ELECTION 2012: MSU Trustees Ferguson, Foster Face Challengers Sakwa, Mosallam

Nov 5, 2012

Voters will elect two people to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

The chair and vice-chair, a Democrat and a Republican, are up for re-election. Each major party also has nominated another candidate to help run MSU for the next eight years.

The chairman is Democrat Joel Ferguson. The Lansing developer expresses pride that the Democrats and Republicans on the board have worked collegially in recent years, saying the board is most effective “when you don’t read about us.”

Some of the credit for that board collegiality is shared with Melanie Foster, the Republican who is the board’s vice-chair. Her background is in the landscape and nursery business.

(LINK: Trustees Ferguson and Foster appeared on a recent edition of WKAR's "Off The Record")

Each major party has nominated a challenger in hopes of claiming both spots on the board, but neither of them seems particularly partisan.

Democrats nominated Brian Mosallam. He’s a Dearborn-based financial advisor with AXA Advisors and a former MSU football player. Mosallam says he bought Michigan Education Trust contracts for his children three years apart, and the price had shot up 40%. For him, that brought increasing tuition costs into sharp focus.

The second Republican on the ballot is Jeff Sakwa, owner of Noble Realty in Farmington Hills. He advocates for line-item veto power as one way to keep MSU affordable.