Higher Education Funding vs. Midwest Funding, Life With John X. Jamrich, Term-Limited Legislators, and Campaign to Change Term Limits


This Week in Rural Insights

This week we will feature a podcast with Elise Bur, the Director of the NMU Center for Rural Health. She is doing some interesting work and is important to the Upper Peninsula and other rural areas.

Michigan Higher Education Funding vs. Midwest Funding

As parents and students continue to express concerns about tuition rates in Michigan and the continued growth, the Governor has proposed a substantial increase in state aid to state colleges and universities. It is now being debated by the legislature.

Michigan is last in funding of higher education as compared to other Midwest states. $6,000 is the average amount of state aid in midwestern states and in Michigan it is $4,500. 

Nationally, Michigan is in the bottom third of states in college degree attainment. Twenty-five percent of Michigan citizens over 25 years of age hold a college degree, while nationally that number is 34%.

Lots of data out there about lifetime earnings of college graduates versus workers with only a high school diploma. Take a look.

Life With John X. Jamrich–Your Experiences

NMU alumni have sent me some fun stories about their interactions with former NMU President Jamrich. As one of NMU’s longest-serving presidents, there are lots of alumni who interacted with him during his years at NMU. If you want to share some, send them to us at david@ruralinsights.org

One fellow alumnus Mark Vanderlist graduated from NMU in June 1972. He sent us the following story: “Although I did not have lots of dealings with him, he seemed positive and outgoing. Here is one funny story. After the tragedy at Kent State there was a student march on campus, into town and returning to his house on campus. There was a lot of police presence and tensions were high. Eventually he came out on his front steps and said he did so against the advice of the police because “he might get stoned by the students.” That comment had the unintended consequence of getting all the students laughing (I am sure several were stoned) and defused the situation.”

Thanks Mark for the story. 

2022 Term-Limited Upper Peninsula Legislators

Senator Schmidt (R-37th Senate District); Representative Beau LaFave (R-108th House District) and Representative Sara Cambensy (D-109th House District). 

Campaign Launches in Michigan to Change Term Limits

A campaign was launched this week to change term limits in Michigan. The change proposal is to reduce the 14-year total limit in House and Senate terms to 12 years, but to allow legislators to serve the entire 12 years in either the House or the Senate. 

With this change a House could serve the entire 12 years in the House, as opposed to the current 6 years allowed in the House. If they served the 12 years in the House they would not be able to run for the Senate at any time in the future. 

This latest proposal has bipartisan sponsors. 

The Michigan term limits law was adopted by the people about 30 years ago. There has been recent concern that the current law does not allow legislators to gain experience and to be more effective in their jobs. Recently House Speakers have been elected by the House with only two years of legislative experience and that some feel has produced problems with legislating and public policy development.

To pass this proposal would require a petition drive getting 425,059 signatures of registered voters to put in on the ballot. Then the voters would be asked to amend the constitution with the ballot proposal in a general election. Voters would be amending the Michigan constitution. The campaign to fund the support or opposition to this proposal will require millions of dollars to be raised.

More to come. What do you think about changing our term limits law?

The World Around Us

Lea Drutman of New America has written an interesting article you will find on our website under the ICYMI tab. It is about options ahead of us in America. It is an opinion piece and is one perspective on this issue. We will always attempt to publish opinions on both sides of an issue as they become available.

Lea Drutman writes that “If the future of American democracy feels uncertain, that’s because it is. So, what will the rest of the decade look like? It’s always hard to make predictions, especially about our uncertain future, but here are three potential scenarios: breakdown, muddle, and transformation. By understanding how and why each scenario could come about, my hope is that we can collectively steer away from breakdown and towards transformation.”

If this piqued your interest and you want to read more, read the article under ICYMI. Tell us what you think. 

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them.” Willian Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

“If we were supposed to talk all the time, God would have given us two mouths and one ear. Former Congressman John Dingell.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at david@ruralinsights.org. We love to read them. 

About Us

Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories you might have not seen or overlooked. We bring you original writing from Rural Insights and other researchers, change makers, and storytellers, as well as our latest research and analysis.

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Michael Detroit on March 7, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Shakespeare is always great to quote!
    Here is one I like from Eleanor Roosevelt…
    “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

  2. Barbara Kennedy Vinocur on March 7, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    My father-in-law came to NMU with John X. Jamrich from MSU , as Academic Vice President. I was a student at Northern (1970) and remember Dr. Jamrich’s bowtie. Always saw him wear a bowtie. And when I received my diploma from Dr. Vinocur on graduation day, little did I know that in the future he would go from being Dr. Vinocur to Jake, my loved father-in-law!
    So if is wasn’t for Dr. Jamrich coming to NMU, I would not have met my future husband.

    P.S. married 50 years this July.

  3. James Katakowski on March 7, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    Term limits which I opposed 30 years ago for the same reason they want longer terms to gain experience now. If someone does a good job they should be rehired. If they don’t do a good job vote them out. Since we have 50% not even voting now you do not always get the right person for the job an i.e., djt ex. pres. We need to get more voters to vote 95% goal would be nice. It seems voters are getting way to much misinformation today. Perhaps fact checking on everything! I like to see more honesty in my leaders and liars should not apply. It seems money corrupts too. I hope it gets better crossing my fingers…..

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