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Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. Serving as the state's business roundtable, Business Leaders for Michigan is composed of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities. Read more...

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Entries in Higher Education (19)


MI Universities Show Compelling Growth

Most Increase Key Outcomes and Perform Better Than National Peers

DETROIT, Mich. — Michigan’s public universities are showing impressive gains, according to the 2015 update of Business Leaders for Michigan’s Performance Tracker for Public Universities. 

Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) has identified higher education as both critical to producing the talent Michigan needs and a key economic sector that has the potential to build a New Michigan economy. 

“Four out of every five Michigan public universities are increasing their enrollments,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “In the short term, this translates into more students here in our state boosting economic activity and generating new research. Over the long haul, however, higher enrollment means increased investment and potentially higher population, entrepreneurship, and opportunities for statewide economic advancement.” 

This year’s key findings include: 

  • 12 of 15 institutions increased their enrollments
  • 10 of 15 have six-year graduation rates better than their peer average, and 11 have increased their graduation rate in the past year
  • 10 of 15 institutions have student retention rates better than their peer average, and nine have increased their retention rates over the past year
  • 10 of 15 awarded more total degrees than their peer average, and 12 have increased their total number of degrees awarded 

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When It Comes to Talent, Michigan Needs More…of Everything

Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council to Help Boost Educational Attainment

December 10, 2015, LANSING, MI,  — A group of public, private and postsecondary institutions are joining forces to increase educational attainment across Michigan.

The “Keep Learning, Michigan. For All It’s Worth.” campaign launches this week, with a website and social media messages aimed at heightening awareness of the need for teens and adults to continue their education and training beyond high school. These are the first elements of a comprehensive media campaign planned for launch in 2016. The campaign is spearheaded by the Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council.

“We know that within the next five years, 70 percent of Michigan jobs are going to require more than a high school diploma,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, which is part of the Council. “Currently, however, only 46 percent of state residents currently have the degrees and certificates they need to be successful.  We need to turn this around—and quickly—if we are going to be competitive as a state.”

“Keep Learning, Michigan” is released on the heels of last week’s report from the Michigan Postsecondary Credential Attainment Workgroup, which highlights the gap between state residents’ educational attainment and the need for skilled, knowledgeable workers.

 “This is about more than just getting and keeping jobs—it’s about how well state residents do economically once they get those jobs,” said Daniel Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “The evidence is overwhelming: the more one learns, the more he or she earns. Postsecondary education, in all its forms, pays dividends.” 

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New MI Higher Ed Council Begins Work

A unique panel of business, government and college/university leaders met today, launching a new, voluntary partnership aimed at boosting the economic contributions of Michigan’s higher education sector.

The Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council was created in response to a growing demand for educated, skilled workers in Michigan and the need to fully leverage the potential of higher education to meet that demand and drive economic growth.  The partnership is unique in that other such bodies across the nation are usually operated by government or public authorities.  

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How will rising Medicaid costs affect Michigan? 

Higher education is the most likely function of state government to be impacted by rising Medicaid costs according to Moody's Analytics. See how your state is forecasted to be impacted.

Read the Moody's Analytics report: Crowded Out: The Outlook for State Higher Education Spending. 



Where does Michigan rank in supporting entrepreneurs? 

Creating a great environment to support entrepreneurs isn't just about low tax rates.  If that was the case, Michigan would be number one - we exempt small business from paying our corporate income tax.  

Entrepreneurs also need talent (Michigan ranks below average in education attainment), infrastructure (Michigan has some of the worst roads in the nation) and quality support programs for entrepreneurs (Michigan has many, but they're uneven in quality).

See all the rankings in Entrepreneur: 10 Best States for Starting a Business

Michigan Economic Rankings