Board of Trustees

Clifton E. Haley, ’61, President Emeritus

Elected 1997

Clif Haley, a 1961 Detroit College of Law graduate, has been a member of the board since 1997. He was elected vice president in 1998 and president in 2001. He served as Law College president until assuming the role of board chair. Haley stepped down as chair in 2013.

During the 10 years he served as president, Haley led the Law College in advancing the long-term strategy of achieving Big Ten Law School reputation and reach and building a substantial endowment. An early advocate for affiliation, he worked with former MSU President M. Peter McPherson and then-Provost Lou Anna Simon in 2004 to negotiate a major academic change in the affiliation that resulted in Detroit College of Law becoming Michigan State University College of Law, a constituent college of the university.

Haley chaired the Board Integration Committee that recommended an historic transformation to strengthen the affiliation by providing that MSU’s president also would serve as president of MSU College of Law, with responsibility to manage and direct all academic, administrative, and financial affairs of the Law College. The change was approved by both the university and Law College boards and took effect July 1, 2011.

In addition to his Juris Doctor degree, Haley received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from MSU College of Law in 1993 and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Michigan State University in 2014. More than 40 years after earning his Juris Doctor degree, he joined his three daughters and two grandchildren when he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary humanities in 2003 from the MSU College of Arts and Letters. Haley uses his business experience to teach Mergers & Acquisitions as an adjunct faculty member at the Law College.

Haley is the former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Budget Rent-a-Car Corporation. From 1961 to 1977, he held a variety of domestic and international management positions at Ford Motor Company. Haley currently is president and owner of the Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center on Drummond Island, where he lives with his wife Carolyn, a lifelong educator. The island is located at the eastern-most point of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Haley is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Bar Association. He is an adviser to Altus Capital, an East Coast private equity firm, and is a board member and legal advisor for the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society.