Gov. Rick Snyder recently appointed Lindsay Eggers to the SVSU Board of Control for an eight-year term. SVSU President Donald Bachand said that the governor can appoint Board of Control members or ask SVSU for suggestions.
“I’ve had experiences with governors who would call and ask about people they were considering to see if they would t in with the needs of the Board of Control members from our perspective,” he said. “Sometimes, they just appoint somebody who you knew nothing about or had no association with in the past.”
Eggers was appointed without consulting SVSU. Bachand said Snyder has both asked SVSU for assistance in the selection process and appointed people outright. Either way, Bachand said that all the board members Snyder has chosen have been “very high-quality people.”
“I think the governors have different goals of their own they’re trying to accomplish with these appointments that vary from administration to administration,” Bachand said.
Bachand said that Eggers’ local connections will help her succeed at SVSU.
“(Eggers) is from the local area,” Bachand said. “Her parents were the principal founders of the Stevens Family Business program, so (she) is very well-known in the area, in the business community and the philanthropic community. … I’ve met her on a number of occasions in the past, and we’re very delighted to have her as a board member at SVSU.”
Eggers was excited to join the SVSU community as well.
“I’ve always loved academia,” she said. “I’ve always ultimately seen myself coming back to the university in order to help mold future generations. So, when I got the invitation for the appointment, it was a natural fulfillment of what I always saw potentially happening.”
She believes her background will help her as she joins the board.
“My background is on the financial side, so I have strong financial oversight skills,” she said. “I am one to ask questions and push for change, but not just for change’s sake.”
Eggers sees learning the “academic lingo” to be one of her more immediate challenges for her new position.
“I’m used to being on a bank board, bank terminology and, in my industry, the moving and storage terminology, so I think that’s going to be the first hurdle,” she said.
The broad oversight needed for the job may also be a challenge, she said.
“There are so many components – from people, operations and personnel, so there are a lot more moving parts,” she said.
Despite the challenges, Eggers looks forward to having a lasting impact on students.
“I’m just looking forward to making a possible impact on the mindset of the alumni and, ultimately, on the students here and making sure they have a strong, well-rounded education, and making sure it’s not biased one way or another in our increasingly divided world,” she said.
John Kunitzer, the vice president of the Board of Control, believes Eggers’ background will help her be successful at SVSU.
“As president of Stevens Group, (Eggers) has a good understanding of what it takes to run an organization that is very complex,” he said.
Eggers’ ability to manage an organization will be useful at SVSU, Kunitzer believes.
“There are many facets to running a university: tuition, salaries, sports, wage negotiations, maintenance, hiring, energy contracts, food service. The list could go on and on,” Kunitzer said. “With her experiences at Stevens Group, which does business worldwide, she understands the complexities of running an organization.”
Bachand said Eggers is familiar with SVSU’s role in the region, which will help her in her new position.
“I think she’s very much acquainted with the issues for workforce development and the role the university plays in this day and age,” he said. “She’s tied to the community, she’s connected to the community and she’s got quite a bit of general awareness of what the university does.”
To help Eggers learn more about SVSU, she went through an SVSU orientation on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
Eggers said she is eager to join SVSU, especially because of their positive impact on the community.
“I have always been very impressed with the faculty, with the professionalism, with the community commitment here to SVSU,” she said. “It has a very strong reputation in our community, and just to be part of it is very exciting.”