College value and affordability solutions summit

38970275_mMonday, November 2,
Radisson Lansing at the Capitol (map)

8:30-9 am: Doors open/Registration begins/Continental breakfast

9-9:15 am: Introduction and Welcome: Phil Power, Founder and Chair, Center for Michigan

9:15-9:45: Keynote Address from Governor Rick Snyder

9:50-10:30: Presentation-- What’s the Problem? Overview of “Getting to Work” report findings and Bridge reporting on college value and affordability. Moderated by John Bebow and Amber DeLind, Center for Michigan

Panel 1

10:30-11:15: In Michigan: Public Support for Deeper State Investment & Increased Accountability. Moderated by John Bebow, Center for Michigan

  • Tim Sowton, Business Leaders for Michigan
  • University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel
  • Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon
  • Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas

Panel 2

11:15-12: Higher Ed Accountability: National Perspectives. Moderated by Peter Pratt, Public Sector Consultants Inc.

  • Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, Third Way
  • Rachel Fishman, New America Foundation
  • Dennis Jones, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems

12 -12:15: Lunch is served

Panel 3

12:15-12:45: Policy Makers Respond: Can We Legislate College Affordability & Value? Moderated by John Bebow, Center for Michigan

  • John Walsh, Director of Strategy, Snyder administration
  • State Rep. Sam Singh, Minority Vice Chair, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education/li>
  • John Austin, President, Michigan State Board of Education

Panel 4

12:45-1:30: Affordability Strategies for Families & Students. Moderated by Jeff Guilfoyle, Public Sector Consultants

  • Community colleges as affordable option; Improving credit transfer: Michael Hansen, Michigan Community College Association
  • Expanding college credit in high school: Chery Wagonlander, Michigan Early Middle College Association and Patty Cantu, Michigan Department of Education
  • Outcomes and scalability of “promise” scholarships: Tim Bartik, Upjohn Institute
  • Opportunities to reduce student debt loads at state universities: Daniel Hurley, Michigan Association of State Universities

1:30-1:45 pm: Thank You and Next Steps: Phil Power


Governor Rick Snyder
When Rick Snyder became Michigan’s 48th Governor in 2011, he pledged a commonsense approach to governing that focused on working together to find solutions for the state’s toughest problems. With the self-proclaimed moniker “one tough nerd,” Governor Snyder has focused on making government more efficient and effective for Michigan’s citizens. In his first term, the state has passed four balanced budgets, eliminated a $1.5 billion deficit and reformed burdensome tax and regulatory codes that were stifling business growth and job creation.

Following a successful career as partner at Coopers & Lybrand, Governor Snyder joined Gateway as President and COO. He later returned to Michigan to cofound an Ann Arbor-based venture capital fund. The Governor’s background as a successful job creator has helped him better serve Michigan, producing results that earned him ‘Public Official of the Year’ in 2014 from GOVERNING magazine.

In Governor Snyder’s first term, Michigan created nearly 400,000 new private sector jobs. Today, Michigan’s unemployment rate is at its lowest point in 14 years. He successfully implemented Healthy Michigan, an innovative and bipartisan plan that has provided affordable and quality healthcare for more than 500,000 hard-working Michiganders.

Among his greatest achievements, Governor Snyder built a bipartisan coalition of Michiganders to put Detroit on a path to success. With the Governor’s unwavering commitment, Detroit has emerged bankruptcy poised to be one of the great comeback stories in American history. The Governor’s “Relentless Positive Action” has brought solutions to pressing problems and renewed optimism in Michigan’s future.

Mark Schlissel, President, University of Michigan
Dr. Mark S. Schlissel is the 14th president of the University of Michigan and the first physician-scientist to lead the institution. He became president in July 2014. President Schlissel previously was provost of Brown University, where he was responsible for all academic programmatic and budgetary functions within Brown’s schools and colleges, as well as the libraries, research institutes and centers. A graduate of Princeton University (A.B., summa cum laude, 1979, Biochemical Sciences), he earned both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1986, Physiological Chemistry). He did his residency training in internal medicine at Hopkins Hospital and conducted postdoctoral research as a Bristol-Myers Cancer Research Fellow under David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Whitehead Institute. His research has focused on the developmental biology of B lymphocytes, the cell type in the immune system that secretes antibodies. His work has contributed to a detailed understanding of genetic factors involved in the production of antibodies and how mistakes in that process can lead to leukemia and lymphoma. He is the author or co-author of over 100 scientific papers and has trained 21 successful doctoral candidates in his lab. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., President Schlissel is married to Monica Schwebs, an environmental and energy lawyer. They have four grown children.

Lou Anna K. Simon, President, Michigan State University
Lou Anna K. Simon, the 20th president of Michigan State University, leads the university’s work to advance the common good in Michigan and around the world. An MSU graduate, she began her career at Michigan State after earning her doctorate in 1974. From there, she moved into a variety of administrative roles, including assistant provost for general academic administration, associate provost, and provost and vice president for academic affairs. The MSU Board of Trustees appointed her president in January 2005. As president, Simon has engaged Michigan State in a strategic and transformative journey to adapt the principles of the land-grant tradition to 21st-century challenges. She has expanded MSU’s reach in the state and around the world by focusing the university’s strengths on solutions that enhance and protect quality of life: clean and affordable energy, access to education, safe and plentiful food, and health care. Simon’s resolute commitment to advancing Michigan’s economic future has been a hallmark of her presidency. She serves on the board of directors of Business Leaders for Michigan and the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and is an advisory committee member of the Detroit Innovation District, which promotes small business growth and job creation in the city. In the area of international engagement, Simon is a member of the executive committee of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa.

Thomas Haas, President, Grand Valley State University
President Thomas J. Haas is Grand Valley State University’s fourth president. Dr. Haas has had a distinguished career in higher education for more than 35 years. He has served as a tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, vice president and president. Just prior to his appointment as president of Grand Valley State University in 2006, he was president of the State University of New York, Cobleskill. Haas is also a professor of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students affectionately call him “T-Haas.” During his tenure, Grand Valley has seen a steady rise in enrollment to more than 25,000 students, and dramatic increases in the number of graduates, now more than 5,300 per year. During the same time, 32 new majors have been established, including the Doctor of Nursing Practice and nine other graduate programs He has degrees from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, the University of Michigan, Rensselaer Institute of Technology (New York), and the University of Connecticut. He is an internationally recognized expert in hazardous material transportation, strategic planning and higher education leadership, and has published numerous articles in a variety of journals. He is a retired captain after 23 years of commissioned service in the U. S. Coast Guard and is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame and a distinguished graduate from his alma mater. Haas is married to Marcia (Knapp) Haas, a native of Union City, Michigan, and a graduate of Albion College. They have three children and four grandchildren.

Tim Sowton, Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policy, Business Leaders for Michigan
Tim Sowton is Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy for Business Leaders for Michigan responsible for policy advocacy, policy development, and supporting the organization’s economic development efforts. Prior to joining Business Leaders for Michigan, Tim was Regional Director of Government Relations for R. L. Polk & Co. based in Southfield, Michigan. In that position, Tim managed all government relations efforts for a 17-state region, including Michigan. In addition, he supported the company’s business development efforts negotiating agreements with private vendors. Tim also served for 9 years in the administration of former Governor John Engler holding several positions focusing on policy and legislation, his last position being Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs.

Tim has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, Director of the Social Policy and Politics Program, Third Way
A true believer in listening to all sides of an argument, Lanae draws on her extensive background in Constitutional and civil rights law to promote a moderate approach to social issues at Third Way. Lanae loves working on the hardest and most divisive subjects, and as Director of Social Policy & Politics, she does just that, tackling hot-button issues like marriage for gay couples, immigration, abortion, religious liberty, and guns. Lanae spearheaded Third Way's Commitment Campaign, which mobilized moderate Americans to support marriage for gay couples by changing the conversation from legal rights and benefits to the importance of making a lifetime commitment in front of family and friends. This is an issue particularly close to Lanae's heart—she married her wife in April 2012, and just four days after their honeymoon, President Obama became the first president to voice his support for marriage, saying he didn't want to deny committed couples the ability to make that promise to take care of one another for a lifetime. Before coming to Third Way, Lanae was Legislative Counsel at Alliance for Justice, where she investigated the backgrounds of federal judicial nominees on civil and human rights and advocated for progressive policies on issues from detention and interrogation policy to equal pay. Before that, she was a “real" lawyer at the Legal Rights Center and the Center for Victims of Torture. She earned her J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota, and her Bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College. Originally from the beautiful Land of 10,000 Lakes (which actually has significantly more than 10,000 lakes), Lanae now lives in Washington, D.C., with her wife. She has played violin since the first grade and is the principal second violinist in Washington's Capital City Symphony.

