Board of Trustees Chair provides update on presidential search progress

Board of Trustees Chair provides update on presidential search progress
aerial of OU campus

Letter from Oakland University Board of Trustees Chair Richard L. DeVore on Tuesday, February 14:

The committee is very confident of a successful search given that our consultants, Academic Search (AS), are engaged in and will continue to be engaged in substantive conversations with highly qualified candidates. The following has been accomplished thus far:

Ads have been placed in the publications or venues listed below that were approved or recommended by the search committee. Application ads went live January 13:

  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Inside Higher Education
  • Diverse Jobs
  • Academic Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD)
  • Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences
  • Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)
  • Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
  • Higher Education Resource Services (HERS)
  • LinkedIn – to reach candidates from areas that are nontraditional
  • Tweeted ad on January 14

Jessica Kozloff and Bill Howard contacted many prospects about the position asking for applications, nominations or expressions of interest. More than 8,400 professionals were contacted via email or phone calls. These individuals include:

  • Presidents, provosts, and deans of public and private institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin
  • In the other states, presidents, provosts and deans of public research institutions

AS sent personal messages, requesting nominations and inquiring about interest to:

  • 350 Presidents of AASCU institutions
  • 75 highly qualified professionals from AS networks 

To date, AS has been in telephone conversations with 30 individuals they would describe as highly qualified. Most of these have indicated their serious intentions to apply by our February 24 preferred deadline. Of these individuals, a half dozen could be classified as “non-traditional,” although a number of these professionals have doctoral degrees. The other serious prospects are deans, vice presidents or sitting presidents. At least half of them have substantial fundraising experience, and/or have set examples of innovative leadership at their institutions.

Our goal is to review a very diverse pool with individuals who represent both the traditional and nontraditional pathway to a university presidency and who have distinguished careers that will inspire the respect of the academic community at Oakland University. Many of our prospects have professional and personal connections in Michigan.

Applications are being received, with some of these applications coming in as a result of advertisements. The strength of the applicant pool is expected to increase as the contacted prospects decide to apply in the days leading up to February 24. 

Outreach actively continues to nominees and prospects. While some concern has been expressed by potential candidates regarding the open nature of the search, we don’t believe the search committee will have any difficulty finding very qualified individuals. The interest in this position is a testament to the quality of Oakland University and its growth.

More information is available on the Board of Trustees website at