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Jan. 11, 2007
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
wmullens@emich.edu, 734.487.4400

Former EMU President Porter appointed to governors financial advisory panel

YPSILANTI — Dr. John Porter, former president of Eastern Michigan University and former state superintendent for public instruction, has been appointed to Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s emergency financial advisory panel.

The panel, which will be chaired by former Michigan governors William G. Milliken and James J. Blanchard, will review the state’s current financial crisis and offer recommendations on how to best avoid similar crises in the future.

“As I said in my inaugural address just days ago, we have an economic plan that will transform Michigan from a great 20th-century state to an even greater state in the 21st century,” Granholm said in the release announcing the appointments. “However, full economic transformation is the most pressing problem we face, and how we solve the state’s fiscal crisis is a critical part of our ability to transform our economy. I am pleased to draw upon the expertise of Michigan’s most experienced and respected leaders to offer insight on how to solve the crisis.”

The panel was selected based on the varied backgrounds and views of the members, along with their depth and breadth of knowledge about state government.

Porter served as EMU’s 17th president from 1979-89. His tenure became known as the “decade of advancement” for the University. During Porter’s presidency, the College of Business and the College of Technology were established; enrollment growth hit record numbers; the Honors Program was established; and the Olds/Robb Student Recreation Center was built.

Porter received his bachelor’s degree from Albion College and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Before arriving at EMU, Porter was a teacher at Albion High School and then in Lansing. In 1957, he became an educational consultant for the state superintendent of public instruction.

In 1960, Porter was appointed to head up the Michigan Higher Education Assistance Authority to administer the guaranteed student loan program. In 1969, he became the nation’s first black state school superintendent and the youngest as well. He was 38.

Other members of the panel include: Paul Hillegonds, senior vice president of DTE Energy and former co-speaker of the state House of Representatives; Dan DeGrow, superintendent of St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency and former Republican state Senate majority leader; Sr. Monica Kostielney, president and CEO of the Michigan Catholic Conference; Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, president of Michigan State University; Frank Kelley, former Michigan attorney general; S. Martin Taylor, University of Michigan regent; John “Joe” Schwarz, former U.S. Congressman and former chair of the state Senate Appropriations Committee; Don Gilmer, Kalamazoo County administrator and former state budget director; and Doug Roberts, former state treasurer.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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