Rachel Fishman, Senior Policy Analyst, New America Foundation
Fishman is a policy analyst with New America’s Education Policy Program. She provides research and analysis on policies related to higher education including college affordability, public education, data transparency, and access and success of underrepresented students. Fishman and her work have been cited in such media outlets as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington Monthly, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle of Higher Education, and NPR. Her blogging on financial aid won a national award from the Education Writers Association in 2013. Fishman previously worked as an education advisor for The College Planning Center in Boston where she provided guidance to students and families how to plan and pay for college. Fishman holds a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dennis Jones, President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
Dennis Jones is President of NCHEMS, a nonprofit research and development center founded to improve strategic decision making in institutions and agencies of higher education. A member of the staff since 1969, Mr. Jones is widely recognized for his work in such areas as:

  • Developing "public agendas" to guide state higher education policymaking.
  • Financing, budgeting, and resource allocation methodologies for use at both state and institutional levels.
  • Linking higher education with states' workforce and economic development needs.
  • Developing and using information to inform policymaking

Mr. Jones has written many monographs and articles on these topics, has presented his work at many regional, national, and international conferences, and has consulted with hundreds of institutions and state higher education agencies on management issues of all kinds. Prior to joining NCHEMS, Mr. Jones served as an administrator (in business and in institutional planning) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from that institution in the field of management engineering.

John Walsh, Director of Strategy, Governor’s Office
John Walsh serves as Director of Strategy to Governor Rick Snyder. Previously, John represented residents of Livonia as a state representative, serving on the House Appropriations Committee and House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, and as chair of the House Judiciary Appropriations Subcommittee. John practiced corporate law for 15 years prior to joining Schoolcraft College as an executive in 2001. He has a long history of public service, previously serving residents in the 19th District as Chair of the Livonia Planning Commission; a member and Vice President of the Livonia City Council; Chairman of the Livonia Economic Development Partnership; Chairman of the Board, Livonia Chamber of Commerce; and Vice Chair of the Schoolcraft College Board of Trustees. John was recently selected as a “rising star” of American government by the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship Program for Public Leadership. John graduated from Michigan State University in 1984 and then attended Wayne State University Law School graduating in 1987. John and wife Janice are the proud parents of Shelby and Jack.

State Senator Curtis Hertel Jr., Minority Vice Chair, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education
In 2014, Curtis was elected to the 98th Michigan Legislature, as the State Senator for the 23rd district. He was chosen as the Minority Whip and Chairperson for the Democratic Caucus Campaign Committee. He previously served as Ingham County Register of Deeds from 2009 to 2014, working hard to inform the public about the dangers of property and mortgage fraud. He battled the foreclosure crisis by educating residents about their options, and the types of government help available to them. Previously, he served as an Ingham County Commissioner from 2001-2008. On the Commission, Curtis focused on expanding access to health care in the community through the Ingham Health Plan, improving the quality of Ingham County’s housing stock through his work on the Ingham County Land Bank Authority, and improving the lives of workers in the community by passing the living wage. While a commissioner, he also served as Vice-chair of the Board of Human Services Committee. Curtis Hertel Jr. is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College. He lives in Meridian Township, is married to Elizabeth, and has 4 children: CJ (age 8), Nathan (age 7), Hailey (age 6), and Jack (age 2).

John Austin, President, State Board of Education
John Austin, 50, directs the Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas Foundation,, a center for ideas and network-building to advance Michigan’s economic transformation. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution, and a Michigan statewide elected official, re-elected in 2008 to his second-term, and elected by his peers to be President of the Michigan State Board of Education. Mr. Austin also served as Policy Director for Michigan’s Governor-appointed Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth, and was principal author of the Commission’s influential report. He was the founding Director of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan—a $100 million effort by the region’s philanthropies to aid in the area’s economic transformation, and initiated the Global Detroit program to welcome immigrants as a source of economic strength and renewal. Austin received his Masters in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelors from Swarthmore College in Economics & Political Science, with High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Austin has been married 25 years to his wife Terese. They and their three children reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tim Bartik, Senior Economist, Upjohn Institute
Bartik's research focuses on state and local economic development and local labor markets. This research includes studies of how taxes and public services, such as education, affect local and national economies. Bartik is recognized as a leading scholar on state and local economic development policies in the United States. His 1991 book, Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?, is widely cited as an important and influential review of the evidence on how local policies affect economic development, and his 2011 book, Investing in Kids: Early Childhood Programs and Local Economic Development, argues that early childhood programs can be a cost-effective complement to business tax incentives in promoting local economic development. Nobel Prize–winning economist James Heckman writes about Investing in Kids, “Tim Bartik has written a thoughtful book on the value of a local approach to financing and creating early interventions to foster child development.”

