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September 05, 2006 - Image 32

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-05

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12C - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition 2006

Picking a


Kellie Reid helps pay for her own tuition by working part-time at Gratzi.

Many students pay
for 'U' on their own

By Jason Z. Pesick
Editor in Chief
Either out of tremendous self-
confidence or respect for a valuable
University of Michigan tradition, the
University has long given deference
to internal candidates for top admin-
istrative posts.
Allegiance to that custom, which
for a number of possible reasons Uni-
versity President Mary Sue Coleman,
a relative newcomer to the institution,
did not follow when selecting a new
provost, has caused concern in Uni-
versity circles over the recent search
process leading to the selection of
Coleman's right-hand officer.
In January, the University
announced the selection of the well-
regarded University of Texas admin-
istrator Teresa Sullivan to be the next
provost and vice president for aca-
demic affairs.
For the first time in University
history, neither the president nor the
provost will be long-time Wolverines.
Sullivan will also be the first external
candidate chosen to be provost since
James P. Adams in 1948, when the
position entailed less authority.
To some observers, this turn of
events may merely be a coincidence.
But to others it marks a departure
from University tradition and an
acceptance of a troubling national
trend turning the field of university
administration into its own profes-
sion, separate from the faculty.
According to a number of individ-
uals familiar with the search process,
no internal candidates made it onto
the list of finalists given to Coleman
by the head of the provost search
advisory committee, James Jackson,
even though the larger list of finalists
the committee members developed
included internal candidates.
There has been intense specula-
tion that Coleman wanted to select
an external candidate. Coleman
told the Daily that it is "absolutely
not true" that she told Jackson she
expected the search process to cul-
minate in the selection of an exter-
nal candidate.
But presumably Coleman is too
adept at University politics to be so
blunt. The steering was much sub-
tler than that, one person close to the
search told the Daily.
That Coleman wanted an external
candidate and got one is the prevail-
ing attitude among some knowledge-
able people on campus.
In an e-mail interview, Cole-
man said she did not ask Jackson
to encourage internal candidates to
withdraw from the process, nor did

she take any other actions to influ-
ence the search in a way that would
have discriminated against the inter-
nal candidates.
"That would have been unfair to
the candidates, the integrity of the
search process, and to the search
committee itself," she wrote.
In his forthcoming book examin-
ing presidential leadership, former
University President James Duder-
stadt chimes in on a national debate
that puts the local one into context.
He writes about the increasing
professional character of university
administrators, which he says leads
to "institution hopping" and large
compensation packages that can
detach the president from the rest
of the faculty.
He also writes that this trend can
prevent university presidents from
understanding "the distinctive insti-
tutional saga of their university" He
goes on to say that there is evidence
"to suggest that leaders without the
experience or appreciation for 'the
business' of an organization can get
their organization into real trouble,
threatening its very survival."
On the other hand, individuals
may also gain valuable administra-
tive experience and insight at other
institutions, which they can bring to
their new posts.
At a meeting of the Senate Adviso-
ry Committee on University Affairs
earlier this month, Sullivan said hav-
ing an external provost is not the typi-
cal practice for research universities
or for the University: "Having an out-
side provost is not such a usual thing,"
she said."It's a high-risk operation for
you and for me."
In December, when discussing
her transition from a professor to
an administrator, Coleman told the
Daily that she views her time as an
administrator like a second career.
And both Andrea Fischer New-
man, the chair of the University
Board of Regents, and Jackson told
the Daily that it is more important to
find the best candidate in the nation
than to choose an internal candidate
with more knowledge of the Univer-
Jackson also cited Sullivan's
"extensive administrative experi-
ence" when explaining why she was
Coleman most likely did not rule
out an inside candidate from the out-
set, but she also made it clear that
she did not place any preference on
an internal candidate. While previ-
ous provost searches were national
searches, they always ended with the
selection of an internal candidate,

