COLUMBIA'S NEW PRESIDENT
The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 3, 2001- 3
Bollinger known for affirmative action defense
By Anna Clark
From recruiting public support of national
figures to personally testifying, Lee Bollinger
has played an active role in the University's
defense of its affirmative action admissions
Just months after Bollinger was selected as
president in 1996, the University was chal-
lenged with two lawsuits against the race-sensi-
five admissions policies of the University's Law
School and College of Literature, Science and
Bollinger, who has served both as a professor
and dean of the University's Law School and
who has shown his dedication to affirmative
action policies, immediately became a vocal
supporter of the University's admissions poli-
cies, and, in the four years since the initiation of
the lawsuits, has seen both cases through the
district court level.
"We could not have a better policy more con-
sistent with Bakke," Bollinger said, referring to
the 1978 Supreme Court case earlier this year,
Bakke v. Regents of the University of
California, which allowed the use of race as a
"plus factor" in public institutions.
Standing behind that philosophy, Bollinger
selected an esteemed Washington-based law
firm, Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering, to build a
case for the University.
He also actively recruited national statements
of support from University alum. former Presi-
dent Gerald Ford, former Michigan Gov.
William Millikin and General Motors.
Bollinger said the efforts were to demon-
strate the greater effects of affirmative action in
The University declared the district court
decision in the LSA case a victory. Judge
Patrick Duggan ruled last December that the
use of race as one of many factors in college
and university admissions was a compelling
state interest, though he struck down the admis-
sions system that was in place when the lawsuit
But the University's defense of its race-sensi-
tive admissions policies did not stand up to
Judge Bernard Friedman's decision in the case
challenging the Law School. Friedman in
March ruled that race could not be considered
as a factor for admissions in higher education.
Both cases are scheduled to be heard on
appeal in the 6th Circuit Court in Cincinnati
later this month. It has been speculated that the
cases could ultimately wind up in front of the
U.S. Supreme Court.
Bollinger said the decisions are important to
many facets of society.
"Every selective university in the United
States is committed to this, but this is not just
an issue of higher education," Bollinger said.
"These statements showed it was important on
many different levels."
His support became a part of the court record
when Bollinger testified in the Law School trial
in late January. He spoke to the court from the
perspective of his former position as dean of
the University's Law School.
University Law and sociology Prof. Richard
Lempert, who also testified in the Law School
trial, said Bollinger was key in creating a signif-
"On one level it was Lee's commitment to
the University to build a defense for both cases,
and pushing the regents to go after it," Lempert
said. "Thanks to his leadership, I feel we pre-
sented the best defense of affirmative action
policies of any other institution in the country."
University Regent Larry Deitch (D-Bloom-
field Hills) echoed Lempert's sentiment.
"We at Michigan have made the best case in
the merits of affirmative action," Deitch said.
Bollinger has "done a brilliant job in defending
the admissions policies"
Bollinger's vocal support earned him nation-
al recognition from academic and legal leaders,
but some noticed his tendency to speak out
before the lawsuits even occurred.
"I believe strongly that presidents should
speak out," former University President James
Duderstadt said soon after Bollinger was
selected to succeed him. "That is what higher
education needs right now. People of deep
conviction and courage. Lee Bollinger has
both of these."
Despite the University's strong defense, the
campus wasn't entirely behind Bollinger in
support of the admissions policies. The anti-
affirmative action student group Voice united
student opponents of the policy.
RC philosophy Prof. Carl Cohen, an oppo-
nent of race-based admissions, said last semes-
ter that he was working to set up a debate with
Bollinger over the admissions policies.
Other students questioned Bollinger's com-
mitment to an integrated campus when, despite
the University's legal support, different racial
groups continue to self-segregate.
Bollinger has maintained his position.
"Nobody believes this institution has done
everything it can to take advantage of diversity,
but we're trying," Bollinger told students con-
cerned about self-segregation at a fireside chat
in fall 2000. "The will is there."
Although the next president will come into
the continuing appeals process in both lawsuits,
Lempert said he did not think the University's
defense will lose its focus.
"So long as the regents and the University
remain committed, I don't think a new leader
will have any effect," Lempert said.
After defending the use of race as a factor in admissions to the University's College of Literature,
Science and the Arts, Bollinger's name became universally known in the academic world.
Life Sciences Initiative has
flourished in recent years
By Anna Clark
Daily Staff Reporter
The steel skeleton of a building between the Hill and Central
Campus is evidence of the Life Sciences Institute's early con-
struction, the biggest initiative of University President Lee
With Bollinger's acceptance of the Columbia University presi-
dency, the initiative will now need to function without the fer-
vent support from its founder as it begins to take physical shape.
LSI co-Director Jack Dixon said Bollinger played "a pivotal
role" and was "an ardent proponent" of both the Life Sciences
Initiative and the Life Sciences Institute. He said the president's
enthusiasm will be missed, but that the loss won't be paralyzing.
"His departure will obviously take a little air out the balloon,
because he was such a strong supporter of it," Dixon said. "But I
don't think it will change our course."
He added that the next University president will have an
important role in the LSI's future.
