In Friday's edition of The Mining Journal, we offered a warm welcome to Northern Michigan University's newest leader, Fritz Erickson, who was unanimously voted by the NMU Board of Trustees as the best person for the job.
We'd like to the opporunity today to thank the board for its transparency and collaborative attitude during the entire search and selection process.
The whole process began with the creation of the board's Presidential Search Advisory Committee several months ago. Comprised of students, faculty, staff and board members, the committee was tasked with culling down 54 total applicants for the position of president of the university to a group of just 10 semi-finalists.
The committee used 15 different factors when making that decision, a process which Trustee and committee member Steve Mitchell called the most "grueling mental exercise" he had to endure in some time.
From there, the 10 were interviewed then narrowed down to four finalists. Those finalists were brought to campus, where the public was given a chance to engage with them during hour-long public forums.
Following the forums, people could sit with individual board members to offer their feedback on each candidate.
It was only after all of this that the board made its decision, with a full board vote during a public meeting Tuesday morning.
Board President Rick Popp also offered the crowd gathered inside the board room in Cohodas Hall a chance to address the board during a public comment time which he added to the meeting.
We think all of these things show a good faith effort by the board to include the voices of all of Northern's constituents, from its student body right on through to its administration, in this, the most important of decisions.
We're happy to see the board adopt this collaborative attitude, and glad to hear so many board members praise the entire process before casting their votes at Tuesday's meeting.
And we hope this board continues to strive for transparency in all of its dealings, because it is only through transparency that accountability can be had.