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Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to University Governing Boards


February 18, 2022 



Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to University Governing Boards 


LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the following appointments to Ferris State University Board of Trustees, Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees, and Western Michigan University Board of Trustees. 


Ferris State University Board of Trustees 


Michael Ryan, Ph.D., of Big Rapids, is a former professor for the Ferris State University Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Ryan retired in 2017 after teaching at Ferris for 40 years. During his time at Ferris, Dr. Ryan was the president of the Ferris Faculty Association and a member of the Michigan Education Association Board of Directors, Michigan Association for Higher Education Board of Directors, and several Ferris State committees. In his retirement, Dr. Ryan is a board member with Sister Celeste Derr Foundation and a volunteer with the Big Rapids Friends of the Library. He holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine, a Master of Science in Biology from Duquesne University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from St. Vincent College.   


Dr. Ryan is appointed for a term commencing February 18, 2022 and expiring December 31, 2026. He succeeds Kari Sederberg who resigned.  


Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees 


Melissa A. Holmquist, of Marquette, is the president and chief executive officer of the Upper Peninsula Health Plan. She has worked for the UP Health Plan since 2002, beginning as a receptionist and rising through the ranks to assistant director of operations, director of government programs, and chief operating officer. Ms. Holmquist is the treasurer for InvestUP, vice president of the Marquette Economics Club, and a member of Marquette Ambassadors. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Education from Northern Michigan University. 


Ms. Holmquist is appointed for a term commencing February 18, 2022 and expiring December 31, 2026. She succeeds Donna Murray-Brown who resigned.  


Western Michigan University Board of Trustees 


Jon Hoadley, of Kalamazoo, is an independent consultant and the membership engagement director for Michigan Donor Alliance. He previously served as a State Representative for the 60th House District and served as the minority vice chair of the Appropriations Committee and a member of the Higher Education and Community Colleges Subcommittee. Prior to his service in the House, Mr. Hoadley was the president of Badland Strategies, LLC and worked for other nonprofit organizations. He is engaged in a number of nonprofit organizations such as CARES HIV/AIDS Service Organization, Mother of Hope, OutFront Kalamazoo, Equality Michigan, and LGBT Detroit. Mr. Hoadley earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Social Relations and Women's Studies from Michigan State University and is currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration degree at Western Michigan University. 


Mr. Hoadley is appointed for a term commencing February 18, 2022 and expiring December 31, 2024. He succeeds Ron Kitchen who resigned.  


Article VIII § 6 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 establishes that Michigan's institutions of higher education, that are established by law as having authority to grant baccalaureate degrees, shall each be governed by a Board of Control which shall be a body corporate. The Board has general supervision of the institution and the control and direction of all expenditures from the institution's funds. The Board also, as often as necessary, elects a president of the institution under its supervision. Each Board of Control consists of eight members appointed by the Governor for eight-year terms.  


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