Friday, April 1, 2016

Breaking: More State Board Of Ed DRAMA: Ulbrich May Need To Resign

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at
The Vice President of Michigan's State Board Of Education may have to give up her post, a Macomb County attorney says.

WMP has obtained a letter from a lawyer in the area accusing Cassandra Ulbrich of illegally collecting a salary from Macomb Community College while serving on the SBE.

This development comes as the controversy raging over the Board's proposal to change the policies of schools across Michigan regarding transgender students shows no sign of dying down.

Because the SBE has authority over Macomb Community College, it appears Ulbrich's employment there may be unlawful-she may not be able to hold both posts...

Given she receives no compensation from her work on the SBE, it's unlikely she would resign from her MCC position.

The attorney says he was tipped off to the situation by Macomb Community College Trustee Joseph DeSantis.

Joseph DeSantis.

>>>Read the letter below:

"The President at MCC, Jim Jacobs, a former union organizer and union negotiator, hired Ms. Ulbrich - currently V.P. of the State Board of Education (SBE) on April 26, 2011 despite the clear violation of the Incompatible Public Office Act, MCL 15.818 et seq. (IPOA). 

The Mi. Const. Art. VIII, § 3 (1963) and MCL 388.1009 state that the SBE supervises all community colleges that don't award 4 year degrees. 

"The state board of education has leadership and general supervision of all public education; including adult education and instructional programs of the state institutions, except as to institutions of higher education granting baccalaureate degrees."

This matter was brought to my attention by a Trustee named Joseph DeSantis. Trustee DeSantis has since stopped attending all Board meetings, stating that the Board is controlled by others and votes are merely pro forma rubber stamps. My initial research into the Ulbrich issue did not take into account the case of Macomb County Prosecutor v Murphy, 464 Mich 149, 160; 627 NW2d 247 (2001) that ruled that public employees are "public officials" under the IPOA.

The Board of Trustees is totally and completely controlled by the unions at the College. For example, campaign disclosures by the Macomb County Clerk reveal that the MCC Board President, James Kelly, received 100% of his campaign finances from the administrator unions (UAW) and the full time faculty union (MCCFO). 

Consistent with my oath of office, I reported the Ulbrich matter to the Michigan AG. Recently, I received a letter from the AG declining to file an action of quo warranto to remove Ms. Ulbrich from the "public office" at MCC or the State Board of Education. A civil action (also called quo warranto) may now be filed to remove her under the Michigan Court Rules and the IPOA statute. This letter is to make aware of the violation so that the quo warranto litigation may be possibly avoided by Ms. Ulbrich's voluntary resignation.

As the memorandum indicates, Ulbrich is deemed to have vacated the previous office. The memorandum advances that it is her position at MCC, but some cases have ruled that either office may be subject to removal. Ulbrich has to make a choice under the IPOA, either the relatively high salary and premium benefits at MCC (a "public office" according to case law) or the SBE public office."


Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at

Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

1 comment:

  1. Isn't this essentially the same situation as the past head of the State School Board, who was kept on the Lansing school district payroll for decades, so that when he retired from the school board he was eligible to collect a HUGE pension from Lansing schools which was based upon his payroll with the board?