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The Merit Advisory Council – Giving Your Organization a Voice

Merit Network’s Board of Directors is comprised of the CIOs of Michigan’s 13 public universities. The Merit Advisory Council (MAC) is formed by 21 individuals segmented by industry, voted in by Merit’s membership. These representatives gather feedback from their respective industries within Merit’s membership and share that feedback directly with the Board of Directors.  The MAC is your organization’s conduit to influencing the policies, procedures and the mission of Merit.


We asked our current MAC Chair, Randy Schapel, about his role within the community:


Q: How have you and your organization benefited from being a part of the MAC?


Randy: I do think that Mott has benefited because of my role on the MAC. It is in the same way all community colleges members have benefited from MAC representation; by being heard. Being part of this group allows Merit members’ needs to be directly acknowledged by Merit so they can shape their services in a way that will benefit not only community college members, but all of the Merit members. This is not something you see from any other service provider in Michigan.


Q: What do you feel you bring to the MAC?


Randy: I help represent the community college segment on the MAC. Community colleges in Michigan have almost unanimously chosen Merit as our internet provider and part of the reason I like to think is the representation the colleges receive as members on the MAC. I like to personally think that I help by bringing a technical component to the group as well as creative solutions to difficult problems.


Q: What would you say to individuals who haven’t considered participating on the MAC?


Randy: Join us! I am happy to be part of the MAC for as long as I am needed, but I do think change is important. Change can help bring fresh perspectives and new energy to the group. The time commitment is minimal, especially when you consider the input your organization will gain directly.


Q: What has been your most rewarding experience as a part of the MAC?


Randy: I think from an organizational level Mott has benefited from the price restructuring that occurred a couple of years back. Merit has always been a “good deal” when you consider the support and additional benefits, but after the restructuring it really made it a fantastic value. On a personal level, it’s been the connections I have made both with Merit as well as other intuitions and individual members.



If you’d like to learn more about participating in the MAC, or your industry’s representatives, visit: