SVSU gets new president - WNEM TV 5

SVSU gets new president

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The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control appointed Donald Bachand as the school's next president. 

Bachand was selected from a group of four finalists.

He becomes the fourth president of SVSU, replacing Eric Gilbertson, who is retiring after more than 24 years of service.

"As the Board evaluated the candidates, it became clear to us that Don best demonstrated the attributes we were seeking in the new president," said Board chair Jeff Martin. "He is a dynamic leader and an excellent listener. And he sets  high standards and expectations for faculty and staff.

"We wanted someone who could maintain enrollment in the face of declining high school graduates, help students succeed academically, and improve graduation rates. We are confident that Don is ready for these challenges."

Bachand has served as SVSU's vice president for academic affairs since 2006, and added the responsibilities of provost in 2010.

Prior to that he served nearly 10 years as dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences. 

Bachand first joined SVSU in 1978 as an assistant professor of criminal justice.

"I accept this position with enthusiasm, but mindful of the challenges that lie ahead," Bachand said.  "I have spent most of my life at this university and care deeply about its future. I will work hard to maintain the work ethic, collegiality and ‘first name' basis of SVSU. Those characteristics are integral to who we are and are what set us apart."

A native of Detroit, Bachand began his career by serving 10 years in the Detroit Police Department. He spent several years on patrol before becoming among the youngest in department history to receive a promotion to sergeant. He was assigned to the chief of police's strategic planning division.  While on the force, Bachand completed a bachelor's degree at Mercy College and a master's degree at the University of Detroit. After joining SVSU, he went on to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

A long-time resident of Midland, Bachand has been actively involved in a number of organizations across the Great Lakes Bay Region and plans to build those bonds as president.

Bachand will take office almost immediately. 

His first day as president will be Monday, Feb. 17.

"I know this place, and I'm ready to hit the ground running," he said.

Bachand will receive an annual salary of $250,000, as well as a University-owned home and vehicle. He also receives the same healthcare and retirement benefits as other SVSU employees.

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