The NMU Board of Trustees approved the appointment of David Haynes as the interim president for the university with a 6-2 vote at Monday's special meeting. But it didn't happen without outrage over how quickly the decision was made last week after former President Les Wong announced his resignation. In fact, some trustees say they were never present for the final decision.
"We should've had a more complete search, have done more vetting to see who's the most qualified person," said Trustee Gilbert Ziegler.
Board members said the executive committee needed an immediate decision because of time sensitive matters.
"David is fully up to speed and able, as an interim, to step in and keep us moving," said Trustee Rick Popp via conference call. "I believe that our discussions were that it's a prudent and smart move."
Despite the 35 people who attended the meeting, the board declined outside comment, standing by its own bylaws that do not require public comment in special meetings.
"The rules that govern this meeting, a special meeting of the Board of Trustees, have been in place a very long time," said Vice Chair Jon LaSalle.
"I don't think they've had a quorum, I don't think they had public comment. I think they've leaned on their procedures as they adopted them rather than the state law which is the law of the land in Michigan," said NMU alum Don Potvin.
Concern also arose regarding Haynes' lobbying on behalf of the university and Steelcase, a company where Cloyd is Vice President of Global Community Relations. Trustee Stephen Adamini stated that according to documents, Haynes has been a lobbyist for both. But according to comments made by Cloyd in previous board meetings, Haynes has not been a lobbyist for the university in the last four years. Adamini added that the conflicting statements are another form of the lack of communication among trustees.
"We do have a lobbying firm that represents Northern so, you know, I'll leave it at that," said Chairman Brian Cloyd.
Haynes will serve a term of two years. After the first year, the board will start looking at a permanent president.