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Feb. 25, 2019

New trustees talk vision, priorities

In January 2019, the Board of Trustees welcomed three new members to its team. Brianna Scott and Kelly Tebay joined after winning races in the November 2018 election, and Nancy Schlichting was appointed by former Gov. Rick Snyder after Trustee George Perles resigned his position. InsideMSU recently asked the trio to discuss their priorities and why they wanted to join the governing board.

Nancy Schlichting

Why did you want to take on being an MSU trustee?
I accepted the governor’s appointment to the MSU Board of Trustees to bring my experience leading complex organizations and deep governance experience (serving on more than 80 boards) to the challenges the board faces.

What are your priorities?
My priorities are to learn everything I can about MSU, to improve the board’s governance processes, to demonstrate excellent board decision making and to select an outstanding new president of MSU.

What are the strengths the university can build on?
MSU has enormous strengths, including outstanding academic programs; excellent faculty; unique assets in communications, agriculture, nuclear science and health sciences; and a wonderfully diverse population of highly motivated and talented students. Other important strengths include a beautiful campus and unlimited opportunities for the entire MSU community to engage in community service and social and athletic activities.

Brianna Scott

Why did you want to take on being an MSU trustee?
I decided to run for the MSU Board of Trustees because I am a parent of a current MSU student who has been affected by the rising cost of tuition and lack of infrastructure improvements in the dorm halls, and also after observing the previous board’s behaviors and actions. I felt MSU needed new leadership and that my background as a former assistant prosecuting attorney and being in private practice for more than 18 years, advocating for victims’ rights, would be useful. I also felt that as a minority and someone who had a child while attending MSU as a student, I could understand the struggles of nontraditional students.

What are your priorities?

  • To assist the university in finding the next president to lead the university forward.
  • Establish a relationship with the Sister Survivors and work toward restoring the trust in the leadership of MSU, while improving our policies and procedures to ensure nothing like Larry Nassar can ever occur on this campus again.
  • Be engaged with the campus community and foster greater transparency between leadership, administration and the faculty, staff and students.
  • Improve matters of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Craft new policies to control costs of tuition, increase our endowment and provide more financial aid.

What are the strengths the university can build on?
MSU has a very large and proud alumni base that is supportive of the university and wishes to see it be the best. The strength of our faculty, research and departments is something to be proud of and to build upon. We have a very diverse student population and our Extension offices provide a strong connection in the communities they touch throughout the state. We have new board members who are bringing new ideas and more engagement and who are helping to shape the changes that have been needed.

Kelly Tebay

Why did you want to take on being an MSU trustee?
I wanted to be part of creating a “new MSU,” one that is committed to a significant change in culture, transparency and inclusion. I want to create an MSU that admits when mistakes are made, works to fix them and has leaders who are accessible and accountable.

What are your priorities?

  • Changing our culture to focus on the people who make up MSU.
  • Doing right by the Sister Survivors and ensuring that MSU is a safe place for everyone.
  • Making sure any Michigander who wants to attend MSU can afford to and graduate without crippling debt.

What are the strengths the university can build on?
There are so many amazing people on campus, and alumni all over the world, who are committed to changing our culture and offering to be part of solutions. We should utilize their expertise and welcome them into this process.

By: Jason Cody