LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Dan Lauwers was joined by a bipartisan coalition of legislators calling on the Michigan State University’s Board of Trustees to add representation from the state’s agriculture industry on the institution’s recently announced presidential search committee.
Lauwers joined 31 other state legislators in authoring a letter to MSU’s trustees urging them to consider input from the state’s critical agriculture industry as they search for a new university president. The university’s board recently announced its 29-member presidential search committee, which did not include any voices from the state’s agriculture industry.
“As a graduate of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and former small business owner in the state’s agriculture industry, I found it disappointing that the university put together a panel that excluded representation from one of the state’s largest and most important industries,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “The school has roots in agriculture and began as Michigan Agricultural College more than 150 years ago. I hope they work to quickly address this glaring oversight and revisit this decision.”
Lauwers pointed to the university’s close ties with the state’s farmers and others in the agriculture industry as a critical factor that has helped make Michigan a global leader in agriculture.
“The partnership between farmers, agribusiness leaders and the university goes back generations, and without one another, neither side would be where they are today. This strong relationship should certainly be considered as a replacement for the university’s top position is being considered,” he said.
Senate Resolution 51 has received bipartisan support and remains before the Senate for further consideration.
Editor’s note: A copy of the legislator’s letter to the MSU Board of Trustees is attached to this email.