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Board of Control establishes Presidential Search Advisory Committee

February 17, 2022

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control has established an 18-member presidential search advisory committee to support the Board in its work to select the university’s fifth president.

The Board has retained WittKieffer, an executive search firm, to assist with identifying and reviewing candidates.

"The Board and I have tremendous confidence in the faculty, staff, students and administration of SVSU," said Vicki Rupp, chair of the SVSU Board of Control. "We have a campus culture where people care about one another and treat one another with respect, even when they disagree. We have managed to remain true to our mission of serving students, even during a pandemic.

"The presidency of SVSU is a very appealing opportunity for the right candidate who can build upon our solid foundation and who has a vision for how SVSU will transform in the years to come."

In November, the current president, Don Bachand, announced his intent to retire.

Rupp will co-chair the search advisory committee with Raj Wiener, vice chair of the Board of Control. Both are SVSU alumni.

The other members of the search advisory committee are:

  • Mary Anne Ackerman, SVSU Executive-in-Residence, Gerstacker Program
  • Dr. Stephanie Duggan, Regional President and CEO of Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Brandon Haskett, SVSU professor of music and president of the SVSU Faculty Association
  • Dennis Hoeg, Vice President and North America President at Nexteer Automotive
  • Deborah Huntley, SVSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Mazen Jaber, SVSU professor of marketing
  • Gerald Kariem, Director of the Ford Department for the United Auto Workers
  • Josie Koenigsknecht, current SVSU student and representative of the SVSU Student Association
  • Averetta Lewis, SVSU professor of nursing
  • Kelley Peatross, Regional Director of Community and Public Affairs at Consumers Energy
  • Ron Portwine, SVSU associate vice president for Administration for Business Affairs, Chief Business Officer
  • Ricardo Resio, Corporate Director of Human Resources at Morley
  • Monica Reyes, Director of the Great Lakes Bay Hispanic Leadership Institute
  • Tami Sivy, SVSU professor of chemistry
  • Mamie Thorns, SVSU associate vice president and Chief Diversity Officer for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Jenee Velasquez, Executive Director for The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation

SVSU has developed an online survey where individuals may share their thoughts about what the University should be seeking in its next president. It is available at