Open the Search for MSU's Next President

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We, the undersigned, call on MSU to open the presidential search so that top candidates can engage with the MSU community.

Trustees Byrum and Foster, the co-chairs of the presidential search committee, have stated that "confidentiality is crucial to attracting and hiring the best possible person to be the next president of MSU." We, the undersigned, believe that "the best possible person" is someone who is willing to engage with students, staff, and faculty in open dialogue to address the cultural problems at MSU.

Given the unique challenges facing MSU, the Presidential search must yield not only an experienced administrator, but one who is sensitive to the feelings of sexual assault survivors and has knowledge and experience in addressing these issues. Our President must commit to transparency, accountability, and shared governance with faculty, students, and staff. That commitment can best be signaled by a willingness to meet with our community as we near the end of the search process. There is no empirical evidence that a closed search yields 'better' results, even in normal circumstances. The circumstances at MSU are far from normal. There will be no confidence in a search that omits open dialogue between the community and the top candidates.

While a more comprehensive petition by Reclaim MSU that includes this demand has been circulated and has obtained over 1,000 signatures, this is a targeted petition to address one pressing issue at a key moment: we want the search opened so that we can engage with top candidates.