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April 6, 2023

Nationally renowned firm selected to guide MSU’s presidential search, initial steps for search process underway

The executive search firm Isaacson, Miller will lead the search for Michigan State University’s 22nd president. 

Isaacson, Miller has more than 40 years of experience and has led more than 8,500 searches since its founding, with more than half of its work devoted to university and college leadership. Currently, the firm also is engaged to help MSU identify its next vice president for civil rights and Title IX education and compliance. The firm also has worked on behalf of MSU to identify candidates for other executive positions in various colleges.

The MSU Board of Trustees is committed to a thorough search to find the best qualified person to lead our prestigious university,” said Trustee Dennis Denno, chair of the presidential search committee. “Our presidential search committee will represent a broad array of individuals who reflect voices from every corner of our state and country, and I look forward to Spartans telling us what they want in their next president.

The firm successfully develops diverse and highly skilled university leadership candidate pools. In 2022, 59% of the firm’s higher education placements identified as women and 37% identified as persons of color. 

“Our commitment is that this search will be a thorough and inclusive process, including a broad-based search committee of university stakeholders,” said Trustee Brianna Scott, vice chair of the search committee. “Working with Isaacson, Miller, we will engage every corner of our campus community to identify the best leader to move Michigan State forward.”

In addition to Denno and Scott, Trustees Renee Knake Jefferson and Dan Kelly are serving on the search committee on behalf of the board. Additional committee members will be identified and shared in the coming weeks, and representatives will include students, faculty, staff, leaders and alums. 

A series of virtual open forums starting in April has been scheduled to allow ample opportunities for campus community members to offer input on the qualities they would like to see in MSU’s next president. Additional details and registration for these open forums will be shared in the coming days. Scheduled dates and times are: 

  • 10-11 a.m. Friday, April 14
  • 12-1p.m. Wednesday, April 19
  • 6-7 p.m. Monday, April 24
  • 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 25
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27
  • 9-10 a.m. Friday, April 28

Additionally, listening sessions for various stakeholder groups also are being planned and details will be shared soon.

Those with recommendations or feedback on the presidential search may share them by using the search committee’s email, For more information on MSU’s presidential search, visit  

By: Dan Olsen

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