Bruininks to Serve as Interim President

Brad Unangst

The Board of Regents named Executive Vice President and Provost Robert Bruininks as interim University president Friday.

Bruininks will preside over the University until a permanent replacement for outgoing President Mark Yudof can be found. Yudof agreed last week to be the final candidate for the chancellor position at the University of Texas system.

Bruininks said that he was “deeply honored” by the appointment, which the Regents unanimously approved at an emergency meeting this morning.

Bruininks will take over in early August, when Yudof leaves for Texas. Until then, Yudof will act as president, making all University decisions including the appointments of vacant faculty and administrative posts as necessary, said Board Chairwoman Maureen Reed.

In November, Bruininks announced that he would leave his position as Provost to return to a faculty position in the College of Education and Human Development.

Board members thanked Bruininks for delaying his return to teaching to act as president during the transition period.

“We’re very grateful for his willingness to put his personal plans on hold for the University,” Regent Chairwoman Maureen Reed said.

Bruininks’ will be paid $295,000 a year. The length of his contract has yet to be determined, Reed said.

University officials applauded the appointment, highlighting his dedication to the institution.

“He bleeds maroon and gold. He loves the institution,” said University Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter. “He’d do anything he could to make the institution suceed.”

Yudof appointed Bruininks to Provost-the University’s second in command– in July 1997.

As Provost, Bruininks was responsible for mapping out the University’s academic mission. Bruininks also supervised the libraries, and the offices of Information Technology, Admissions, Budget and Finance, Multicultural Affairs, Registrar, Scholarships and Financial Aid, and Institutional Research and Reporting.

Bruininks has been a faculty member for more than 30 years, beginning in 1968 as an assistant professor of educational psychology. He spent nine years in department administration, seven as the department chairman. For six years preceding his post as Provost, Bruininks was the dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

Bruininks received his Bachelor’s degree in Special Education, Music and Social Science from Western Michigan University in 1964, and earned his Doctoral degree in Education from Vanderbilt University in 1968.

Brad Unangst welcomes comments at [email protected]