WMU News

Five finalists for president named

March 20, 1998

KALAMAZOO--Five finalists for the presidency of Western Michigan University have been recommended to the Board of Trustees from among about 60 candidates for the position, Richard G. Haworth, chairperson of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee announced March 20.

"These five finalists represent a diverse group of committed, highly qualified individuals," Haworth said. "Any one of them would make an outstanding leader for Western Michigan University. The challenge before us as a University community in the weeks ahead is to identify the best one to lead our University into the next century."

The five unranked finalists recommended by the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and accepted by the board are:

"I want to thank my fellow members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee for their dedicated, loyal service to Western Michigan University," Haworth said. "Each of them has gone above and beyond the call of duty in their search for the next president of our University. Their work is now complete."

Each finalist will come to the campus and be interviewed in a public session of the Board of Trustees. Each finalist also will make a public presentation. The schedules of these visits will be announced as soon as they are determined.

The board must by law wait at least 30 days before appointing a president, which would enable the board to make an appointment at its next meeting April 24. This would permit the selection process to be completed by the end of the winter semester, as the board had intended.

Dr. Donald L. Beggs

Beggs has been chancellor at Southern Illinois University since 1996. He joined that institution in 1970 as associate dean of the Graduate School. From 1973 to 1975, he served as assistant dean of the College of Education. In 1975-76, he was acting dean of university programs and acting assistant vice president for academic affairs and research. He was named associate dean of SIU's College of Education in 1975 and dean of that college in 1981, a post he held until becoming chancellor.

Beggs earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in education from SIU and his doctoral degree in educational measurement and statistics from the University of Iowa.

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Dr. Blaine Brownell

Brownell has been provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Texas since 1990. He began his career as an assistant professor of history and American studies at Purdue University in 1969. In 1974, he was named chairperson of the Department of Urban Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he also served in several other posts until 1990, including: director of urban affairs; dean and co-director of the Graduate School; director of the UAB Center for International Programs; and dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Brownell earned his bachelor's degree in American civilization from Washington and Lee University and his master's and doctoral degrees in U.S. history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Dr. Elson Floyd

Floyd has been executive vice chancellor since 1995 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he began his career in 1978 as assistant dean for student life and judicial programs officer. Between 1981 and 1988, he served in several posts at UNC, including: special assistant to the vice chancellor and dean of the Division of Student Affairs; General College adviser; assistant dean of the Division of Student Affairs and the General College; assistant dean of the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences; and associate dean for academic services. From 1988 to 1990, he was assistant vice president for student services for the University of North Carolina System.

In 1990, Floyd joined Eastern Washington University as vice president for student services. He served a year each as vice president for administration and executive vice president and then two years as executive director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board until returning to the University of North Carolina. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science and speech, his master's degree in adult education and his doctoral degree in higher and adult education, all from UNC.

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Dr. Jay Noren

Noren has been a professor of health management at the University of Wisconsin since 1996. He served as interim chancellor with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities from 1993 to 1995 and as vice chancellor for health sciences at Wisconsin from 1986 to 1993. He came to the University of Wisconsin in 1982 as co-director of the Wisconsin Occupational and Environmental Health Resource Center. Since that time, he also has served at UW as: a senior staff associate for federal legislative liaison as well as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and policy for the Center of Health Sciences; director of the Center for Health Policy and Program Evaluation; and acting dean of the School of Allied Health Professions.

Noren earned his bachelor's and medical degrees from the University of Minnesota and his master's degree in public health from Harvard University.

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Dr. Elisabeth A. Zinser

Zinser has been chancellor at the University of Kentucky since 1995. From 1989 to 1995, she was president at the University of Idaho. She began her career in 1970 as a clinical specialist and researcher at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in San Francisco. She joined the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1972 as coordinator of evaluation. From 1975 to 1977, she was coordinator of the Kentucky Area Health Education System. She spent the next year as assistant to the vice president for interinstitutional education and program development at the Universities of Kentucky and Louisville. She joined the University of North Dakota in 1977 as dean and professor of nursing and, five years later, became a senior administrative officer there. She served briefly as president of Gallaudet University in 1988 and, from 1983 to 1989, she was vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Zinser earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Stanford University, a master's degree in nursing from the University of California at San Francisco, a master's degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.

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The search process began when Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, the fifth president of the University, announced last June that he would retire from the presidency July 31, 1998, to return to the faculty after 13 years of service.

The Board of Trustees July 25 established the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, recognizing "the importance of the involvement and participation of the University community" in the search. The board named Haworth, then chairperson of the board, to head the committee.

The board promised "a highly inclusive, representative search process" that would be "in full and complete compliance with the state's open meetings law," the resolution establishing the committee stated.

The board also named trustees Richard F. Chormann of Kalamazoo as vice chairperson of the committee and Lori B. Waddles of Detroit, then vice chairperson of the board, as a member. Other members would represent faculty members, students, administrators, staff members, alumni and the public.

The board named Charles H. Ludlow of Kalamazoo, a former trustee and chairperson of the last presidential search committee, as executive director of the search and later appointed Korn Ferry International as its search consultant. Betty A. Kocher, secretary to the Board of Trustees, served as secretary to the search committee.

The seven other members of the search committee and their affiliations are: Dr. Raymond E. Alie, professor of management, Faculty Senate; Dr. Ariel L. Anderson, associate professor of education and professional development, WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors; Dr. Lewis Walker, chairperson of sociology, administration; Imelda Reyes-Phetteplace, a senior majoring in nursing and Spanish from Kalamazoo, Western Student Association; Debra R. White, secretary, Haworth College of Business, staff; Wendy L. Stock, vice president, NBD Bank, Grand Rapids, alumni; and Richard M. Fluke, president, Hospital Network Inc., Kalamazoo, general public.

They were selected from among about 40 persons who made up constituency groups that met with the consultant to establish a position description for the job. The search committee conducted a public session in October.

The position description called for a president "with a progressive, inclusive leadership style who can build a shared sense of unity and purpose among all University constituencies."

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee narrowed a field of about 60 candidates to about a dozen in early February and scheduled interviews with some of them in early March. The committee narrowed the field to five candidates this week.

Individuals are encouraged to contact the Presidential Search Advisory Committee through Kocher in the Board of Trustees office. Her telephone number is (616) 387-2360 and her e-mail address is betty.kocher@wmich.edu. The latest information on the search is available by telephone at (616) 387-4004 and on the World Wide Web at www.wmich.edu/wmu/search/.

Media contact: Mike Matthews; michael.matthews@wmich.edu

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