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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments to Midwest Higher Education Compact

Friday, October 2, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Steven Ender, of Grand Rapids, Karen McPhee, of Lowell, and Brian Whiston, of Okemos, to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact.

The Compact, founded in 1991, is one of four interstate compacts that contribute to the vitality of the Midwest by enhancing member states' ability to maximize higher education opportunity and performance through collaboration and resource sharing.

"These skilled and thoughtful individuals will work together with neighboring states to maximize educational opportunities for our young people while saving money for Michigan taxpayers," Snyder said.

Ender is president of Grand Rapids Community College, a position he has held since 2009. He has experience with Westmoreland County Community College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Ender earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Virginia Commonwealth University and both a master’s in student personnel in higher education and a doctorate of education in counseling and student personnel services from the University of Georgia.

McPhee is currently Gov. Rick Snyder’s senior education policy advisor. She previously was superintendent of the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District the sixth-largest in the state, supporting 55,000 students in 11 school districts, six charter schools and 18 parochial schools. McPhee has more than 30 years of education experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communications and public relations from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in management from Aquinas College.  

Whiston is currently state superintendent of schools. He previously served as superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools, the state’s third largest school district, and spent 10 years as director of government and community services for the Oakland County ISD. He also served as a local school board member for 17 years and held the position of President of the Michigan Parent Teacher Student Association. Whiston earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in political science from Wayne State University.

Members serve terms expiring at the pleasure of the Governor. The appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.