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WHEREAS, Section 1 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 vests the executive power of the State of Michigan in the Governor;

WHEREAS, Section 4 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 authorizes the establishment of temporary commissions or agencies for special purposes;

WHEREAS, under Section 1 of 1931 PA 195, MCL 10.51 the Governor may, at such times and for such purposes as the Governor deems necessary or advisable, create special advisory bodies consisting of as many members as the Governor deems appropriate;

WHEREAS, Section 17 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 empowers the Governor to present to the Legislature information as to the affairs of the state and recommend measures that she considers necessary or desirable;

WHEREAS, under Section 25 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Lieutenant Governor may perform those duties requested by the Governor;

WHEREAS, the skill and determination of Michigan’s workforce established our state as a world-renowned center of manufacturing in the 20th century and created the high quality of life we continue to enjoy today;

WHEREAS, both Michigan’s core manufacturing industries and the new technology-based enterprises we seek to grow in the 21st century demand the talents of an increasingly educated workforce;

WHEREAS, two-thirds of the jobs that will be created in the next decade will require post-secondary education and training;

WHEREAS, Michigan now falls below the national average in critical measures of educational attainment and, in the case of the number of our citizens who have attained bachelor’s degrees, our state is far behind states that are leaders in the race for economic development and jobs;

WHEREAS, ninety percent of our students express the desire to go to college as they enter high school, but only forty-one percent attend college four years later and only eighteen percent have attained bachelor’s degrees six years after enrolling;

WHEREAS, those earning bachelor’s degrees can be expected to earn sixty percent more than those with high school diplomas while those with associate’s degrees earn twenty-five percent more than high school graduates;

WHEREAS, the businesses we hope to attract to Michigan cite the availability of a skilled workforce as a chief factor in determining where to make job-creating investments;

WHEREAS, Michigan businesses have identified a future shortage of skilled workers as a major impediment to economic growth and the prosperity it creates;

WHEREAS, other states and other nations have made great strides in increasing both the availability of higher education to their citizens and in strengthening the link between higher education and economic development;

WHEREAS, Michigan cannot hope to maintain its economic vitality and the quality of life of its residents without making a dramatic increase in the number of our citizens who attain degrees and other credentials that link them to economic opportunity;

WHEREAS, the people of Michigan have created institutions of higher learning, including state universities and community colleges, to open the doors of educational opportunity to all;

WHEREAS, that opportunity must include the ability to earn degrees and other credentials linked to success in our knowledge-based economy; and

WHEREAS, we must act now to help the citizens of Michigan attain the post-secondary education they desire and that our economy demands.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan, by virtue of the power and authority vested in the Governor by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, order the following:


    1. The Lieutenant Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth (the “Commission”) is created as an advisory body within the Executive Office of the Governor.

    2. The Commission shall consist of Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry, Jr., as chair and 30 additional voting members appointed by the Governor.

    3. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Senate Minority Leader each may designate one member of the Michigan Legislature to participate as nonvoting members of the Commission.

    4. In addition to the members appointed under Section I.B and I.C, the State Board of Education President, the Director of the State Budget Office, the Director of the Department of Information Technology, the Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Growth, the State Treasurer, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, or their designees, will serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the Commission.

    5. Members of the Commission appointed by the Governor shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

    6. A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.


    1. The Commission is advisory to the Governor and shall make recommendations to:

      1. Build a dynamic workforce of employees who have the talents and skills needed for success in the 21st Century economy.

      2. Double the percentage of citizens who attain post-secondary degrees or other credentials that link them to success in Michigan’s economy.

      3. Improve the alignment of Michigan’s institutions of higher education with emerging employment opportunities in the state’s economy.

    2. In exercising its duties the Commission will examine strategies to:

      1. Increase the number of students in Michigan who attain the skills critical to post-secondary success before graduating from high school.

      2. Increase the number of Michigan residents who attend post-secondary institutions.

      3. Increase the number of students who successfully complete their post-secondary studies and obtain bachelor’s degrees and other credentials relevant to existing and emerging economic opportunities.

      4. Maximize the benefits that higher education brings to Michigan’s economy.

    3. The Commission shall provide other information or advice as directed by the Lieutenant Governor.

    4. The Commission, not later than December 31, 2004, shall complete its work and issue a final report to the Governor for her consideration.

    5. A copy of the final report shall be transmitted to the Legislature and the State Board of Education.


    1. The Commission may promulgate bylaws, not inconsistent with Michigan law and this Order, governing its organization, operation, and procedures.

    2. The Commission shall be staffed by personnel from and assisted by state departments and agencies as requested by the Lieutenant Governor and directed by the Governor.

    3. The Commission shall meet at the call of the Lieutenant Governor and as may be provided in procedures adopted by the Commission.

    4. The Lieutenant Governor, as chair, may establish workgroups or committees assigning commission members to and inviting public participation on these workgroups or committees as the Lieutenant Governor deems necessary.

    5. The Commission may adopt, reject, or modify recommendations made by the workgroups and committees.

    6. The Commission shall act by majority vote of its present and voting members. A majority of the voting members of the Commission constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.

    7. The Commission may, as appropriate, make inquiries, studies, investigations, hold hearings, and receive comments from the public. The Commission may consult with outside experts in order to perform its duties.

    8. Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation. Members of the Commission may receive reimbursement for necessary travel and expenses according to relevant statutes and the rules and procedures of the Department of Management and Budget and the Civil Service Commission, subject to available funding.

    9. The Commission may hire or retain contractors, sub-contractors, advisors, consultants and agents, and may make and enter into contracts necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers of the Commission and the performance of its duties, as the Lieutenant Governor deems advisable and necessary in accordance with the relevant statutes, rules, and procedures of the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Management and Budget.

    10. The Commission may accept donations of labor, services, or other things of value from any public or private agency or person.

    11. Members of the Commission, staff, and contractors shall refer all legal, legislative, and media contacts to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.


    1. All departments, committees, commissioners, or officers of this state or of any political subdivision of this state shall give to the Commission, or to any member or representative of the Commission, any necessary assistance required by the Commission, or any member or representative of the Commission, in the performance of the duties of the Commission so far as is compatible with its, his, or her duties. Free access shall also be given to any books, records, or documents in its, his, or her custody, relating to matters within the scope of inquiry, study, or investigation of the Commission.

    2. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to diminish the constitutional authority of the State Board of Education pursuant to Section 3 of Article VIII of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, to provide leadership and general supervision over all public education, including adult education and instructional programs in state institutions, except as to institutions of higher education granting baccalaureate degrees; to serve as the general planning and coordinating body for all public education, including higher education; and to advise the Legislature as to the financial requirements in connection therewith.

    3. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to change the organization of the executive branch of state government or the assignment of functions among its units in a manner requiring the force of law.

    4. The invalidity of any portion of this Order shall not affect the validity of the remainder the Order.

This Order is effective upon filing.

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan this 22nd day of June, in the year of our Lord, two thousand four.