Lake Superior State University
Presidential Search

Lake Superior State University (LSSU/Lake State), invites nominations and applications for the position of President. This leadership role will provide the successful candidate with substantial opportunities to leverage a picturesque location with abundant natural resources, empower a community that is ripe for action, and develop a brand for the outstanding initiatives underway at LSSU. The University seeks a dynamic and engaging relationship builder who will fully embrace the University and Sault Ste. Marie communities. The next President will be student-focused, visible, approachable, engaged across campus and in the community, collaborative, and open to taking calculated risks.

Surrounded by three Great Lakes, and along an international border, LSSU provides an unsurpassed location for research, innovation, and real-world experiences. Lake State is one of Michigan’s most affordable public universities, and 90 percent of full-time students receive financial aid.

LSSU was founded in 1946 on the site of the former U.S. Army’s Fort Brady in Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in Michigan (est. 1668). The University acknowledges that the campus occupies traditional Anishinaabeg territory and recognizes the importance of continued work to build relationships with Tribal communities throughout the region. Guided by LSSU’s strategic plan, the University remains committed to incorporating the history, traditions, languages, and cultures of Indigenous peoples into all University service areas, and to supporting a learning environment for all students to flourish.

LSSU boasts a 115-acre campus and has regional centers in Escanaba and Petoskey. The University offers 35 bachelor’s degree programs, 21 associate degree programs, and 10 certificate programs. Lake State has approximately 1,600 students, with 82 percent coming from Michigan and with every county represented. LSSU competes in 11 NCAA Division II sports and in Division I for men’s hockey.

The President serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of Lake Superior State University and reports directly to the Board of Trustees. The President leads, develops, preserves, administers, and generally presides over all aspects of University operations, including all institutional funds, with authority from and responsibility to the Board of Trustees. The President serves, by virtue of position, on the Board of Directors of the Lake Superior State University Foundation.

The President leads the University’s Senior Management Team currently consisting of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Vice President for Finance and Operations; Vice President for Advancement; Dean of Enrollment Management and Communication; Dean of Student Affairs; Director of Human Resources, Safety & Risk, and Title IX Coordinator; Director of Government Relations; and Director of Athletics. The next President will be charged with developing a strong leadership team and empowering University leaders to lead initiatives geared toward growth, resource development, academic quality, and student success.

LSSU’s next President will be a servant leader who can set a forward-looking vision, invigorate relationships across the University and in the community, and revitalize a vibrant campus life. Most of all, the next President will model integrity, empathy, and excitement for the University. A distinguished record of progressive leadership and experience in higher education or a similarly complex organization will be required for this role. While the Presidential Search Committee is eager to consider many possible pathways to the presidency, candidates possessing a terminal degree will be preferred.

The successful candidate will also possess the following personal and professional attributes:

  • An appreciation for and commitment to the mission and core values of Lake State;
  • The ability and willingness to actively engage external constituents in neighboring Canada, Sault Ste. Marie, tribal communities, the Upper Peninsula, and in broader Michigan to enhance town/gown relationships, foster regional partnerships, and advocate for resources;
  • A record of progressive and successful administrative experience at a level with significant decision-making responsibilities;
  • An understanding of the present realities and future opportunities in public higher education and a vision for leveraging those opportunities at LSSU;
  • A track record of success in fostering a positive culture of philanthropy;
  • Strong fiscal acumen coupled with operational budget management, strategic resource planning, and resource allocation experience;
  • Sound judgment and integrity;
  • An understanding of national trends in enrollment management and retention with a focus on marketing and branding;
  • An inclusive, collaborative, and congenial leadership approach demonstrating a respect for shared governance;
  • Excellent communication and listening skills, with a confident and comfortable public presence, and a commitment to timely and transparent communication;
  • Intercultural competence and a deep commitment to celebrating and promoting belonging in its many forms;
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take full advantage of opportunities;
  • The ability to support an innovative academic culture;
  • A relationship-centered approach towards leadership evidenced by visibility and approachability on and off campus;
  • The capacity to engage local and state officials in the development of key partnerships and to advocate for support;
  • Proven experience in leading strategic planning initiatives and their successful implementation;
  • The ability to support a robust intercollegiate athletics program and understand the crucial roles athletics play in supporting the student experience as well as recruitment and retention;
  • The capacity to use data strategically and regularly to inform decisions;
  • The ability to manage personnel responsibilities with care, respect, and compassion; and
  • A dynamic work ethic evidencing energy, courage, enthusiasm, resilience, flexibility, and a sense of humor.

This is a full-time position that will be performed on site in Michigan. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Compensation includes a generous benefits package and an on-campus presidential home.

Procedure for Candidates
The review of credentials will begin immediately. To apply, please submit a current curriculum vitae and a cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position. Applications, nominations, and inquiries will be treated with confidence and should be directed to:

Julie E. Tea, Managing Director
Brian Bustin, Senior Associate

Storbeck Search

It is the policy of Lake Superior State University that no person shall be discriminated against, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination in employment, or in any program or activity for which the University is responsible on the basis of race, color, national origin or ancestry, sex, sexual preference, age, disability, religion, height, weight, marital status or veteran status.