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Governor Whitmer Appoints Lt. Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. and Raj M. Wiener to the Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control

August 7, 2019   


Governor Whitmer Appoints Lt. Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. and Raj M. Wiener to the Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control 

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today appointed Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. and Rajkumari ‘Raj’ M. Wiener to the Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control. 

“If we want every student in Michigan to get the skills they need to thrive in our state, we must ensure they all have access to a quality public education from kindergarten all the way through postsecondary,” Whitmer said. “Both Rajkumari and Lieutenant Governor Cherry have the experience and background to make positive and long-lasting impacts at Saginaw Valley State. I look forward to working with them as we prioritize our student's education and get every Michigander on a path to success.”  

John D. Cherry, Jr., of Clio, served as the 62nd Lieutenant Governor of Michigan. He dedicated more than 20 years of service in the Michigan Legislature as a State Representative, State Senator, and Senate Minority Leader. After serving as Lieutenant Governor, Cherry became CEO and President of his own public affairs consulting firm. He currently serves as the chairman of the St. Andrew's Society of Detroit Board of Trustees, vice president of the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations Board of Trustees, and as president of the Clan MacLachlan Association of North America.  

Lieutenant Governor Cherry earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan and Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan-Flint. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Saginaw Valley State University and an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Central Michigan University. Cherry is married to former Representative Pam Faris and they have two adult children, Meghan and John Daniel, and two granddaughters. 

Lieutenant Governor Cherry is appointed to succeed Scott L. Carmona, whose term expired July 21, 2019, for a term expiring July 21, 2027. 

“I have always believed that access to postsecondary education is a key to economic success for Michigan citizens, and our institutions of higher education make great contributions to the social and cultural life of Michigan communities as well.” Cherry said. “Saginaw Valley State University plays that key role for many of our citizens living in the Saginaw Valley, and as one of those neighbors, the health and vitality of the University is important to me. I know it is important to the Governor as well, and I hope to work with her to make SVSU an even stronger catalyst for the Saginaw Valley economy.” 

Rajkumari ‘Raj’ M. Wiener, of Williamston, is the former Director of the reorganized Michigan Department of Public Health, Chief of the Bureau of Health Facilities, and Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation. Following her service as Director, she founded Wiener Associates, PLC., a law firm specializing in health care, environmental, and human services law, lobbying, and policy consulting. In her retirement, Mrs. Wiener is a member of the Saginaw Valley State University Foundation Board, Sparrow Health System Community Care Board, and the Williamston Sunrise Rotary.  

Mrs. Wiener earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Saginaw Valley State University, Master of Sport Administration from Central Michigan University, and Juris Doctor degree from the Columbus School of Law. She is married to Richard Wiener and they have two adult children, Rachel and Robert.  

Mrs. Wiener is appointed to succeed Jenee L. Velasquez, whose term expired July 21, 2019, for a term expiring July 21, 2027. 

“SVSU was the launching pad for my professional successes.” Wiener said. “It has been the springboard for many, particularly in this region. My goal is to see that it serves as the springboard for even more students and to remove barriers for all who want to attend college.” 

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control is the governing body of Saginaw Valley State University. The Board has general supervision of the university and is granted the power of control and direction of all expenditures from the university's funds.  

These appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.