November 18, 2022

Wayne State presidential search moves forward

Wayne State University Board of Governors Chair Mark Gaffney

The Wayne State Board of Governors has announced the search for the 13th president of Wayne State University is progressing with the appointment of a search committee and the naming of an executive search firm, following the recent conclusion of campus listening sessions.

The 16-member search committee is composed of members of the Board of Governors and representatives from the Academic Senate and Student Senate, the faculty union, administration, the Office of the Provost, Research, academic deans, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, staff, alumni, and the local community.

Mark Gaffney, chair of the Board of Governors and the search committee, said the committee aims to host its initial meeting prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

WittKieffer, a global firm with 50 years of experience in recruiting senior executives in higher education and other sectors, has been retained to assist the search.

The process will be informed by input received at listening sessions held around campus and online over the last month. The four sessions were co-hosted by the Academic Senate; the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the Office for Multicultural Student Engagement, and faculty and staff engagement groups; the Student Senate; and the WSU Foundation, the WSU Alumni Association, and the Office of Government and Community Affairs.

“It’s been very enlightening and enjoyable,” said Gaffney. “We’ve been pleased by the interest and the broad range of thoughtful input.”

As the committee begins to discuss the key characteristics it is seeking in a president, it will consider the campus input in determining the traits necessary to guide a comprehensive university with 13 schools and colleges and large research portfolio.

“The right candidate will need the personality and leadership style necessary to pull it all together; it’s a big job, it’s huge,” said Gaffney.   

Initial candidate interviews are expected to begin in early 2023 with a proposed goal of selecting a candidate in May.

President M. Roy Wilson announced in August that he does not plan to extend his contract, which concludes on July 31, 2023. Wilson became Wayne State’s 12th president on Aug. 1, 2013.


Matt Lockwood
Phone: 248-622-8060

Subscribe to Today@Wayne

Direct to your inbox twice a week