Saginaw Valley State University president to retire after 40 years

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Saginaw Valley State University President Donald Bachand will conclude more than 40 years of service to the university when he retires in December 2022, officials announced Thursday.

Bachand arrived as a faculty member in 1978, then moved into administration in 1996. He served for 10 years as dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences, then became vice president in 2006 before serving as provost in 2010.  

Donald Bachand, president of Saginaw Valley State University

He became the fourth president of SVSU in 2014.

“When I started here in 1978 as one of the founding professors for the criminal justice program, it was because I wanted to teach, mentor and inspire young people,” Bachand said. “I have continued to find motivation to serve our students each and every day, even as my roles have changed.”

He said his proudest moments have been watching students complete their degrees and graduate.

"I attended college while working for the Detroit Police Department," said Bachand. "I have never forgotten the opportunities my degree afforded me, and what that moment meant for me and my family. I have enjoyed sharing that moment with thousands of SVSU alumni families over the years.”

With Bachand at the helm of SVSU, the university has grown with increased retention and graduation rates for students and donor support

Vicki Rupp, chair of the SVSU Board of Control, hailed Bachand’s dedication and leadership during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He stepped up immediately and demonstrated exceptional leadership, putting together a wonderful team to navigate incredibly complex and rapidly changing conditions,” Rupp said. “The Board and I are proud that SVSU has successfully maintained university operations while prioritizing very high levels of health and safety on campus. The university also responded to public health needs in our community by hosting numerous COVID-19 vaccination events, administering nearly 50,000 doses.”

The board will conduct a national search to select SVSU’s fifth president and share more information soon on next steps.

“As a board, we value Don’s ongoing leadership as he concludes an extraordinary career with the university,” Rupp said. “He has built many trusted relationships, and he has pledged to remain engaged with the university after he retires from the presidency. We deeply appreciate Don’s devotion to SVSU and we will be working hand in hand with him to ensure a smooth and successful transition.”