Ballenger leaves legacy of notable accomplishments

CHSBS Under Discussion
Volume 10, No. 2
Fall 2007

Although the Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government position at Central Michigan University is a three-year term, Bill Ballenger stayed four. The decision to extend the contract was based on his notable success as chair, which will not soon be forgotten.

Ballenger, the editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, brought many positive things to his students, fellow faculty members and the entire CMU community. Among these include a day visit to the Capitol building in Lansing each semester and the creation of a Griffin Endowed Chair Web site.

"The most important thing Bill brought to his students was his enthusiasm for public service coupled with an incredibly extensive knowledge of Michigan government and history," said Larry Sych, CMU political science faculty member. "He supercharged his classes, and his students time and again have told me that while he's one tough professor, he is among the best they have had."

As chair, Ballenger taught two political science seminars and organized two forums annually that addressed public policy issues. The forums covered many diverse topics, including threats to the Great Lakes, gambling, judiciary elections, Michigan's economy, the 2004 presidential campaign, affirmative action, state elections and Michigan's Constitution.

"The most rewarding part of my role as the CMU Griffin Endowed Chair was developing both an academic and personal relationship with some outstanding students and personalities who I am convinced will go on to really make something of themselves in coming years," said Ballenger. "There is a lot of talent among the nearly 200 undergraduates I taught, and my life may grow dull without them."