Northern Michigan University narrows presidential search to four finalists

Northern Michigan University’s search for a new president has been narrowed down to four finalists.

The final four candidates will be brought to NMU on select dates in early April to meet with campus constituencies. Their visits will also include a 5-7 minute public presentation that addresses what they find enticing about the NMU presidency and how their experience and credentials match the needs and vision of the university.

The NMU presidential search advisory committee narrowed the pool of 54 applicants to 10 semifinalists and conducted remote interviews before choosing finalists to proceed to the next stage. The remaining candidates, along with brief bios and details of their campus visit, follow.  All public forums are at 4 p.m. on the respective dates (locations to be determined).

Tuesday, April 1: Cynthia Pemberton, provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of education at Dickinson State University in Dickinson, N.D. She previously served in an administrative capacity in the graduate school at Idaho State University and was on the faculty of ISU’s sport science, physical education and dance department before being promoted to professor of educational leadership. Pemberton holds an Ed.D. in educational leadership-postsecondary education/administration from Portland State University, a master’s in interdisciplinary studies—physical education, psychology and nutrition—from Southern Oregon State College and a bachelor’s in biology/psychology from Willamette University in Salem, Ore.

Thursday, April 3: Robert Ackerman, professor of law and former dean at the Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. He previously served as a professor and associate dean for institutional programs and planning at Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law, as well as dean and professor at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Ore. Ackerman holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University.

Tuesday, April 8: Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. He formerly was dean of the College of Professional and Graduate Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, dean and professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Eastern Washington University and chair of the education department/ professor of education and psychology at Michigan Technological University. Erickson holds an interdisciplinary Ed.D. in educational psychology, technology and research methodology and a master’s in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor’s in social sciences from Western Michigan University.

Thursday, April 10: Greg Cant, founding dean of the Offutt School of Business and Robert J. Johnson chair in economics and business administration at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. He previously served on the faculty and as chair of the department of management at Central Washington University and spent time overseas at Edith Cowan University in Australia as a senior lecturer in the school of management and interim director of the human resources division (comparable to a U.S. institution’s associate vice president for academic affairs). Cant earned his doctorate of philosophy from the graduate school of management at the University of Western        Australia, a master’s in industrial relations from Queens’ University in Ontario, Canada, and bachelor’s in labor relations from the University of Western Australia.

NMU President David Haynes’ two-year term runs through June 30. He announced in December that he will return to the NMU faculty at that time. The hope is to have his successor in place by July 1.