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Lake Superior State University president resigns

Lynn Gillette
Dr. Lynn Gillette, shown speaking at Lake Superior State University’s 2022 Commencement, will become interim president following the resignation of President Dr. Rodney Hanley. (Courtesy photo)
  • Lake Superior State University on Monday accepted the resignation of President Rodney Hanley
  • Hanley said he was resigning to pursue another opportunity 
  • The school’s board of trustees said it hopes the new president will help address enrollment

Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie is in need of a new president following the resignation of Dr. Rodney Hanley. 

The board said it accepted Hanley’s resignation Monday and will now begin the national search to fill the vacancy. Dr. Lynn G. Gillette, provost and vice president for academic affairs, was appointed interim president during a special meeting the board had on Monday.


According to the Sooleader, Hanley announced his resignation to the university community on Friday, saying in a statement he was leaving to “pursue a new and exciting opportunity.” He did not elaborate. But he said in his statement his resignation takes effect June 29. 


Hanley has been president since 2018. Before joining Lake Superior State University he served as the provost for Nicholls State University in Louisiana from 2015-2018 and executive vice president, and president at Sierra Nevada College from 2008 to 2014.

“It is time to look forward and maintain our focus on this great institution and all of the wonderful things it has to offer our students of today and in the future,” Tim  Lukenda, chair of LSSU Board of Trustees, said in a press release. 

Lukenda told Bridge Michigan in an interview Monday the board hasn’t set a definitive timeline for finding a permanent president but it could take between three and six months. 

“We know that we’ve got good leadership in the interim with Dr. Gillette and we’re going to (let) this process take its course,” he said. “We want to make sure we find the best available person” and that the process is not rushed but thorough. 


The University intends to gather feedback from students, staff, alumni and community members while they are conducting this national search. 

“We always want to make sure that we’re maintaining open lines of communication and that everyone understands what we’re trying to accomplish so that we can work together,” Lukenda said. 

Lukenda said he hopes the new president will help address the school’s enrollment challenges. Lake Superior State University is the smallest public university in the state with 1,655 students enrolled this past fall.  

“I think all universities right now, certainly all Michigan Universities, are facing certain challenges in terms of declining enrollment. That’s a focus for all universities and certainly for Lake Superior State to make sure that we’re putting forward our best vision.”

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