Whitmer enlists ‘Prof Potato’ to rally internet buzz on higher education policy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) shared a video with a cameo from the viral “Prof Potato” star to promote her proposal of free two years of community college.

Behind the character of Prof Potato is assistant accounting professor Ryan Ball at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. During the coronavirus pandemic, Ball began teaching his online classes with a potato filter to liven up virtual learning. Clips from his lectures subsequently spread on social media platforms, which made his potato persona earn popularity outside of the university.

“Hi Professor Potato, I wanted to share some Yukon Gold news with you, my best spud,” Whitmer says in the video. “We both agree that every Michigander deserves an opportunity to go to college without frying their bank account.”

The video was met with online responses claiming it induced users to “cringe”
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