Haynes not interested in being permanent NMU president

MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University interim President David Haynes announced recently to NMU faculty and staff in an email that he will not be throwing his hat in the ring as the Board of Trustees continues its search for a permanent president.

In the letter, Haynes thanked the board and said he was “honored to have had the opportunity to spend two years working with trustees, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to fulfill our shared hopes and visions and to work toward achieving common goals and objectives.

“That being said, as you know, from the first day of my appointment I have expressed my desire to ultimately return to teaching. For decades I have been fortunate to serve NMU in many capacities. They have all been rewarding, but none more so than working side-by-side with my colleagues to educate students and help them achieve personal and professional success.”

Since his appointment in May 2012, Haynes has maintained he would like to return to the classroom. Prior to becoming interim president, Haynes was a professor in NMU’s Political Science Department. He was also a long-time lobbyist for Northern.

The contract approved by the board for Haynes’ appointment specifies a partial third-year sabbatical, commencing July 1, in which Haynes would assist the new president during the first half the year, then go on sabbatical in “preparation” for his “return to the classroom.”

Haynes said in the letter he decided not to apply for the permanent president position because a search committee for a university president usually operates under the assumption that the chosen candidate’s tenure will be a minimum of five to six years.

“I do not want to commit that many additional years to this position,” Haynes wrote.

In a note of thanks to be sent out to the university campus, Board of Trustees Chairwoman Garnet Lewis said she would like to thank Haynes for a job well done.

“As a board, we have been very pleased with his performance and greatly appreciate the passion and commitment that he has brought to the position,” Lewis wrote. “When appointed in 2012, he hit the ground running and was able to have an immediate impact on the university. His experience and boundless energy made it possible for him to hit the ground running and to lead his team to accomplish several significant milestones.”

At the board’s Dec.13 meeting, Lewis said the search for a new president was moving along on schedule and that the position has been posted publicly.

Lewis said focus groups were convened earlier this year to determine what qualities students, faculty, staff and the local community would like to see in a new president.

Applications will be accepted through March, at which time the search committee – comprised of Lewis, and trustees Stephen Adamini and Stephen Mitchell – would convene to deliberate on the applicants.

To keep track of the progress of the search, visit www.nmu.edu/presidentialsearch.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.