The Michigan Day -- t-riday, Febrjary 23, 2001
Continued from Page 1
~ his third - with the search committee. He
says he's "flattered" to be considered but that
he's happy here.
,And while University of Michigan regents
have said they hope the president doesn't leave,
any appear resigned to the fact that they need
to add an agenda item to next month's meeting:
Find a chair for Michigan's new search commit-
tee and appoint an interim president.
Bollinger would receive anything but a perfect
score from students grading his performance in
recent months - the handling of the Michiga-
mua office takeover and the signing of the new
Nike contract come to mind - but overall,
Bollinger is well respected. And most members
of the University community would agree, even
those most annoyed by his recent behavior, that
losing him would strike a huge blow to this uni-
So the easy question is why is Bollinger pursu-
ing this job? Why didn't he give a polite thanks
but no thanks when the interviews started heating
When Lee C. Bollinger accepted the job as
Michigan's 12th president in late 1996, he
stopped short of calling it his dream job.
Now we know why. He said that this university
was "his first love" and that "Ann Arbor is my
home," but he never pledged to stay for any peri-
od of time.
Many people have speculated about Bollinger's
long-term goals. Could the First Amendment
scholar be aiming for a seat on the Supreme
Court? Harvard would help there. Does Bollinger
want to run for public office? A liberal like
Bollinger would be embraced in Kennedy-land.
Or does he want to simply stay in academia and
preach to the masses about his pet issues: Main-
tenance of diversity in education, progression in
science and improvement of undergraduate and
graduate education? Toward that end, Harvard's
pulpit is unmatched in prestige.
It seems like a no-brainer if those are his
Lee Bollinger, a man who has spearheaded the
defense of affirmative action, facilitated the
building of what will become the leading life
sciences research center in the country and
begun countless projects to enrich Michigan's
ties to history - including the Arthur Miller
Theater and Robert Frost House - may up and
leave for what many people say are greener pas-
But are they greener?
Sure, the endowment is bigger. Sure, the histo-
ry is longer. Sure, the tuition is higher. But what
makes a presidency fulfilling? What makes a
presidency challenging? What makes a presiden-
cy the best possible job in the country?
Isn't it the possibility of changing perception,
building character and growing your institution
into the best it can possibly be?
The University of Michigan, if you ask John
Q. Citizen, is not "better" than Harvard. But the
last four years under Bollinger have shown that
great advances are possible with the vast
resources provided by a rich history, a huge
research base, a loyal alumni network, and a
It would be great to be the president of Har-
vard University. But it would be better to be the
president of the University of Michigan who
changed perceptions, built character and grew
the school into the best university in the nation.
Maybe 10 years now, with Michigan firmly
atop the academic community, Lee Bollinger will
retire, and Harvard's president will be flattered to
be considered for Michigan's presidency.
Only then will that t-shirt be taken seriously.
Saying no to Harvard this time around would be
a huge step in that direction.
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special opportunity to be a national and
international leader in education."
Deitch added that while he hopes to
continue working with Bollinger, he is
letting the process take its course.
"If the opportunity does come to him
and he thinks it would be personally ful-
filling for him to accept it, I would
respect that;'Deitch said.
If Bollinger leaves for Harvard, the
University of Michigan would undergo
a process to find "the best man or
woman to lead Michigan," Deitch said,
adding that he has only just begun to
think about it, but no formal means have
University of Michigan Regent Olivia
Maynard (D-Goodrich) told The Michi-
gan Daily this week that she hopes
Bollinger remains in Ann Arbor.
"We hope Harvard isn't smart enough
to ask him to serve as president," she
said. "I have a great deal of respect for
Lee Bollinger, and it would be wonder-
ful for Michigan if he remains at Michi-
University of Michigan Law School
Dean Jeffrey Lehman said he spoke
with Bollinger after the interview in
New York last weekend and the Harvard
position was never mentioned.
"The truth is, I talked to him Sunday
night, and what we talked about was a
set of projects," Lehman said. "There
was not a whisper of a hint that he
would be leaving."
Harvard has attempted to keep the
selection process confidential for the
sake of potential candidates in high-pro-
file positions, said Harvard spokesper-
- Mike Spahn can be ached via e-mail at
son Joe Wrinn.
