Elson Floyd, current president of Western Michigan University, was appointed the new president of the UM system, officials announced Wednesday.
Outgoing UM system President Manuel Pacheco will retire Dec. 31. Floyd will take over the system Jan. 6.
"Dr. Floyd is a strong leader who inspires the people around him," said John Mathes, president of the UM system Board of Curators. "The selection committee found that he is highly regarded by all who come in contact with him, from faculty, staff and students to officials at the highest levels of state government and higher education."
Floyd comes from WMU in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he oversaw a campus of 28,000 students. Since he was named a finalist for the UM system post, many of those students rallied together to ask him to stay.
"Thank you for your unwavering support of the past 4 1/2 years and for your efforts to keep me here in Kalamazoo," Floyd said Wednesday in a prepared statement. "However, I came to Western Michigan University because of the opportunities and challenges that it offered, and today I leave for the University of Missouri for those same reasons."
Floyd will make $350,000 annually as the UM system president, in contrast to Pacheco's salary of $260,000. He will also be eligible for up to $50,000 in annual deferred compensation based on performance reviews.