05 August 2010

Granholm may be Candidate for Wayne State University Head

The Detroit Free Press

Gov. Jennifer Granholm is rumored as a possible candidate for president of Wayne State University.

And WSU Board of Governors chairman Richard Bernstein thinks she’d be a “fabulous” choice.

“Personally, I really like her, I think she represents a great skill set that would make an excellent president of Wayne State,” Bernstein said, stressing that he did not speak for the board.

He emphasized that the board has not yet created a search committee to choose a new president from a national search. That probably will happen in September; an interim president first will be named.

Wayne State president Jay Noren leaves Friday after two years heading the 35,000-student school in Detroit. Granholm leaves office Jan. 1 after eight years as governor under term limits.

University board member Debbie Dingell said she’s heard Granholm’s name as a possible candidate from “15 or 20 people” in the past few weeks. She said when she told Granholm of the buzz on Monday the governor was surprised.

“Enough people have suggested to me her name will come up,” Dingell said. She added, “I’m totally neutral; I want to see who’s out there.”

Bernstein said he’s heard Granholm and former congressman David Bonior mentioned as possible candidates for the WSU presidency. He said he has not talked to either.

Bernstein said Granholm is empathetic, compassionate, a consensus builder, and would be a terrific fund-raiser, with knowledge of Lansing politics and a state budget that supplies WSU with 65% of its revenue.

He said those attributes that would be a good fit with Wayne State’s mission to make a college education available to urban students who could not attend other universities because they hold jobs or are part-time students.

“She understands the process at a Michigan college is just as important the outcome,” Bernstein said of Granholm. “You have to be able to work with a lot of constituency groups. It’s important to work with all kinds of people.”

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