University Board Members, Alumni on University Boards, New Legislators Begin Their Service, and a Rural Legislative Agenda

Dr. Kerry Schuiling


This Week in RI

On Wednesday we will be publishing a fascinating article by Hunter Laing, Assistant Research Librarian at the Marquette Regional History Center about the “Festival of Struggle” that took place in Marquette County in 1932. Not much has been published about this three-day celebration of socialism in the UP, but Hunter uncovers what the festival was all about in this article.

University Board Members

MTU and LSSU have had recent appointments by the Governor. NMU is waiting for three new Board members to be appointed. Two of the NMU appointees are Republican appointees, and odds are they will not be reappointed (and maybe don’t want to be reappointed).

The third member has been elected to the Michigan House of Representatives and by law one cannot serve in two branches of government at the same time. So the Governor has three appointments yet to be made at NMU.

Alumni on University Boards

It was pointed out to us that when the Democrats and Republicans meet to nominate people to run for the Boards of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University they only nominate alumni of those institutions (although this year, one member at MSU appointed to fill a vacancy was not an alumnus but had a strong history with MSU).

Not so at the regional universities, who are appointed by the Governor and do not run in general elections. Some observers ask, are not the alumni of the regional universities “good enough” to serve at their alma maters like at U of M and MSU?

Why are there not alumni from other state universities on the governing boards of U of M and MSU? Interesting question. (Note: Wayne State Board is also elected by voters like U of M and MSU).

New State Legislators in the UP and Statewide Begin Their Service

The newly-elected, Democratically-controlled Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate have begun their service.  Committee appointments have been made and discussion of new agendas has begun.

The UP has three new legislators: State Representative Neil Friske, HD 107, State Representative David Prestin, HD 108, and State Representative Jen Hill, HD 109. They join returning State Representative Markkanen, HD 110. In addition, Senator Ed McBroom (SD 38) joins Senator John Damoose (SD 37) in returning to the Senate.

A Rural Legislative Agenda

Is there such a thing? Ask your state elected officials. Every legislative session we read about an urban/suburban agenda. So what is the rural agenda that our legislators from the UP will agree on and push forward. Not just what is the agenda of the Republican and Democratic caucuses, but what is the rural agenda of the UP legislators individually and collectively? What is the Governor’s rural legislative agenda? We will follow up and urge you to ask and push your legislators.


Last week we wrote that with the resignation of Gary McDowell as the Director of Agriculture there was only one cabinet member left in the Whitmer cabinet. We were wrong and apologize for the error.

Effective January 1, 2023 there is another cabinet member from the UP joining the Governor’s cabinet: Director of the Michigan Department Of Military and Veterans Affairs and Adjutant General Paul D. Rogers.

The Calumet native is an alumnus of Michigan Tech and holds a PhD degree from MTU, in addition to an MTU undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. (Hat tip to Thomas Perry).

While he is not a Whitmer Cabinet member, we should not forget that the Governor’s Director of Upper Peninsula Affairs is a UP native, Jeremy Hosking. He is a Palmer native. He holds two degrees from Northern Michigan University. His office is in Marquette.

From the World Around Us

In 2022, only 41.6% of Michigan students demonstrated proficiency in 3rd grade reading. (MDE)

33 million Americans lived in food-insecure households last year. (USDA Research)

The drug fentanyl is the number-one cause of death for Americans 18-49 years old. 200 Americans die every day from the drug.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“These are my principles, and if you do not like them…well I have others.” Groucho Marx.

“Politics, divorced from conscience is fatal to the American experiment in liberty under law.” John Mecham.

Books Recommended By Readers

“Masters of Empire, Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America.” Michael McDowell.

Talk To Us

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

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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. Laurel Ramsey Kniskern on January 16, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    The book recommendation, Masters of Empire is by Michael McDonnell, not McDowell. There are 9 copies available in public libraries across the region.

  2. Jeanne Baumann on January 16, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    “ In 2022, only 41.6% of Michigan students demonstrated proficiency in 3rd grade reading. (MDE)”

    Can you provide a specific source for this information? Where is this report? thank you,

  3. David A Wirth on January 16, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    Loved the Groucho quote, can never go wrong with his philosophies. (lol) Great way to start the week with a smile

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