The University Record, October 29, 1996

THE PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH --- The Regents: On critical issues, their role

During the course of their interviews with the Regents, both Carol T. Christ and Stanley A. Chodorow asked Board members what they believe are the critical issues facing the U-M now and how the Board members perceive their role vis-à-vis the president.

Here's a brief look at the two topics, with the critical issues not ranked in order.


Critical issues:


Reorganization of the Medical Center/Health System.


Moving the University to the 21st century academically.


Finding a president and staffing of the new administration.


Undergraduate education.


Affirmative action.


Continuing initiatives already begun, including Value Centered Management.


Developing a community that has is respectful and has shared values.


The Board's role:

In discussing their role and their relationship with the president, Board members made it clear they feel they have been and are a "close-knit activist board" that sometimes "argues vigorously," and that in their view their relationship with the president should be one based on mutual respect, collegial decision-making and trust extending in both directions.

They want a president, who, when a decision is made, they can trust to have made it for the right reasons.

They see the Board as part of the University's management team, but not one that tells the president what to do, a "nose in, fingers out" approach.

Members see themselves collectively as bringing a multiplicity of experiences and backgrounds to their work with the president to develop consensus on how to move [the University] forward. The president would be a partner in that enterprise and should be an individual willing to take the heat on decisions that are not met favorably.