- A 123% increase in the cost of tuition between 2001 and 2018
- A 210% increase in the amount of long term debt between 2001 and 2015
- A 672% increase in the amount of interest related payments on capital and related activities from 2002-2016
- A faculty that is amongst the lowest paid in the Big 10
- An administration that is amongst the top paid in the country (former President Simon being at one time the 6th highest paid university president in the US)
- Under performing endowment investments consisting of risky hedge funds (the average annual rate of return on my 401K is better, and I do not pay millions per year in investment fees)
- $60.6 million of MSU’s endowment invested in Renaissance International Equity Fund, whose CEO is Breitbart co-owner Robert Mercer
The Roosevelt Institute’s study, “The Financialization of Higher Education at Michigan State University”, sheds a long overdue light on the various bad decisions that MSU leadership made over the past 15 years.
If you care about the future of MSU, you need to read it.
So, what can we do to fix this mess? My priorities are clear, simple and precise, and they are below:
We need to immediately:
- Re-institute Tuition Guarantee to ensure tuition does not increase above rate of inflation
- Institute a 3-year budgeting process to help students plan and help departments, students, faculty and staff advance core strategic priorities
And when I am elected as MSU Trustee, I will work to:
- Redirect $5,000,000/year in revenue generated from MSU athletics to MSU general fund
- Achieve $20,000,000/year in savings via a full review of all academic programs to eliminate redundancy and legacy programs
- Achieve $100,000,000/year in savings via a moratorium on all non-essential capital projects; renegotiate interest rates on outstanding loans; identify opportunities to increase efficiencies of physical plant operations and campus-wide energy costs
- Launch MSU Promise, modeled after University of Michigan’s HAIL Scholarship, guaranteeing free tuition for Michigan middle class families making $65,000 or below/year in annual income
- Realize year-over-year increases in faculty and staff salaries to place MSU in top 5 universities in Big 10 in terms of compensation by 2022
- Examine all executive compensation agreements and make adjustments to ensure alignment with peer organizations
- Restructure endowment investments to prioritize ethics, transparency and return, re-negotiate advisor fees and launch new set of guidelines to ensure MSU’s endowment outperforms its peers
I have the experience to make this happen. As a student, I was elected to 2 consecutive terms as a representative to the MSU Board of Trustees. I worked with students, administration and board members to mitigate tuition increases, preserve $100,000,000 in annual scholarship funding for Michigan’s students and launch a public information campaign to increase state appropriations for Michigan’s public colleges and universities.
Now, I need your help to return to MSU and fix these messes. I need you to like our Facebook page, to follow me on Twitter and to join the conversation. I need your contribution to make our message heard. And, I need you to visit www.votemattclayson.com and endorse me. Together, we can chart a new future for Michigan State University.