MSU parent and veteran Mike Balow is running for a Republican spot on the Board of Trustees.
Balow has regularly attended the Board of Trustees meetings over the past 18 months and spoken during public comments about his support for MSU Battle for Swim and Dive. His daughter, Sophia, was a member of the former swim team.
“I have been a keen observer of Michigan State’s administration and politics for the last couple of years,” Balow said. “I want to bring my leadership qualities and sensibility to the Board of Trustees. I feel that it’s really needed right now.“
His campaign issues include removing mandatory remote learning and mask mandates, managing costs to avoid raising tuition and prioritizing in-state students. He also emphasized his advocacy for the return of the swim and dive team.
“I think it was completely false, the narrative that was used to cut that program,” Balow said. “They were a true asset to the university. I feel like that is a perfect example of the university quitting on a group of kids because the university got lazy and didn’t fulfill its mission.”
Balow received his undergraduate degree from the U.S. Naval Academy. He said his experience serving as well as working in the automotive and real estate business improved his leadership skills.
“I know how to manage organizations and projects such that the results are good,” Balow said. “Not just that the results are good, but it’s how do you achieve that? You shouldn’t sacrifice your identity or your morals just to get good results. You have to follow a good process then the results will follow.”
He hopes to improve oversight and accountability in administrative leadership.
“(MSU) is like a beautiful cruise ship, it just has the wrong captain right now, wrong leadership,” Balow said. “We need to fix that. We need to make sure that leadership of the university is accountable to the ultimate consumer, which is the students.”
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