LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The running for Michigan State University’s next president is down to one current candidate, according to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and The State News.
“I am focused on serving the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a special place I have lived, worked, and loved for 28 years,” Kevin Guskiewicz, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor said in the statement from UNC-Chapel Hill Thursday. “…Through the years, a variety of professional opportunities have been presented to me. My family and I must weigh each one, and we are weighing this one.”
Guskiewicz and Taylor Eighmy, University of Texas at San Antonio President, were the two finalists in the presidential search by MSU’s presidential search committee, The State News reported.
Eighmy then withdrew his name from the candidacy, leaving Guskiewicz as the remaining current candidate, according to The State News.
Though Guskiewicz is currently the one remaining presidential candidate, he won’t necessarily be the board’s final choice.
MSU’s head basketball coach, Tom Izzo, who is part of the presidential search committee, commented affirmatively on Thursday. “I was impressed by the candidate they mentioned today,” Izzo said. “My job was to get it down to five, and then supposedly another infamous leak. I feel a little sorry for the candidate since he’s got to deal with things back home.”
Guskiewicz is a neuroscientist and concussion researcher who became chancellor at Chapel Hill in 2019, according to UNC. He has been a member of the UNC faculty since 1995. He’s a former MacArthur Fellow and previously served as Chapel Hill’s Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
MSU named the presidential search committee in May. The chair and vice chair of the committee are trustees Dennis Denno and Brianna Scott. Trustees Dan Kelly and Renee Knake Jefferson are also on the committee, along with several other faculty, staff and local community members.
The search for MSU’s next leader has been a long time coming, as controversy surrounds the university. Interim President Teresa Woodruff was put in place to lead MSU in November last year.
Since that time the university has experienced a devastating mass shooting, a sexual harassment case involving former head football coach Mel Tucker, and calls for the removal of Board of Trustees Chair Rema Vassar. The sequence of events has left the university under a microscope.
6 News has reached out to MSU and the University of Texas at San Antonio to get more information about Eighmy’s decision to drop out of the running, but they have not yet responded.