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Tompkins Steps Down as President
For more information on this story contact:
Email:Dean Woodbeck

MARCH 26, 2004--Curtis J. Tompkins today concludes more than 12 years of service as the eighth president of Michigan Technological University.

Board of Control Chair David Brule also announced the appointment of Glenn Mroz, MTU's dean of forest resources and environmental science, as interim president. Mroz, who is also interim dean of the School of Technology, will serve while the board conducts a national search.

The announcement came at a special session of the Board of Control, which was requested by Tompkins. In a letter to Brule on March 16, Tompkins requested the meeting to "begin the transition of leadership of Michigan Technological University."

The board granted Tompkins the title of President Emeritus and passed a resolution to honor his many accomplishments.

In addition, the board formed two ad hoc subcommittees to initiate the search for a new president. One subcommittee will develop a search process and suggest procedures for appointing a search committee. The other subcommittee will investigate search firms to aid in the effort. Both groups will present their recommendations to the full Board of Control for action.

Tompkins became Michigan Tech president on September 1, 1991, after 11 years of service as dean of engineering at West Virginia University.

Brule noted that under Tompkins leadership there has been tremendous growth in research and graduate programs at Michigan Tech. "Curt has led Tech from its place as a regional university when he arrived to the prestigious position of being a top national research university." Brule noted that Tech is now ranked in the top 50 public universities in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. "That is a concrete example of Curt's leadership over the years," Brule said.

Former Michigan Tech Fund president and chairman of Dow Corning Corporation Gary Anderson praised Tompkins for his leadership of the Leaders for Innovation Campaign. The Campaign, which raised $146 million, was the most successful fundraising effort in Michigan Tech's history. "Curt helped Tech build its endowment while providing funds for student scholarships and fellowships, faculty development, campus enrichment and new facilities," Anderson said.

New buildings constructed during Tompkins' tenure include the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, the Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building, the Hesterberg and Horner additions to the Noblet forestry facility, the Harold Meese Center, the Peter J. Grant Hockey Educational Center, the Advanced Technology Development Complex--which is nearing completion--and two projects currently under construction, the John and Ruanne Opie Library and the Kanwal and Anne Rehki Computer Science Hall.

Tompkins said, "Kathy and I will always have a special place in our hearts for the faculty, staff, alumni and the community, but most of all for the students--because they represent the primary reason for our existence as an institution of higher education."

Mroz, who takes over the leadership of Michigan Tech today, has had a long association with the university. He has served as dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science since 2000. Prior to that, he served one year as associate dean and three years as coordinator of the forest ecology and management program.

"We are pleased the Board of Control has selected Glenn Mroz," said Art Sigel, secretary of the Michigan Tech Fund, which solicits private support on behalf of the university. "He has been an excellent fundraiser for the university. We know him as a person who gets things done."

Under Mroz's leadership, the school has expanded its facilities, its research program, its fundraising goals and has established a partnership with the US Forest Service laboratory on campus. The school also completed the $2.5 million in private funding for the 48,000-square-foot expansion of the forestry facility, which opened in 2001.

Mroz has taught at Michigan Tech since 1976, first as a faculty assistant and instructor. He became an assistant professor in 1983, after receiving his PhD in Silviculture from North Carolina State University. He holds MS and BS degrees from Michigan Tech. His expertise is in silviculture (the development and care of forests), soils and watershed management.

Brule said the Board has every confidence in Mroz to lead Michigan Tech while the search for a permanent successor is launched.

"As Michigan Tech enters its 119th year, I am certain our ninth president will build on the tremendous accomplishments of President Tompkins and will lead the University to its place as a national university of choice," Brule concluded.

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