by Geoff Larcom, Published January 12, 2011
LANSING - Michigan's 15 public university presidents, including Eastern Michigan's Susan Martin, said they are prepared to work collaboratively with Gov. Rick Snyder, following an hour-long meeting today.
"The governor was clear about the difficult nature of the budget issues we all face, although he provided no details - and we did not expect any," said Michigan Technological University President Glen Mroz, who is chairman of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan. "He called on Michigan's public universities to partner with him on returning Michigan to prosperity, and all of my colleagues pledged to leverage the assets of their schools to assist him."
Snyder told the university presidents he has four challenges for them:
"If you look at great economic development, a university is usually behind it somewhere," Snyder told the presidents during the meeting, held at the Governor's Conference Room at the Capitol.
Snyder told the presidents that short-term, the state budget deficit will call for continued sacrifice from all of Michigan, but that long-term, the state needs to invest more in higher education.
Mroz said the meeting was extraordinarily candid and productive, and that other university presidents told him the meeting set a positive tone for the relationship between Michigan's higher education operations and Gov. Snyder's administration.
"Gov. Snyder told us several times he believes he was elected the governor of all of Michigan, not just the governor of state government. That is a very heavy load, and Michigan's public universities are ready to help him share that burden by stepping up our efforts to meet his goals and reinvent Michigan."
The Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan provides the chief executive officers of the state's 15 public universities an opportunity to deliberate on a wide range of topics having potential implications for higher education. You can learn more about the Presidents Council at www.pcsum.org.
For more information, contact Michael Boulus at 517-482-1563.