Wednesday, September 13, 2006 T"l EL CE N
)R A) -o s
I um TAEMENT
News 3A Harvard abandons
Arts 8A Indiv rock
veterans grow up
Sports 10A Friendly
One-hundred-sixteen years ofeditoril freedom
www.michikandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVII, No. 8 ©2006 The Michigan Daily
U Fate of 400 jobs uncertain after
Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan
buys M-Care for undisclosed sum
By Kelly Fraser
Daily Staff Reporter
The University is in the final stages of a deal to sell
Officials announced yesterday that the Univer-
sity-owned nonprofit health care provider will be
purchased by Blue Care Network of Michigan, a sub-
sidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
A proposal will be presented to the University
Board of Regents during its Sept. 22 meeting.
Until then, the University will not release the finan-
cial details of the sale, said Robert Kelch, chief execu-
tive officer of the University Health System and vice
president for medical affairs.
M-Care insures more than 200,000 people, about
60,000 of whom are University employees, retirees
and graduate students, as well as their dependents.
The hundreds of Michigan jobs M-Care provides
may or may not be eliminated if it is sold.
Kelch said it is an appropriate time for the Univer-
sity to consider selling M-Care.
To stay competitive in the health care industry, the
University would have to make large capital invest-
ments in M-Care, which would drain the Health Sys-
tem's core projects and research, he said.
"The University of Michigan Health System has
a complex and critical mission and we need to stay
focused on it," Kelch said.
The two nonprofit organizations have a similar mis-
sion, making the pairing a good match, Kelch said.
Talks of the potential sale began late this spring,
said Kevin Seitz, Blue Care Network president and
CEO. The idea, he said, was not proposed by either
provider but grew out of their established working
Dean Smith, a professor of health management and
policy, said similar deals between insurance provid-
ers are common in the industry.
"Mergers and acquisitions are going on all the
time, but the thing is, people don't notice it until it's
their company," he said.
Smith said the industry's demand for consumer-
driven health care, which requires large investments
in information systems, may contribute to more merg-
ers so that providers can share costs.
M-Care also employs about 400 workers in the
Ann Arbor and Southfield areas.
See MCARE, page 7A
First you pay tuition. Then room
and board. Then for a laptop.
And when you think you just
can't spend anymore, you see the
line outside Shaman Drum and
realize that you, too, will soon have
to wait in that line for the privelege
of overpaying for the Riverside
Textbook prices are up. Way up
-186 percent over the last 20
Here's a look behind the scenes
at the lucrative business (Ulrich's
made $169 million last year) as
well as answers to the questions
you've been asking for a while but
never got answers to.
FOR FULL COVERAGE, SEE PAGE 5A
According to one gamblino
website, these are the odds
President Coleman will
take Harvard's top job:
By Karl Stampfl
Managing News Editor
University President Mary Sue Coleman says
she won't abandon her post anytime soon, but
Bodogcom isn't so sure about that.
On its slate of odds on who will become Har-
vard University's next president, the Costa Rica-
based gambling website lists Coleman at18 to 1.
The site has accepted several hundred bets of
up to $50, said Bodog founder Calvin Ayre.
When asked about the odds during an inter-
view last week, Coleman laughed.
"I think it's funny," Coleman said. "But I'm
sure the folks at Harvard are doing a serious
Coleman said she does not want to leave. The
University Board of Regents this summer voted
to extend Coleman's contract for another five
"I'm not going anywhere," she said.
She declined to comment on whether she has
been contacted by a Harvard search committee
about the job.
Coleman, who was president of the University
of Iowa before coming to Ann Arbor in 2002,
said when she was a professor becoming a top
administrator was not one of her goals, but that it
has since become her dream job.
Of the 17 candidates gamblers can bet on,
Coleman's odds fall in the middle. Elena Kagan,
the Harvard Law School dean, is the favorite at
3 to 1. Former University of Michigan President
Lee Bollinger - who left in 2001 to take the top
job at Columbia University - is deemed one of
the least likely, at 25 to 1 odds.
The Harvard job is widely considered to be the
top in academia.
"The Harvard president is very influential,"
Coleman said. "It's important for all of higher
Unlike the vast majority of Harvard presi-
dents, Coleman has never attended the univer-
sity in Cambridge. The presidents have all been
men, though several of the candidates considered
front-runners to replace Summers are female.
Experts say the university is likely to choose a
female president for the first time.
