Governor appoints two new board members

Adelle Whitefoot

Gov. Rick Snyder appointed two new members to Northern Michigan University’s Board of Trustees.

The announcement was made on Jan. 24 that NMU alumni Stephen Gulis Jr. and Rick Popp will serve on the Board of Trustees for a term of eight years.  Anyone can nominate a person to serve on a board and people can also nominate themselves, said Ken Silfven, deputy press secretary from the governor’s office.

“As you can imagine, our appointments office gets thousands of resumes for various state boards and commissions,” Silfven said.  “So it is quite an extensive process.”

The appointments staff narrows down the list of possible candidates and talks to key people involved in the institution, such as university leaders, to get critical feedback about issues and challenges facing the board or institution.  They then match that information with each candidate’s skill set,” said Silfven.

“We do our best to find people who can add a good range of experience to the board and help round things out,” Silfven said.  “For example, we look at the type of diversity that a candidate would bring to the table in terms of skills set, age, gender and geography.”

The appointments office makes recommendations to the governor, who makes the final decision.  Many appointees have a tie to the university, though it’s not a requirement, Silfven said.

“But at the end of the day, we must be convinced that they have the university’s best interests at heart,” Silfven said.

Stephen Gulis Jr., a retired president of global operations for Wolverine World Wide Inc., graduated from NMU in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.   Gulis reached out to former Gov. Granholm and was not appointed, he said.

“On Gov. Snyder being elected he reached out to me and asked if I would still be interested,” Gulis said.  “I obviously was, and we began conversations, and I was appointed subsequent to that.”

Gulis said that he believes that the public education is going to be necessary for the recovery for the state of Michigan.

“Anything I can do to support strong public education is something that I’d really like to do to help any way that I can,” Gulis said.

Board of Trustee members were also appointed to Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan Tech University, Western Michigan University and Ferris State University.

“I have every confidence they will provide the leadership these universities need as we work to structure costs in a way that makes college affordable,” Snyder said.