists will visit campus for a series of meetings. Each candidate will be on campus for one day, and every meeting during his or her stay will be open to the press and the public. Chodorow will visit Tuesday (Oct. 22), Bollinger Thursday (Oct. 24), and Faulkner Oct. 28.

These meetings will be broadcast on UMTV, Channel 26. There will be monitors set up for viewing in the Michigan Union lobby and Tap Room.

 

Each finalist will:

 

Be interviewed by the Presidential Search Committee, 9-11 a.m. at the Regents Room, Fleming Administration Building.

 

Meet with members of the University community and the general public in a town meeting setting. These meetings will be 2-4 p.m. (not 3:30­­5:30 p.m. as previously announced) at the Ford Presidential Library. Those who wish to address questions to the candidates should call the Regents' Office at 936-2255 or sign up at the door before the meeting. These meetings will be moderated by Lehman.

 

Attend a reception at the Ford Presidential Library, open to members of the public, immediately following the town meeting at approximately 4 p.m.

 

Attend a social function with a mix of invited guests. Arrangements will be made to allow media access to this function.

At the conclusion of the candidates' campus visits, the Presidential Search Committee will meet to determine its next steps.