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Kettering University

Charles F. Kettering III, Kettering UniversitySusan Pierce has been working with Kettering University since the Fall of 2011. In my role as Chair of the Board of Trustees at that point and until the Fall of 2014, I worked directly with Susan on a number of occasions and had the opportunity to observe the quality of her work with the Board and with Kettering’s President Bob McMahan. I will leave it to President McMahan to describe her work with him as well as her work with members of his Cabinet and the campus.

What strikes me most is Susan’s versatility, the depth of her understanding of and engagement in Kettering, and the consistent value she has brought to the University. Susan has facilitated two very successful retreats for the Board of Trustees. The first retreat focused on matters of governance (particularly the role of the board in relationship to a new president) and on our strategic direction, setting the stage for what has been an extremely productive board-president relationship and also a widely shared view of the University’s goals and priorities. In the second retreat, Susan provided us with a comprehensive view of what has been happening nationally to private colleges and universities and then led us through an important conversation about our strategic positioning. Clearly, she designed these retreats for Kettering rather than using a “cookie cutter” approach.

As I began my term as Chair, Kettering introduced the new president and Susan was available to discuss and advise me about a wide array matters that came before both the Kettering Board and me during the transition period and beyond. In those conversations, I was struck by her thoughtful analysis, experienced based insightfulness, directness, and her proactive approach to solving problems. She understood the University’s situation and provided a steady sounding board.

I would recommend her highly.