Western Michigan University President Makes Historic Move to Missouri

Black Issues in Higher Education, December 5, 2002 | Go to article overview

Western Michigan University President Makes Historic Move to Missouri


After several days of speculation and re ports of a counteroffer, Dr. Elson S. Floyd became the University of Missouri's first Black president last month. Floyd, who has served as president of Western Michigan University since 1998, will begin his new position Jan. 6.

Prior to his service in Michigan, the 46-year-old administrator was executive vice president at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Floyd's selection concludes a national search that began in March. The board of curators unanimously selected Floyd as their top candidate and voted Nov. 11 to offer him the position. Western Michigan made Floyd a counteroffer in hopes of retaining him. On Nov. 13, the university released an official announcement of Floyd's appointment.

"Dr. Floyd is a strong leader who inspires the people around him," says UM Board President John Mathes. "The selection committee found that he is highly regarded by all who come in contact with him, from faculty, staff and students to officials at the highest levels of state government and higher education."

Floyd brings a wide range of administrative experience to UM, as well as valuable system-wide and statewide perspectives on higher education issues and policies. He began his career in 1978 at UNC-Chapel Hill, one of the nation's leading research institutions. He subsequently spent a total of 13 years with the university in positions that included dean posts in the Division of Student Affairs, the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences. …

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