Trustee lays out process underway in search for new WMU president

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A 22-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee with broad campus and community representation has been formed to conduct the search for a new Western Michigan University president.

William D. Johnston, a WMU trustee and Kalamazoo-area businessman, will serve as chair of the committee. Johnston announced the names of those who will serve on the committee and laid out a preliminary timeline during the Sept. 7 meeting of the WMU Board of Trustees.

The committee is charged with the role of identifying a person to serve as the ninth president of Western Michigan University, replacing Dr. John M. Dunn, who announced Aug. 1 his decision to retire at the end of June 2017.

Johnston noted that Dunn's announcement put activity in motion for the board to fulfill its fundamental fiduciary responsibility of selecting the next WMU president. He said a list of leaders who represent the wide range of constituencies served by WMU was developed to put together the search committee.

"We had a 100 percent positive response from those invited to serve on the committee," he said.

A recent board retreat allowed trustees to develop a profile of what they thought the next president should look like. A similar retreat for the new Presidential Search Advisory Committee in mid-September will allow that group to develop such a profile, as well. A national search firm will then be engaged and a website developed to keep the community apprised of progress in the search.

"The ultimate goal," Johnston said, "is to have a new leader identified by the end of the academic year."

The committee

The following people make up the 2016-17 Western Michigan University Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

  • William D. Johnston, WMU trustee and chair of the Presidential Search Committee.
  • James B. Bolger, trustee and vice chair of the Presidential Search Committee.
  • Mary A. Asmonga-Knapp, WMU trustee.
  • Dr. Suzan F. Ayers, professor of human performance and health education and president of the Faculty Senate.
  • Kathy Beauregard, director of intercollegiate athletics.
  • Dr. Gary Bischof, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.
  • Dr. Jody Brylinsky, associate provost for institutional effectiveness.
  • Damon Chambers, doctoral student in counselor education and supervision and president of the Graduate Student Association.
  • Dr. J. Kevin Corder, professor of political science and coordinator of the affiliation with WMU Cooley Law School.
  • Dr. Satish Deshpande, professor of management and interim dean of the Haworth College of Business.
  • Thomas Edmonds, retired faculty specialist II in finance and commercial law.
  • Thye Fischmann, undergraduate sales and business marketing major and president of the Western Student Association.
  • Dr. Harold Glasser, professor of environmental studies and executive director for campus sustainability.
  • Dr. Hal Jenson, founding dean of the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.
  • Jennifer Lentner, senior director of marketing communications at Stryker Inc. and president of the WMU Alumni Association.
  • Dennis Moore, licensed electrician in maintenance services and president of the WMU chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
  • Dr. Lisa Minnick, associate professor of English and president of the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
  • Shannon Rininger, assistant director of patron services at Miller Auditorium and president of the Professional Support Staff Organization.
  • Kahler Schuemann, secretary to the Board of Trustees.
  • Timothy Terrentine, vice president for development and alumni relations.
  • Dr. Martha Warfield, vice president for diversity and inclusion.
  • Dr. Evelyn Winfield-Thomas, executive director of institutional equity.

For more news, arts and events, visit