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Tue January 3, 2012
Republican state lawmakers propose reductions in Michigan university boards
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.
The members on these boards are all unpaid volunteers.