© 2023 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State Republicans nominate Menge, Balow to appear on the ballot for MSU trustee seats

Two separate photos edited together of Mike Balow standing outside next to the MSU campus Sparty statue and Travis Menge at the Lansing Center for the GOP nominating convention.
Travis Menge and Mike Balow
Mike Balow (left) and Travis Menge (right) are the state Republican party nominees to serve on the MSU Board of Trustees.

Updated on August 29 at 1:24 p.m. ET

The race for two seats on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees is now set. That’s after the state Republican Party finalized its nominees at a Lansing convention this weekend.

Dr. Travis Menge is an orthopedic surgeon based in Grand Rapids. His campaign website touts his medical background, saying he’s prepared to help MSU navigate unexpected challenges like the Larry Nassar scandal and the safe return to in-person instruction after the COVID pandemic.

Menge also says freedom of speech and the protection of personal liberties are crucial to the university community. He says he would further position MSU as a leader in science, engineering, and technology.

Menge is joined on the GOP ticket by Mike Balow. On his website, Balow says he wants to be “a voice of reason and change" to what he describes as an “incredibly dysfunctional environment” in MSU’s leadership.

Balow is the father of a member of the university’s former swim and dive team and says he’s committed to bringing the program back.

Last April, Menge and Balow were endorsed by party members over current trustee Melanie Foster.

Michigan Democrats have nominated Dennis Denno and incumbent trustee Renee Knake Jefferson for the board.

The winners in November's election will serve eight-year terms.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Balow was involved in a lawsuit against MSU over the elimination of the swim and dive program. He is not, but his daughter is a plaintiff in the suit.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Related Content
Reporters at WKAR work tirelessly in our community, covering topics and issues other news outlets don't. Every donation, no matter how small, helps fund more reporting about our hometowns. Make your donation today!