Griffin Forum with our past Griffin Endowed Chairs in American Government.

Civility, Engagement and Polarized Politics:

How Can I Make a Difference? Five Perspectives from Distinguished Michigan Leaders

Monday, April 17, 2017

7:00 p.m.
Powers Hall Ballroom (view map)​​
Central Michigan University
Click here to view event flier


Five distinguished Michigan leaders who have served as the Robert and Marjorie Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government at Central Michigan University discussed civility, engagement and polarized politics during a forum held in the Powers Hall Ballroom April 17, 2017.

Our past Griffin Endowed Chairs include: 

  • Craig Ruff, 2000-2003
  • William S. Ballenger, 2003-2007
  • U.S. Senator Gary Peters, 2007-2008
  • Maxine Berman, 2009-2013
  • Gary Randall, 2013-2017

Media Coverage



Forum Panelists

Craig RuffCraig Ruff

Craig Ruff is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Previously, he was a Senior Policy Fellow for Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan consulting firm based in Lansing. <read more>

Craig Ruff was the first holder of the Robert and Marjorie Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government at Central Michigan University. He served from 2000-2003.




Bill BallengerWilliam S. Ballenger

Bill Ballenger is a Michigan political pundit who operates "The Ballenger Report." He was the founder of Inside Michigan Politics, a state-based biweekly subscription newsletter that he launched in 1987 and published for 27 years. He is a former state representative and state senator, an ex-state racing commissioner, and director of the Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulation. Mr. Ballenger also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare in the administration of President Gerald R. Ford. <read more>

Bill Ballenger served as the Griffin Endowed Chair at Central Michigan University from 2003-2007.



Senator Gary PetersU.S. Senator Gary Peters

Senator Gary Peters was elected in 2014 to represent the State of Michigan in the U.S. Senate. 

Senator Peters began his public service as a Rochester Hills City Councilman in 1991 before being elected to the Michigan State Senate and serving as the Michigan State Lottery Commissioner. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. <read more>

Senator Peters served as the Griffin Endowed Chair at Central Michigan University from 2007-2008.



Maxine BermanMaxine Berman

Maxine Berman is a former state representative, serving in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983 to 1996. She was the director of special projects for Gov. Jennifer Granholm from 2003 to 2008. She was elected to the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2015. <read more>

Maxine Berman served as the Griffin Endowed Chair at Central Michigan University from 2009-2013.






Gary RandallGary Randall

Gary Randall has been the clerk of the Michigan House of Representatives since 2010. He also serves as chairman of the Michigan State Capitol Commission and serves on the Michigan Legislative Retirement System Board of Trustees. Previously, he was clerk of the House of Representatives from 1999-2006 and assistant clerk from 2007-2010 and 1997-1998. He was a state representative from 1979-1996, including serving as the Republican Caucus Chair from 1983-84. 

He began his term as the Griffin Endowed Chair at Central Michigan University in 2013. 



Parking

Free parking is available in all campus parking lots after 4 p.m. on weekdays. Parking passes are not required. Recommended parking lots for this event include Lots 6, 3, 9 & 16. 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 Griffin endowment was named to recognize the significant public service of distinguished CMU alumni Senator Robert P. Griffin, '47​, and Marjorie Griffin, '44. Read more​​​​​