Firm hired to conduct national effort

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees in a Wednesday special meeting unanimously agreed to retain the services of Parker Executive Search to identify prospective candidates for NMU’s next president.

The board also approved an amended employment agreement with interim President Kerri Schuiling.

Schuiling, who most recently served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Northern, was named interim NMU president on Oct. 1. She succeeded Fritz Erickson, who was terminated by the board on Sept. 24. Board Vice Chair Steve Young mentioned the need for more leadership and forward thinking as causes for Erickson’s termination.

Parker Executive Search is based in Atlanta and has more than 30 years of experience in the field. According to its website, the firm has conducted more than 500 successful higher education searches for administrative positions.

Its international client base includes leading colleges and universities, academic health science centers, intercollegiate athletics programs and sports businesses, Fortune 500 corporations and hospitals/health systems.

“With its proven track record in higher education, we are confident that Parker will offer highly qualified guidance as we launch the important search for Northern’s next president,” NMU Board Chair Tami Seavoy said. “This is the first pivotal step in the process.”

Trustee Alexis Hart said the firm strongly focused on diversity and inclusion, which along with the right leadership skills are important factors.

“I would absolutely agree that this is the right direction,” Hart said.

Seavoy said a presidential search advisory committee composed of a diverse set of university stakeholders will be assembled soon. Related activities will accelerate early next semester in the hope of having a new president in place by July 1.

The board also on Wednesday amended Schuiling’s employment agreement to reflect her revised duties.

Schuiling’s annualized base salary as interim will be $402,518. When a permanent president takes office, her base salary and benefits will revert to the levels paid when she served as provost.

Schuiling will be available to consult with the new president through Dec. 31, 2022. She is scheduled to begin a one-year sabbatical on Jan. 1, 2023.

Board Vice Chairman Steve Young said there had been two goals regarding Schuiling’s compensation: that she not be penalized for stepping into the role of temporary president, and that she be compensated at the same level as the previous president.

“With this contract, I think we’ve accomplished those goals and hopefully Dr. Schuiling feels the same way in terms of that,” Young said.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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