Michigan Tech President Testifies Before Senate Subcommittee

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz testified before the State Senate Higher Education Subcommittee, at a hearing at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on Monday, March 3. Representatives of UM-D, the University of Michigan-Flint and Oakland University also testified about higher education in Michigan and the state’s 2008 budget.

Mroz testified that Michigan Tech supports the Governor’s new higher education funding formula that recognizes degree completion, science, technology, engineering and math-related (STEM) degrees and research as drivers of the knowledge economy. He pointed out that 82 percent of Michigan Tech’s graduates are in STEM fields, more than any other Michigan university.

He reported on Michigan Tech’s new policy offering in-state tuition to out-of-state students who are the offspring or spouse of a person on full-time active U.S. military duty. Michigan Tech is the first university in the nation to offer this kind of financial aid to military families.

The president also testified that Michigan Tech students graduate with one of the lowest average debts in the state and in the nation. That is even more remarkable, he pointed out, because Michigan Tech has the highest percentage of traditionally high-cost programs in the state.

The demand for Michigan Tech graduates is high, Mroz went on to say, with 97 percent placed in jobs in their fields within six months of graduation.

Research expenditures likewise are growing dramatically, he reported, increasing much faster than research expenditures at Michigan’s other research universities.

Mroz told the subcommittee about several partnerships that Michigan Tech has developed with industries in Michigan, including Ford Motor Company, General Electric and Cargill Inc. Such partnerships help educate the skilled workers and create the jobs that are essential for a strong future economy in Michigan, he said.

Noting that Michigan Tech is an active partner in a Renewable Fuels Working Group—a collaborative effort of Michigan Tech and Michigan State Universities—Mroz expressed the University’s support for Renewable Portfolio Standards, to enable the state to use renewable energy initiatives to expand its economy.

The president complimented legislators on their action to enable international students, faculty and staff to get Michigan driver’s licenses more easily.

Mroz will testify before the House Higher Education Subcommittee on April 25.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.