By MARIA KANSO, News Editor
Chancellor Daniel Little, who has served the University of Michigan Dearborn for 17 years, will leave office during June of 2018.
During his term in office, student undergraduate enrollment increased 26 percent, in addition to his encouragement for diversity, inclusiveness and the advancements of facilities on campus.
“The university has accomplished a set of ambitious goals, and we are ready for a new set of goals,” Little said. “It’s just a good time for a next leader to help the campus move forward.”
Little declared his decision through an email sent to faculty and staff in which he said he took this decision early to give enough time for President Schlissel and the U-M Board of Regents to search for the right person to fill the position.
“The people of UM-Dearborn are very special,” the chancellor said in his letter addressing “friends and colleagues.”
“Our shared commitments to the values of inclusion, student success, academic excellence and metropolitan engagement continue to inspire me, and I am most grateful.”
An author of various philosophical books, Little earned his PHD in philosophy from Harvard University and has an A.B in philosophy and a B.S in Mathematics from the University of Illinois.
Little said one of the best experiences he has gained from working has a chancellor is having a strong connection with Detroit metropolitan community-based organizations, including ACCESS, New Detroit, Southwest Solutions and Focus Hope.
“I would say the learning and growing I’ve done in immersing myself in metro Detroit has been a really valuable part of this experience,” he said.
The appreciation and experience has had with UM-Dearborn students is another aspect he considers valuable about being a chancellor.
The chancellor mentioned that he will not be retiring from the university in his letter. Rather, he will continue his work in teaching and research in both the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses.
“I have continued to teach throughout my career at UM-Dearborn, both here and in Ann Arbor, and I expect this pattern to continue. My experiences on both campuses have continued to refresh my excitement for teaching, research, and collaboration,” he said.
According to Little, the three main key goals that the next chancellor ought to find elements of support for are achieving academic excellence, maintaining a culture of diversity and paying attention to student success.
“Every leader will need to develop a good understanding of the heart of the university, and that means spending time with students, spending time with the faculty and spending time with staff,” he said. “Once that degree of relationship has been established, my rooting is for somebody who is able to take the campus much further in terms of the key goals that we have.”
President Schlissel sent an email to faculty and staff on Monday announcing the search of a new chancellor, and the creation of a search advisory committee, which will be co-chaired by Schlissel and Ghassan Kridli, associate dean of undergraduate education.
The committee will host two town halls at the UM-Dearborn Campus, one on September 29 and the other on October 2.
“When Chancellor Little announced that he would step down in May, we knew we had a big task before us to identify and recruit a similarly outstanding new leader for the Dearborn campus,” Schlissel said. “Your input will be very important as we embark on the search.”