Still, the presidential search has
sparked many to offer speculation on
the final choice based on sources close
to the process who have spoken anony-
mously to the press.
Lehman said this was surprising.
"I do think it is unusual for a high-
level university search to expose poten-
tial candidates to so much public
speculation, Lehman said. "I think usu-
ally these processes are more leak-proof
than this one seems to have been."
While Bollinger declines to publicly
discuss his involvement in Harvard's
presidential search, he has spoken with
members of the Board of Regents.
Regent Dan Horning (R-Grand
Haven) said Bollinger told the board
about last Sunday's interview with Har-
vard before he left.
Deitch said the regents are kept up to
"We've had communication with
him, but it's not moment to moment,
blow by blow,"he said.
Lehman, who chaired the presidential
search committee that chose Bollinger
as the University's 12th president, said
Bollinger has the qualities of "an excel-
lent academic leader."
"Those are the qualities that drew us
to him four and a half years ago and it's
no surprise to me that they would draw
Harvard to them today."
He added that Bollinger has had a
"spectacular" four-year tenure as presi-
"The legacy of a president is better
measured by achievements than by
years' Lehman said.
- Daily StaffReporter en Fish con-
tributed to this report.
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senior recently admitted to the Univer-
sity, encouraged his fellow students to
continue fighting for integration.
"We have racism, segregation, and
bigotry, but we will not let that over-
come what we are trying to do. We're
here to fight for our future," he said.
"We have the opportunity to integrate
Detroit Public Schools, and I'm not
talking about five white students in a
(graduating) class. I'm talking about
full integration," Dowdell said.
MSA representative Matt Nolan
attended the event to motivate the
"I was a very vocal opponent of affir-
mative action. I had never been exposed
to diversity, and then I came here and
it's wonderful, and it's because of affir-
mative action," Nolan said. "It is possi-
ble to change minds."
The next Day of Action will be held
after the court rules on the Law
"We are winning but a victory is not
determined. We still have to fight just as
hard ... whether the decision is a nega-
tive or positive one. We can't have faith
in the court," said Agnes Aleobua, an
At the end of the rally, LSA junior
and Defend Affirmative Action Party
member Donna Pettway encouraged
students of all races to join the cause.
"You're not fighting for black rights
or Latino rights. You're fighting for
human rights," Pettway said.
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She mentioned newly formed
teams of business corporations, fami-
lies walking together in memory of
lost loved ones and uniformed fire-
fighters. Some individuals are known
for their competitiveness while others
are remembered by generosity.
"There was a 67-year-old woman
who raised more than $2,000 last
year, and she is competing again this
year," Brierly said.
As a celebration of the runners'
efforts, a party awaits the partici-
pants at the top.
"My whole family is coming up to
Chicago for this - it's part of the
appeal," said Reeves.
Visit our website:
Continued from Page 1
together this case and defined the
issues;' said University President Lee
"I think the presentation and the legal
defense was as good as is possible in
this kind of lawsuit;' he added.
"Our case, if anything, is stronger
than it was three years ago;" said Center
for Individual Rights Chief Executive
Officer Terry Pell. "I don't think the U
of M really challenged the case we
made so much as try to shift the terms
of the debate in different ways."
During closing arguments, CIR lead
counsel Kirk Kolbo, attempted to show
the ways the defendants has tried to
shift the debate. One of those ways he
said, was to misattribute certain argu-
ments to the CIR.
"We don't stand here as opponents to
Throughout the trial, CIR attorneys,
na well as nlaintiff Rarhara Grutter.
said Barry. On the one hand, she said,
CIR seems to argue that they do not
want to tell colleges what policy to use,
but "when they argue, they only want to
look at grades and test scores."
Grades and test scores aside, Fried-
man will also have a mountain of evi-
dence from the intervening defendants
to consider in his decision. It is uncer-
tain how much weight the intervenors
arguments may have on his decision,
"I thought the intervenors' case was
fascinating, although it really did not
address the legal issues in the case;
Miranda Massie, lead counsel for the
intervenors, maintained during the trial
that it was essential for the judge to
hear testimony from experts on race
and racism in America, saying that one
couldn't understand any of the ques-
tions at trial unless they were held in
that greater context.
And it was the intervenors who have
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