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New Michigan State Police director chooses Cleary for his Master’s Degree

(HOWELL) Cleary University is proud to announce that one of its master’s degree students was selected to lead the Michigan State Police.

On Thursday, Sept. 28, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer chose Capt. James F. Grady II to serve as Director of the Michigan State Police (MSP), succeeding Colonel Joe Gasper, who recently retired.


Capt. Grady joined the MSP in 1998 as a state trooper and worked his way up the ranks, first as a detective in southeast Michigan posts. His next position was section commander of the department’s Fraud Investigation team. In 2018, Capt. Grady was named assistant division commander for the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division of the MSP, which included serving as a liaison to the governor’s office. In 2020, he was promoted to captain and commander of the department’s training division.

Capt. Grady’s new role comes with a promotion to Colonel. His appointment is subject to the Michigan Senate’s consent. “We are very proud of Capt. Grady’s accomplishments, and especially proud that he chose Cleary to pursue his next level of education,” announces Alan Drimmer, PhD, president of Cleary University. “We are so gratified that the program appears to be resonating with the men and women of the Michigan State Police who do so much for our communities.

“Cleary established a degree program specifically for public safety individuals so they could complete their education easily, conveniently and affordably. To have such a high-ranking Michigan law enforcement official choose our institution speaks volumes about the merits of a Cleary education,” Dr. Drimmer adds.

Approximately two years ago, Cleary developed an innovative degree pathways program for first responders across the state who want to earn a BBA degree in Leadership, Diversity and Public Safety; or a master’s degree in Leadership. These pathway programs, credit officers and staff for previous course work toward a degree, for life and work experience, and for other completed certifications and training. This prior learning assessment process can help first responders complete their degree in far less time; many complete a degree in 12 months.

“Few universities award credit for corporate training and life experience in the way Cleary has,” reports President Drimmer. “Our faculty developed this degree program to ensure it would be quickly achievable, affordable and convenient for our students, many of whom are trying to balance work life, family life and school.”

Cleary offers:

  • Up to 90 credit hours for work/life experience and prior college coursework
  • 100 percent online classes
  • Reduced out-of-pocket tuition
  • Opportunities for tuition reimbursement, scholarships and grants to further reduce tuition costs
  • Flexible class schedule
  • Designated academic adviser to guide students throughout their entire college experience

To learn more about The Degree Completion Pathways Program for first responders, visit cleary.edu.

About Cleary University

Founded in 1883, Cleary University is a four-year, world-class accredited university, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees from a unique Business Arts curriculum, driven by a faculty of thought leaders with deep, practical experience in their industries. Providing on-campus and online education models, Cleary provides a robust athletic program and a rich residence life with nearly 200 students living on the quiet, rolling 50-acre campus. Cleary graduates tend to land jobs faster than their peers and with higher earning salaries at the start of their careers.

Cleary University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a proud member of the HLC Standard Pathway, and an approved institution by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. A nonprofit university, Cleary’s campus is located at 3750 Cleary Drive, Howell, MI 48843, (800) 686-1883 with an education center within the Durfee Innovation Society at 2470 Collingwood St., Detroit, MI 48206.

Cleary University:

  • Ranked #5 in the nation for best online business degree (University HQ)
  • Ranked #3 in Michigan for best average starting salary two years post-graduation (US Department of Education)
  • Ranked #5 in the entire country for its student debt ratio to starting salaries (Wall Street Journal)
  • Named “Best for Vets College in 2022” by Military Times
  • Earned Gold Level Veteran-Friendly status from The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) for continued excellence in serving military-connected students in Michigan two years in a row. ###

Brett Rogers
Author: Brett Rogers