Mike Miller, a successful entrepreneur with several ventures to his credit, has received Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) AgiPac’s Friend of Agriculture endorsement in his bid to be elected to the Michigan State University’s (MSU) Board of Trustees.
Miller has created thousands of jobs in both the retail and high tech sector. He has owned everything from an auto dealership to a professional auto racing team. The most recent company he created, now known as Orchid Orthopedic Solutions (located in Holt), produces nearly $500 million annual revenue by creating high tech medical devices, and employs 2000 people -- 900 just in Michigan.
According to his campaign website, Miller is one person that has signed both sides of a paycheck. He hopes to put that first-hand experience to work as an MSU Trustee, citing what he terms as MSU’s “spending crisis.”
“In the 21.5 years from January 1997 through June 2018, the nominal price of college tuition in America shot up 191 percent,” claims Miller. “MSU’s sticker shock has been worse. In-state tuition for the freshmen of 2016 was 202 percent higher than it was 20 years earlier.”
According to Miller state lawmakers have given Michigan’s 15 public universities annual funding increases that outpace inflation for the last 10 years. “They gave a 6.4 percent increase for the 2016-17 school year,” he said. “The schools responded by jacking up spending $400 million -- despite having fewer students -- and half of that ($200 million) was paid for with … higher tuition!”
Miller also hopes to restore trust in the nation’s first land-grant institution, by openly addressing the unresolved issues from the Larry Nassar atrocities. “No one is more affected by these feelings of mistrust and the lack of sunshine than the student-athletes assaulted by Nassar,” Miller said. “My family feels this more than most. My daughter was a competitive gymnast, a Spartan volleyball player, and was treated by Nassar.”
Miller advocates that MSU’s Board of Trustees do more than just follow the “letter of the law” in obeying the state’s Open Meetings Act. “Following the spirit of the law means an attitude of accessibility, where closed meetings are used reluctantly, and only for reasons that clearly benefit the public’s interests,” he said. “The withholding of information has eroded credibility. Revealing information will restore trust.”