This past month I've learned a lot about how Northern Michigan University goes about replacing directors, administrators and other higher-ups - like the university's currently vacant provost position.
The school puts together a search committee to sort through the hundreds of applications that are submitted and narrow the group down to three or four or five people to bring in for campus visits.
During the campus visits, the applicants get a tour of the campus, meet some people the department that they would be running and then give a public presentation followed by a meeting with the search committee.
I have to say that I definitely like the way the university administration goes about this.
I think the procedure gives people a good chance to meet the candidates face-to-face and to get to know them in a way that wouldn't be possible if they were just thrown into the position.
I think it's also important for students to get to know the candidates a little more, too.
A majority of the student body might not care about who the next athletic director is or the next International Programs director. But an athlete might care about how their sport is going to be affected by the new director. A student who plans to study abroad during the next year might care about who will be in charge of that, as well.
Basically, I think it's a great idea to do these open forums because - even though not everyone is rushing in to the room to get a seat - there are a few community members and students who do care.
They might even have an opinion about the candidates. which is especially great.
NMU has a website set up for people to write comments about the candidates, giving the committee even more feedback on how to make their decision.
Editor's note: Northern Michigan University student and Mining Journal Staff Writer Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.