"We answer to the president, so the president will be a key
player," he said. "But we're far enough along to not get side-
University Law Prof: Richard Lempert, head of the LSI's Val-
FILE PHOTO ues and Ethics commission, said he expects the next president to
e show support for the LSI.
uilding. "Although it depends on the person selected, of course, I
/%expect the person who replaces Lee will see how the LSI is
becoming a major force at the University," Lempert said.
. University Regent Larry Deitch (D-Bloo'mfield Hills) said the
LSI never would have happened without Bollinger's advocacy.
"It was his idea," Deitch said last spring. "He knew how
important science was, that research into science was kind of a
new frontier, akin to computers and technology a few years ago."
Lempert noted how Bollinger has' been a "driving force"
behind the LSI.
"I think he was crucial in getting the directors to agree to
serve," Lempert said, adding that Bollinger traveled across the
nation to meet with leading life science researchers to "pick their
brains and make all sorts of connections."
Deitch added that he was surprised at Bollinger's focus on the
LSI, given the president's background in law and humanities.
Dixon echoed Deitch's observation.
"I give him a great deal of credit," Dixon said. "His back-
ground is in law, but he educated himself in a great way."
Dixon sgid Bollinger, along with other University administra-
tors including former Provost Nancy Cantor and Vice-President
for Medical Affairs Gil Omenn, met widely with University fac-
ulty and researchers to focus the LSI effort.
Bollinger, at a fireside chat with University students last win-
ter, said he looks forward to the LSI's physical and nonphysical
transformations of the campus.
"We hired the best architects in the world," Bollinger said,
"And I believe the humanistic implications of this are incredible.
I mean this in every dimension."
Construction on Central Campus began in 2000, focusing mainly on the renovation of Haven Hall, th
creation of the Life Sciences Institute and most recently the renovation of the Horace H. Rackham B
Bollinger led in era ot
By Susan Luth
Daily Staff Reporter
When Lee. Bollinger became president of
the University in 1997, the Central and Med-
ical campuses were not closely connected and
many buildings were in dire need of renova-
tions. It was at this time, less than a year after
his inauguration, that Bollinger announced his
Bollinger said at the time that his plan was
intended "to conceive of our campus as a
whole and consider its place in the larger Ann
Arbor community and to look at things for the
future -- for a hundred years from now - to
consider what our University campus might be
like, what its character should be."
Four and a half years later, students are
still surrounded by cranes, fences, and rubble
as Bollinger's dream is built.
The renovation of Mason and Haven halls
has left the area around the Diag in ruins.
Thousands of students are rerouted on their
walk to class by fencing separating them
from construction equipment. Once finished,
the renovation will add eight stories to Haven
Hall and give it a completely new interior.
Haven Hall 'is expected to be completed- in
November 2002, while Mason is slated for
"I think Haven Hall will be interesting
because it will keep the characteristics of the
Fishbowl but still expand Haven," Associate
Vice President of Facilities and Operations
Hank Baier said earlier this year. "With the
renovation it will be not only a modern build-
ing but it will enhance the whole Diag."
But now some of the biggest parts of the
_ -1-- .x,:11 . hn1,;+ - t n tR nl n t
The plan is "to conceive
of our campus as a
whole and consider its
place in the larger Ann
Arbor community and to
look at things for the
- Lee C. Bollinger
vated parking structure will create more than
1,000 parking spaces.
"Bollinger got the Life Sciences commis-
sion going. It's a really intense effort to
expand life sciences at U-M," said Baier.
"The main drama center will house the
Arthur Miller Theater so we can combine the
life sciences witk drama."'
Baier also said that the project was intend-
ed to unite the Medical Campus with Central
Campus, and create a central meeting place
for the two. Its creation will also include a
plaza, from which students can access the
walking bridge that runs over Washtenaw
Avenue, further connecting the two parts of
Also'on Bollinger's renovation agenda are
Hill Auditorium and the Rackham School of
Graduate Studies. The renovations to Hill
include an upgrade of the infrastructure and
improvements in the building's functionality.
Rorkhnm will unAro renovations to rework
Bollinger's first new athletic director, Tom Goss, fired men's basketball coach Steve Fisher but wasn't able to fix problems plaguing the program.
Goss wasn't answer to athletic woes
By Jacquelyn Nixon
Daily Staff Reporter
The problems in the Michigan Athletic
Department and the resignation of Athlet-
ic Director Tom Goss in the winter of
2000 remain a black mark on Lee
Goss gave no reason for his resignation,-
leading many to suspect his handling of
finances in the department, deals with
department, especially for the developments
made in the women's sports programs.
But Gossfunderwent scrutiny from his
colleagues after hiring Brian Ellerbe as
the men's basketball coach.
"To change the program was my deci-
sion. To hire a new coach will be my deci-
sion," Goss said.
Former Executive Associate Athletic
Director Fritz Seyferth said everything
million off the original projection.
Goss was also responsible for the
S 100,000 removal of the halo surrounding
Michigan Stadium, the fallout of an inter-
net service deal, and suffered from a pub-
lic backlash because of a rise in hockey
and football ticket prices.
Lack of communication with University
officials was also suspected as a reason
for his resignation.