The board of Northern Michigan University fired Fritz Erickson as president Friday. A statement from Tami Seavoy, the board chair, said, “While we recognize and thank Dr. Erickson for some outstanding work, particularly as he maintained a level of calm and stability during the pandemic, we expected more thoughtful and critical action from him on many issues. For these reasons, we have lost confidence in his ability to effectively lead the university. The responsibility to hire and, in unfortunate circumstances, terminate the president are among the most important duties of a university board, and we did not arrive at this decision lightly.”
Erickson told The Detroit News that the board approached him six weeks ago and said they wanted leadership at the helm that operated differently. “I fully respect that,” said Erickson. “We have not always agreed on things but that relationship between the board and president is not uncommon.” He said the sticking point in negotiations was that his wife, Jan, wouldn’t get his compensation if he died before the agreed payout date.