Republican state lawmakers propose reductions in Michigan university boards

Jan 3, 2012

Some Republican state lawmakers are questioning whether each state university in Michigan needs its own board of trustees.

State Rep. Bill Rogers is sponsoring a proposal to evaluate the need for separate boards.  Rogers said  it's part of an effort to make college education less expensive and more efficient.

Mike Boulus, the executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, said  having separate boards allows universities to make quick decisions.

"I look at the Pfizer plant in Ann Arbor, when they left, and the U of M's timing, they got in and bought the Pfizer [plant] for a very sound price. I look at that and say 'could that have happened?'" Boulus said, adding "Put in to the constitution back in the 50s is the sense that decisions are best made  closest to the institution."

Boulus also said cutting out the separate boards is an effort by some  lawmakers to control everything from cost to social issues.

Update

The members on these boards are all unpaid volunteers.