In a State of Evolution or Revolution?

Monday, September 26, 2016
​7:00 p.m.
Park Library Auditorium (view map)
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The role political parties play in the selection/election of candidates is changing. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders clearly speak to a movement that suggests the traditional role ​of the parties is being questioned. Are our major political parties in a state of evolution or revolution?

​​Forum p​anelists Brandon Dillon, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, and Ronna Romney McDaniel, chair of the Michigan Republican Party, shared their perspectives on what lies ahead. CMU p​​​olitical science and public administration professor Lawrence Sych served as moderator for ​the forum.​​​ A public reception was held in the Park Library Baber Room immediately following the forum​. ​​​

>>Click here to view a​ video of the event

Forum Panelists

Brandon DillonBrandon Dillon
Chair, Michigan Democratic Party
Vie​w website

Representing Kent County as a commissioner and Grand Rapids as a state representative, Brandon Dillon has been a leading voice and advocate for progressive causes, public education, labor, women's issues, LGBT rights, and Michigan's middle class.

A west Michigan native, he has a keen understanding of local issues throughout our state and brings to the Party a demonstrated ability to win races in competitive districts, including his own hard-fought victory to serve his first term in the state house. He has also worked as campaign chair for the Michigan House Democrats recruiting candidates, fundraising, and overseeing contests throughout the state.

Dillon is a graduate of Aquinas College with a Master's Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Prior to serving as an elected official, he interned for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy and worked for State Senator Jim Barcia.​

Ronna Romney McDanielRonna Romney McDaniel
Chair, Mic​higan Republican Party​
View website

Ronna Romney McDaniel was elected as chair of the Michigan Republican Party on February 21, 2015. She has been a grassroots conservative activist her entire life. She learned politics from the ground up, beginning as a driver for her mother’s U.S. Senate Race in 1994 and has worked on many political campaigns, from school board to Presidential.

Throughout her career, she has managed multi-million dollar budgets, has been responsible for the management of personnel and staff, and has overseen grassroots campaigns and media projects. In addition, she has been a successful fundraiser and has been involved in all aspects of campaigns and political projects.

In February 2014, Romney McDaniel was elected the Republican National Committeewoman from Michigan. She has served as a Precinct Delegate, as a District Committee Executive Member, and RNC Committeewoman in Michigan. She chaired the Women for Mitt Michigan Coalition in 2012, and served as National Delegate to the Tampa Convention representing Michigan’s 11th District. In 2013, she served as co-chair for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. She received her B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. 


Larry SychLawrence Sych, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Central Michigan University
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Lawrence Sych is a professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Central Michigan University. He served as department chair from 2001-2004 and 2013-2016.

He teaches courses in public administration and in state and local politics. His professional experience has focused in such areas. He worked as a budget analyst for Oakland County, MI. Many of his applied research and grant-funded projects address state and local government policy issues. He holds the Ph.D., from Michigan State University. He also earned masters degrees in Political Science from MSU and Public Administration from Oakland University.

An alumnus of Central Michigan University, he earned his B.S. degree in State and Local Government Administration. His main scholarly investigations are presently focused on budgetary politics and bureaucratic behavior, Michigan's gubernatorial elections from 1896 to the present day, and local income taxation. His latest publication is "Consolidated Pupil Transportation," co-authored with Professor Richard Senter, Jr., and published in School Business Affairs (September, 2000).  ​


Free parking is available in all campus parking lots after 4:00 p.m. Recommended parking lots for this event include Lots 27 & 18. View map

Event ​Sponsors​

The Griffin Policy Forums address social, political, economic, environmental and other current issues. They are hosted twice yearly by the Robert and Marjorie Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government, the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Central Michigan University.


About the Griffin Endowed Chair

​The Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government at Central Michigan University was established through generous gifts from alumni, faculty and friends of the university. It provides continuing support to fund the salary and associated costs of a government and public policy expert to serve as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration​ and to host twice yearly forums addressing public policy issues.

The endowment is named to recognize the significant public service and contributions of distinguished CMU alumni Robert P. Griffin (1923-2015)​ and Marjorie Griffin. Robert Griffin, '47, was a former U.S. Senator, and Marjorie, '44, is a former Clarke Historical Library board member. Read more​​​​

Fall 2016 Griffin Policy Forum