Saturday, September 15, 2012

Satish Jasti nominated for the Wayne State board

Lotus Bank founder says he can help improve university

Satish Jasti, founder of Novi's own, Lotus Bank, has been nominated to run for the Board of Governors at Wayne State University.

Last weekend at the state's Republican Party Convention in Grand Rapids, Novi City Councilman David Staudt nominated Jasti as one of the candidates to run for two openings on the Wayne State board. Staudt thinks Jasti would bring a business mindset and different perspective to the university's ruling body.

“The Republican Party welcomes and encourages candidates of all ethnicities,” said Staudt, who is also treasurer of the Oakland County Republican Party. “As an individual of Indian heritage, Satish brings diversity to the position and party.”

The position will be up for vote on the statewide ballot Nov. 6. Jasti, along with another Republican candidate, will be running against two Democrats.

For Jasti, this is an exciting opportunity because he is a 1984 graduate of Wayne State and he wants the chance to help his alma mater improve.

“I'm really excited to be nominated, and I believe Wayne State needs more Republican representation,” he said. “It is time to elect the right people with appropriate backgrounds in offering solutions, raising money, controlling costs - people that have the knowledge and the mettle to get things done. Otherwise, we (the taxpayers) will all be paying for it in the long run from our pocketbooks.

His main motivation in running is student debt, which he said comes from increasing tuition rates. According to Jasti, the aggregate student debt is at $1 trillion and its expected to grow as less support is given by state governments.

“The universities have gotten into the habit of increasing tuition revenue to replace the support from the states,” Jasti said. “We need to manage our institutions with fewer state dollars without sacrificing quality or all-important academic rankings.”

According to Jasti, in 2001, 63 percent of Wayne State's General Fund revenue came from the state. In 2012, that percentage dropped to 32 percent and tuition now makes up 60 percent of the revenue.

Another area he wants to see improved is the decreasting graduation rate which he believes the board has a responsibility to increase.

“The lower the graduation rates, the lower the federal research money coming to the university,” said Jasti. “If we don't improve the graduation rates, the reputation of the university also takes a blow -- thus affecting attracting talented professors and research scientists.”

A West Bloomfield resident, Jasti has been married to his wife, Sree, for 25 years and they have two daughters, ages 22 and 15. He founded Lotus in 2005 and left there in 2010 for a position at the Bank of Ann Arbor's Plymouth office, where he is currently the vice president and senior loan officer.
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