Coleman is considered a top candidate because
of her leadership of the University through the
2003 admissions lawsuits. Like many of the oth-
ers on Bodog's list, she also has experience as
See COLEMAN, page 7A
Ford to attend Weill
Hall opening event
Former president, alum
has watched progress of
new Public Policy building
University President Mary Sue Coleman Washtenaw County MCRI Chair Ryan Fantuzi Rachel Tanner is a member of Students
answers questions in C.C. Little on April 6. poses in the Law Quad. Supporting Affirmative Action.
COURING THE How both sides of the MCRI
debate are vying for the 16
UNDECIDED percent who've yet to decide
By Karl Stampfl
Managing News Editor
Wave to Gerald Ford.
If you're walking near the new Gerald
Ford School of Public Policy's Joan and
Sanford Weill Hall at State and Church
streets, the former president and University
alum may be able to see you on his com-
Ford checks a live video feed of the build-
Coleman said in an interview last week.
Faculty and staff moved into the new
location last month. It will be dedicated at a
ceremony Oct. 13.
Provided that his health is strong, Ford
has agreed to attend the ceremony.
"We're crossing our fingers," Cole-
Ford, 93, is the oldest living former presi-
dent.His lasthospital stay inthe hospital was
just overtwo weeks ago. Doctors performed
eliminate blockages in his coronary arter-
ies. Ford returned to his home in Rancho
Mirage, Calif. after 10 days in the hospital.
Coleman said Ford told her that the
thought of the new building has been the
secret to his longevity.
"He's told us that the building is what's
been keeping him alive for the last two
years;' Coleman said.
Ford is the University's most prominent
alum. He playedcenter for the football team,
most notably during the undefeated seasons
of 1932 and 1933. He was also a member
of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and
Michigamua, the controversial secret soci-
ety of the University's elite.
Following graduation, he refused offers
from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Pack-
ers, choosing to attend Yale Law School.
Ford attended the 80,000-square-foot
building's groundbreaking in November
2004. At the ceremony, Ford spoke for less
than five minutes. He told stories about his
time on campus.
"I came to U-M in 1931 and brought a
$100 check from the principal of my high
school, who wanted to be damn sure I went
to Ann Arbor,'Ford said at the groundbreak-
ing. "I have always been proud - very,
very proud - of my association with this
Daily Staff Reporter
Polls are at a dead heat and there are
only 55 days remaining before voters
decide on a ballot proposal that would
ban many types of affirmative action in
The key to whether the Michigan Civil
Rights Initiative, or Proposal 2, will be
successful may lie in the 16 percent of
voters who were undecided in last week's
Detroit Free Press/Local 4 poll.
On campus, both sides of the debate
are working desperately to sway that 16
Young Americans for Freedom and
the Washtenaw County MCRI organi-
zation kicked off their campus cam-
paign yesterday with a speech from
State Rep. Leon Drolet (R-Macomb
Township), who chairs the MCRI.
Although attendance was sparse,
the mass meeting's organizers prom-
ised a vigorous campaign on campus
and around Ann Arbor in the coming
Ryan Fantuzzi, co-chair of the Washt-
enaw County MCRI, said supporters of
the initiative face an uphill battle in
Ann Arbor, but that he was optimistic
about the election.
"This is the bastion of liberalism,"
Fantuzzi said. "But I believe that there
is a lot of silent support for the issue on
In order to tap into that support,
Young Americans for Freedom and the
Washtenaw County MCRI plan to exploit
all the traditional campus campaigning
techniques, including painting the Rock,
flyering on the Diag and holding politi-
cal tailgates before the Michigan State
and Wisconsin football games.
Organizers said they would also like
to bring Ward Connerly to town for a
debate or a rally, though nothing has
been finalized yet. Connerly is the
former University of California regent
who brought MCRI to Michigan after a
successful campaign in California.
"It is hard to stand up for the MCRI
on this campus," Fantuzzi said. "But
there are a lot of people who will vote
for this - we just need to make sure
MCRI OPPONENTS an angioplasty to reduce or completely University."
For over a year, Students Support-
ing Affirmative Action and the College
Democrats have been plotting to defeat
MCRI, which will appear as Proposal 2
on November's ballot. College Demo-
crats chair Jamie Ruth said his organi-
zation will work closely with Students
Supporting Affirmative Action as well
as the Michigan Democratic Party.
The College Democrats have already
planned an anti-MCRI rally for late
October featuring Debbie Dingell, a"
candidate for Wayne State's Board of
Trustees and an outspoken advocate of
Rachel Tanner, a member of Students
Supporting Affirmative Action, said
the group will do everything it can to
educate voters about the issue. AARON I
Their efforts will include setting up The inside of the new Gerald Ford School of Public Policy's Joan and Sanfc
See MCRI, page 7A State and Church streets.