Michigan State University is a world-class institution, but it is not the MSU of my youth. As I have travelled from county to county visiting with many people, I have been approached by people who have genuine concerns about our Land Grant University. As both a graduate of Michigan State and a successful businessman, it has become abundantly clear to me that there needs to be a fundamental change in East Lansing embracing who Michigan State University is suppose to serve, the people of the State of Michigan.

During these last few months, I have learned more than I ever anticipated about Michigan State University and the theme is very consistent and not very positive. It is painfully clear that Michigan State University is not fully accessible for Michigan students and it is failing in its commitment and obligation to be one of the premier Land Grant Universities in the nation.

I am saying "enough is enough".

If elected to the Board of Trustees I promise to champion the following initiatives to help put our beloved University back on the right path:

  • Finding the wisest use of tax payer money and alumni contributions. We all want our Alma Mater to be ambitious in recruiting the best and brightest students. Sometimes this goal blinds decision makers and leads to poor choices such as when we invested in opening a campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This venture was so reckless that it closed after just a short time, and the money used for this debacle is no longer available to advance the education of the residents of our own state. MSU should be leading the way in teaching state government how to exercise fiscal discipline instead of joining in the spending spree.
  • Stopping Social Engineering from taking over our children’s education. During the course of my education at MSU, whether it was on the football field or in the classroom, I could see the shift away from our foundational mission as a University. We have spent the past decade using taxpayer funds to underwrite social engineering in the classroom. This is never acceptable, but at a time when our financial house is not in order, it is an absolute tragedy. We are spending money unwisely on programs that don't advance a well-rounded education - instead they prop up a particular point of view. I pledge to fight taxpayer-funded social engineering in the classroom at Michigan State.
  • Getting back to our foundation as a Land Grant Institution. I recognize and appreciate the value of higher education. However, it is fundamental that our Land Grant Institution here in Michigan consider Michigan’s student’s and Michigan’s economy as their number one priority. There is very strong evidence that Michigan State University, under its Land Grant Mission is failing in its focus on average Michigan families and students. Instead, the current leadership has dramatically shifted its agenda to a much more liberal and elite one, creating academic standards and priorities that are not in the best interest of Michigan students or our state’s economy.
  • Focusing our attention on careers that matter in Michigan and will make MSU a leading contributor in job creation and retention. Currently, more than one-half of all MSU graduates are leaving the State of Michigan to find employment, and it is the strong opinion of many that it’s because MSU is not offering undergraduate programs designed to find opportunities here at home.  For example, in 2007, MSU was awarded $50 million dollars to research bioenergy.  Since that time, MSU has not created one undergraduate program dedicated to this emerging industry. Not one student has graduated with a degree designed to engage them into Michigan’s role to wean our country off dependence on oil from foreign dictators, or to focus on the advances being made with sound science.  I have been given countless examples of this being the case in agriculture, forestry, tourism and other land based economies that I think clearly illustrates a major problem we have at your Land Grant University and if elected, I am committed to changing this.

Each year the legislature appropriates Michigan State University more $350 Million of Michigan tax payer money and I support that.  However, with those funds comes a responsibility. On my watch, MSU WILL focus on Michigan students, Michigan families and Michigan’s economy in a FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE way.

My conservative values are strong. I am unequivocally pro-Life. I believe our great University should be managed similar to a business – we must live within our means. I will work hard as a Trustee to oppose Project Labor Agreements (PLA's), tuition increases, and other attempts to bring liberal social policies to Michigan State University. I will also work to ensure that conservative policies and common sense solutions are implemented to the challenges we face.

My wife and I have been blessed with six children and I hope they will one day wish to attend MSU. They have strengthened my resolve to fight for the principles that will once again make Michigan State the absolute best Land Grant University in the nation.