Michael Hansen, President, Michigan Community College Association
Mike Hansen is the President of the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) where he works with the State’s 28 community colleges to advance MCCA’s public policy agenda. Prior to coming to the MCCA, Mike worked for the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency where he was a chief analyst for Capital Outlay and Community Colleges. His professional background also includes teaching in the public schools. Mike has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from Michigan State University in Labor Relations.

Daniel Hurley, CEO, Michigan Association of State Universities
Daniel Hurley is the CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities, which serves as the coordinating board for the state’s 15 public universities. He is returning to the Association where he served from 2003-2007 as its director of university relations. From 2007-2015, Hurley served as the associate vice president for government relations and state policy for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, based in Washington, D.C. He has received a Ph.D. in public administration from Western Michigan University, a master’s degree in career and technical education from Ferris State University, and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Grand Valley State University. He has served as an adjunct professor for all three of his alma maters, as well as George Mason University (VA) and George Washington University (D.C.), teaching in the fields of communications, educational leadership, higher education finance and public policy. He is married to Jana Hurley, who serves as the assistant vice president for university life at George Mason University. They have a son, Jameson, age 9, and reside in Okemos.

Chery Wagonlander, Director, Michigan Early/Middle College Association
Dr. Chery Wagonlander is the founding and current principal of Mott Middle College, a Genesee Intermediate School District, Mott Community College collaborative, in Flint, Michigan. The high school is celebrating its twentieth year as a multi-district full servicing middle/early college. Chery is the director of both the technical assistance center for Michigan Middle and Early Colleges located on the campus of Mott Community College and the recently formed Michigan Early Middle College Association (MEMCA). In addition, she has a long history serving in the role of a Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) coach to new middle and early colleges across the country. Having earned a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan, a Specialist Degree from Oakland University and a Doctorate Degree from Eastern Michigan University, Chery has specialized in dropout prevention through high school reform. Chery shares her passion for education with her art educator and practicing artist husband Fred. They have two adult children: son, physician John Wagonlander and daughter, retail manager Katherine Wagonlander.

Patty Cantu, Director, Office of Career and Technical Education, Michigan Department of Education
As the Director for the Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE), Patty Cantú provides direction and leadership to department staff and to constituents in the field to assure Career and Technical Education programs are aligned with the goals and mission of the Department and the State Board of Education. She addresses stakeholders and partners about the integral role of Career and Technical Education in the high school curriculum, the smooth transition of high school students to postsecondary education, issues in curriculum development using Career Clusters, and the importance of Educational Development Plans. In addition, she prepares and submits all required state and federal plans and reports for Career and Technical Education to ensure effective administration of the OCTE. She coordinates appropriate collaborative initiatives with the Department of Labor and Economic Growth offices, community colleges, agencies, organizations, business/industry, and other partners. She works effectively with the U. S. Department of Education to implement the Michigan State Plan for Career and Technical Education, which includes performance measures for Carl D. Perkins federal funding. Patty serves as the State Director for Career and Technical Education in Michigan.

Ms. Cantú has an M.A. degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership and a B.S. degree in HRD/Early Childhood, both from Oakland University. In addition, she has done post master’s degree course work in counseling at Oakland University and doctoral course work in education administration at the University of Michigan.

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Wed, 10/21/2015 - 9:45pm
I wonder if Bridge could post the slides or handouts for readers to better understand the issues.
John Q. Public
Thu, 10/22/2015 - 9:19pm
Same old names. Gonna say the same old things. "Here's what we could do--but won't."
Fri, 10/23/2015 - 8:21am
Any idea why The Center for Michigan doesn't want to try using Bridge readers as a 'public think tank' and see what kind of innovative approaches might develop? Readers may not have the curriculum vitae of the speaker, but I expect we collectively have the creativity of them and without their boundaries.
Tue, 10/27/2015 - 2:51pm
John Q Public I have attended these conferences for several years and I am not required to agree with everything that is said. That being said I still come away feeling I have learned something. Dale Westrick
Wed, 10/28/2015 - 12:46am
dale, But did the 'experts' learned anything, did they gained a bit of a different perspective on the issue? Or were they so locked into their positions that they have no room to learn?