MSU Board elects chairs, welcomes new trustee
MSU's Board of Trustees met Wednesday morning for the first time in 2017. During the meeting, the board elected a new chair and vice chair while welcoming two trustees into their new terms.
The board elected trustee Brian Breslin as the new chair and Joel Ferguson as vice chair. Ferguson previously served as chair of the board.
Republican trustee Dan Kelly and incumbent Democratic trustee Dianne Byrum were also welcomed into their new terms by the board.
Kelly and Byrum were both elected into new eight-year terms in November. This will be Byrum's second term and Kelly's first.
Kelly previously served six years on the Board of Trustees for Oakland Community College as both trustee and chair. He was also elected to two four-year terms on the Independence Township Board of Trustees. He ran on a platform of and keeping MSU accessible and affordable and keeping the focus on the students.
"I've got a lot of background in higher education, I've sat on a board for six years, so I'm interested in diving into the budget, I'm interested in keeping going a lot of the good things the board has already done," Kelly said. "I view Michigan State as being on the upswing and I want to keep it on the upswing."
As a father with college-age kids, Kelly plans to keep the focus on students and Michigan residents.
"It's a land grant university, it's our university, so that's really my focus and everything I decide will be in the best interest of the students and their parents, who sometimes help pay for all this," Kelly said.
Byrum was elected to the MSU Board of Trustees in 2008 and re-elected in 2016. With a focus on renewable energy in her last eight years, Byrum said she wants to continue to look at ways to make the university sustainable.
"I want to make sure that we continue to make Michigan State University a great place in educating the future leaders of the world," Byrum said. "Any way I can contribute to do that, that's what I'm all about."
Another focus area for Byrum is making sure there is excellence in student academics.
"I want (MSU students and faculty) to know that I care and that I do listen and that I do want their input and I try to be very responsive when people contact me and do the best that I can do to get answers and get to the root of the problem," she said. "I'm Spartan green and I want to make MSU a place for everyone. I'm on the team."
The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 17 in the Hannah Administration Building.