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ReclaimMSU Bylaw and Michigan Constitutional Changes Proposal

A two-part policy proposal to amend the Board of Trustee bylaws and the Michigan State Constitution 

The Board of Trustees at Michigan State University has appointed the most recent permanent and interim Presidents of this university without a search. The current board closed ranks around the previous President at a critical juncture, showing their loyalty to her rather than their loyalty to this institution, to our community, and to survivors of sexual assault. In addition, in the appointment of the interim President, they refused to listen to the advice of faculty, students, and deans.

1. It is critical that the bylaws of the Board are changed to allow full participation of faculty and students in governance. To achieve this, we propose the creation of a University Board (see Appendix B). It is also critical that members of the MSU community play a central role throughout the process of searching for and selecting a new President, including: articulating the qualities and qualifications required for a President; having representatives from the faculty, students and staff on the search committee; and, engaging with top candidates in open forums. Moreover, we believe that if two thirds of the members of the Academic Congress should oppose the selected candidate for President, the Board of Trustees should not be able to select this candidate as President of our university (see Article 3 of the amended bylaws in Appendix B).


2. To ensure that this never happens again, Article VIII § 5 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan should be amended to create four additional positions on the controlling boards for each institution governed by section 5 (University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University). The four additional positions should be filled by an undergraduate student, a graduate student, and two faculty members from different colleges within their universities. These new board members will be elected within their institutions, separately from the statewide elections of other board members, and will serve terms of two years. The new board members will have full voting rights on their controlling boards and be involved in all board processes, including selection of a president and decisions regarding university expenditures and investments. Furthermore, Article VIII § 5 should be amended to limit terms for members of controlling boards to four years, and limit each member to serving two terms.

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