Maxine Berman given 3-year extension as Griffin Endowed Chair

Maxine Berman, Griffin Endowed Chair, has had her three-year term extended for another year in order to line up the terms of the Endowed Chair with the presidential election cycle.

“This is the perfect opportunity to make that change,” said David Jesuit, a professor of political science involved in the selection process for the chair position.

The Griffin Endowed Chair, selected by the political science department, is an expert with experience in politics and government who teaches two classes per year and organizes two Griffin forums each year on topics related to politics and government.

“When the program was begun, they were not looking for people from academia,” Berman said. “They wanted people with hands-on experience in politics or government. They can bring out a wealth of experience.”

Jesuit said the committee responsible for selecting the next chair began their search late this year and realized it may be difficult for them to find candidates able to commit to the position, because of the election.

“From now on, each chair will be there during a gubernatorial and a presidential election,” Jesuit said. “It seems to make a lot of sense.”

Berman is the fourth chair since the program was started in 2000. Her initial term began in August 2009 and will now run through April 2013.

“I certainly enjoy doing this, but I had just assumed it would be over in April,” Berman said.

Berman teaches a class on issues related to political campaigns each fall and a class on the legislative process and issues in the spring.

She said she tries to bring speakers into her classes every week.

“The goal is to see real-life people, not just talk to students about the topics,” Berman said.

“We are very excited to have her back for one more year,” Jesuit said. “Students have been very positive in their feedback and Berman has done a very commendable job.”


  1. Michmediaperson says:

    When are we going to get a Republican in this position.

    Prior to Democrat Berman, we had Democrat Gary Peters.

    Are we going to play fair and have diversity in thought and opinion and get a Republican?

    Or is this to ram the Democrat Party agenda down the student’s throat?

    The Political Science department isn’t going to get us a conservative Republican.

  2. Dr. Orlando Perez says:

    The headline of this story is misleading. Ms. Berman has been given a one-year extension! The headline makes it seem like it is three years.
    There have been four Griffin Chairs since the position was established two Republicans, Craig Ruff and Bill Ballanger and two Democrats, Gary Peters and Maxine Berman. The Political Science Department does not look for the person’s partisan affiliation when selecting the Griffin Chair. We look to the best candidate who can meet the criteria for the position. Ms. Berman has done an excellent job and deserves the extension.

    • Michmediaperson says:

      Dr. Perez, you can’t find a qualified Republican? 

      You got to be kidding?  Contact Engler’s former associates, Snyder’s current employees, State Reps and Senators, GOP folks who were term-limited.  What about Cropsey?  He comes to mind.  What about term-limited Republicans besides Cropsey from the central part of the state?  What about the staffs of Michigan’s congressional members? 

      It’s as bad as Black History Month, MLK Day, Hispanic Month—–always liberal Democrats.

      I’ll bet  Berman’s replacement is a Democrat.  We’ll never see a Republican again.

      Sad thing is that Bob Griffin was a great Republican.

      Perhaps, we need an affirmative action search for a Republican.  When it comes to a replacement, I hope CM LIFE does an FOI to see exactly how CMU went about looking for a Republlican.

  3. Michmediaperson says:

    Dr. Paul for the Griffin Endowed Chair.

    Time for the Liberals in the Political Science department to hand the baton to a Republican.

    We’ve had 2 liberal Democrats in a row.

    After seeing the rock star popularity of Ron Paul, let’s get him to CMU.

    Could you imagine how much money CMU could haul in, both in the classroom and on-line with Ron Paul.  You’d have to have class in Finch or McGuirk Arena.

    Dr. Paul retires from Congress in January.  He could be here next April.

    Offer him a percentage of the tuition monies beyond what Berman brings in now.  I could see him with a couple thousand students on campus and several thousand more online.  Give him X-percent bonus of the tuition.  Paul and CMU could make a lot of money and CMU would have a distinguished faculty member. 

    Put our unknown political science department on the national map!

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