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GRCC president tapped to become new Ferris State University president

GRCC After five years as GRCC president, Bill Pink was unanimously selected as the sole finalist to become the 19th president of Ferris State University, the FSU Board of Trustees announced on Monday, March 28.

According to an announcement on the university website, the board is scheduled to officially vote on Pink as the next president at its regular meeting scheduled for Friday, May 6, in Big Rapids. Upon confirmation, Pink will succeed President David L. Eisler, who retires on June 30, after serving 19 years as Ferris’ 18th president.

“I am honored to be selected by the Ferris State University board. I have been familiar with the good work of FSU for years, as the partnership we have on our GRCC campus has provided a great pathway from associate to bachelor degree for many years,” Pink said in the announcement. “I will not attempt to fill the shoes of Dr. Eisler and the incredible work he has done for the university, the region, and our state. Instead, I’ll wear my own shoes in continuing to move Ferris forward. I am excited about the opportunity.”

The announcement follows a comprehensive national search led by an advisory committee that included faculty, staff, student and community members as well as the trustees before the board unanimously selected Pink.

Pink has served as GRCC’s president since May 2017. Before becoming president, Pink served GRCC as a vice president and dean. 

“Dr. Pink is well known in the Grand Rapids area, but he is no stranger to the Ferris State University community,” said Amna P. Seibold, chair of Ferris’ Board of Trustees.  “GRCC has partnered with Ferris on many classes. Students can get an associate degree with GRCC and a bachelor’s degree with Ferris in certain workforce-related programs without ever leaving the GRCC campus.”

Trustee George Heartwell, former mayor of Grands Rapids, lauded Pink’s academic credentials and his commitment to economic and environmental sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“I saw what he did at GRCC and admired his efforts,” Heartwell said. “I knew Bill as a community member who took his responsibility as a citizen and leader very seriously.”

In a statement, David J. Koetje, chairperson of the GRCC Board of Trustees, said GRCC looks forward to continuing to partner with Ferris with Pink at its helm.“Today’s news about President Pink’s new role at Ferris State University is bittersweet,” said Koetje in the statement. “Dr. Pink has been a wonderful leader for our college. His passion and energy are contagious, and he was certainly the right person at the right time for GRCC.”

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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