Central Michigan University president will step down in December
- Central Michigan University President Bob Davies will resign at the end of December
- He cited personal and professional reasons for stepping down
- The Board of Trustees will launch a national search
Central Michigan University President Bob Davies will step down at the end of this year, he announced Wednesday.
“For personal and professional reasons, I will resign my position effective Tuesday, December 31, 2024,” Davies wrote in a letter released by his office. “I know that I am making this decision at the right time — for myself, my family and for CMU.”
Davies is the Mount Pleasant university’s 15th president and has led the regional public university since September 2018.
“The work we have done together fills me with pride, and we have a great deal of work remaining ahead of us. We must continue to focus on growing enrollment, advancing academic excellence, building a robust culture of philanthropy and moving forward on our new strategic plan,” Davies wrote.
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In a news release, the university said the president and board chair were not available for interviews Wednesday but the school would offer media availability next Tuesday after a Board of Trustees meeting.
Davies led the university through the pandemic and through some difficult years that saw significant enrollment declines. Lower enrollment in a state with declining birth rates forced CMU over the last decade to close dorms and revamp its recruiting practices.
In a March 2022 letter, CMU Vice President of Student Recruitment and Retention Jennifer DeHaemers blamed “complacency” for the university’s enrollment dive.
Total undergraduate fall enrollment at the school fell from 20,070 in 2014 to 10,060 last year, a 50 percent drop, according to a Michigan Association of State Universities enrollment report. CMU enrolled 2,042 first-time freshman students last fall, which is higher than the prior two years.
Davies referenced those gains in his letter his office released Wednesday.
“We worked together to achieve CMU’s first year-over-year increases in new student enrollment after more than a decade of enrollment declines. Together, we achieved record-setting years in research grants and funding, as well as significant increases in our scholarly output and productivity.”
University documents indicate his salary was $450,000 as of 2022, and he was eligible for an annual performance bonus of $120,000.
The university has a new five-year strategic plan and a five-year diversity, equity and inclusion plan. CMU also announced a new nursing program Monday that will begin to enroll students next year. The program aims to attract students who want to work in rural healthcare.
The Board of Trustees will form a search advisory committee and hire a search firm to help with a “comprehensive national search,” Board Chair Todd Regis said in a statement.
“The Board thanks Dr. Davies for nearly six years of service to CMU and for his willingness to continue leading this institution this year. He is committed to executing the new strategic plan approved by the Board of Trustees,” Regis said.
Several Michigan public universities have changed presidents in recent years. Ferris State University, Northern Michigan University, Saginaw Valley State University, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan have all welcomed new presidents in recent years.
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