MSU Board of Trustees elects David Porteous as chairperson

Contact: Deb Pozega, Osburn University Relations, (517) 355-2281

Jan 10, 2003

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today elected David Porteous to serve a two-year term as board chairperson.

Porteous, elected in 1998 to an eight-year term on the board, was elected by a unanimous vote. The board named Joel Ferguson vice chairperson, also for a two-year term.

Porteous, of Reed City, who graduated cum laude from MSU in 1974, said it was a privilege to serve as chairperson of the board in a time of great momentum for the university.

"It is an incredible honor for me to be elected to chair such a fine board and to play a key role in guiding the university as it serves the citizens of the state, the nation and the world," Porteous said. "I look forward to contributing as MSU continues to move forward."

Porteous, an attorney, has been in private practice since 1978, specializing in corporate and municipal law and governmental relations. He graduated with distinction from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing in 1977, studied international law at Oxford University in England and completed the Russian Language Program at Yale University.

"David has a deep and strong commitment to Michigan State University and I know he will be a great help to the university," MSU President Peter McPherson said. "I look forward, as do my colleagues here, to working with the new leadership of the board in what we know will be a very productive relationship."

Ferguson, of Lansing, was initially elected in 1986 to an eight-year term on the board and was elected again to serve an eight-year term in 1996. He co-founded F&S Development Co.; co-founded and served as president and owner of WLAJ-TV, Channel 53, an ABC affiliate station; and has organized several banks, including Capitol National Bank, the only locally owned bank in Lansing.

This year, Trustee Colleen McNamara will chair the policy committee, which also includes as members trustees Scott Romney, Dorothy Gonzales and Dolores Cook. Trustee Randall Pittman will chair the finance committee, which includes trustees Porteous, Ferguson and Donald Nugent.

Trustees of Michigan State University are elected by Michigan voters and have general supervision over the university and its funds. The board consists of eight members elected for eight-year terms. Members serve without compensation.

The schedule of board meetings for 2003:

  • Feb. 11-12 (action meeting)
  • April 10-11 (action meeting)
  • May 8-9 (information meeting)
  • June 26-27 (action meeting)
  • Aug. 6-8 (retreat)
  • Sept. 11-12 (action meeting)
  • Oct. 9-10 (action meeting)
  • Nov. 13-14 (information meeting)
  • Dec. 4-5 (action meeting)

At action meetings, the board typically discusses and takes action on items brought to it by the committees. Information meetings are held to keep the board informed on issues and initiatives at MSU. The annual retreat serves as a planning and evaluation session.

More information about the MSU board is available at