By Christine Beamer
Daily Staff Reporter
When Kinesiology sophomore
Randy Wills decided to come to
the University, he knew paying
the $20,000 price tag would be
his own responsibility.
Even after receiving financial
aid, Wills has to work 20 hours a
week, splitting his time between
two jobs to pay the $5,500 that
his scholarships do not cover.
Wills, and others like him,
compose a small minority of
University students who are
financially independent of their
Though their parents may
not contribute to paying their
tuition, the Free Application for
Federal Student Aid treats stu-
dents like Wills as dependents,
meaning their parents' income
affects their financial aid offer.
According to Financial Aid
Director Pam Fowler, a student
must either be 24, a graduate/
professional student, an Armed
Forces veteran, a previous ward
of the court (someone who has
been removed from the custody
of their parents), married or
have legal dependents in order
to have independent student
status. If a student does not
meet one of these requirements,
the student is still considered a
The U.S. Department of Edu-
cation's guidelines regarding
financial aid state that parental
refusal to contribute to a stu-
dent's education does not affect
a student's dependency status
on the FAFSA. Neither does a
student's demonstration of self-
Despite the obvious disjunc-
tion between their legal and
actual financial status, Wills
and other independent stu-
dents have to rely on their own
income to pay for their tuition.
"To earn the cost of atten-
dance by working would require
a full-time job paying at least
$10 per hour ... I don't know
how students who do not get any
parental support manage to do
it," Fowler said.
Students such as LSA junior
Kellie Reid find themselves in a
Reid began working in a res-
taurant when she was 15 and
gradually assumed all of her
own financial responsibilities,
but is still legally considered a
dependent. Her financial aid is
calculated assuming that her
parents will contribute toward
her education, even though
she agreed to pay her college
"It's been a struggle to fig-
ure out how to make it work,"
Reid said.
She has two jobs this semes-
ter, splitting her 40-hour work
week between being a wait-
ress at Gratzi and working as a
clerical assistant at the Center
for Forensic Psychiatry. She is
still taking 14 academic credits
and getting four credits for an
independent study through her
job at CFP.
"I have to be efficient in

even when the presi-
dent was groomed at the University.
Because the provost runs the Univer-
sity on a day-to-day basis, making
important budgetary and academic
decisions,there was an understanding
on campus that a person who knew
the institution intimately - like a
professor or lower-level administrator
- would be a better fit for the job.
Before Chuck Vest became pro-
vost, he'd spent more than 25 years at
the University.
The lack of preference for an inter-
nal candidate this time around could
be a result of Coleman's view of the
professional nature of university
There is also speculation that the
regents influenced her to strongly
consider external candidates, but try-
ing to predict what goes on inside
regents' heads is like trying to pre-
dict what the stock market will do 10
years from now.
In the e-mail, Coleman said the
regents did not influence her decision
to pick Sullivan: "Professor Jackson
led a rigorous and excellent search,
and the selection decision was mine
and mine alone."
Regent Olivia Maynard said that
if discussions took place among the
regents to influence the appointment
she was not privy to them. She also
said she does not believe that Cole-
man influenced the search process.
She added that the choice of an exter-
nal candidate does not mark a turn-
ing point for the University; if thebest
candidate had come from inside, she
said, that candidate would have been
"Outstanding provosts can come
from both inside or outside the home
institution - in this search, we
wound up with the very best person
for the job," Coleman said.
- This article originally
ran onJan.5,2006.

" It's been a struggle to figure
out how to make it work."
- LSA junior Kellie Reid

everything I do," she said.
Because financially indepen-
dent students must still report
their families' financial circum-
stances, their financial aid pack-
ages vary widely.
For example, Will's mom
works a part-time job and has
four kids, two of which are in
college. "My mom didn't real-
ly have the money for (college
tuition) and the FAFSA helps us
out a lot," Wills said.
Their family contribution was
calculated to be only $300, and
much of his tuition is covered by
Though he simultaneously
holds two jobs - one work-
study - in addition to 15 credit
hours, Wills shrugs off his deci-
sion to pay for tuition himself.
"It really wasn't that big a
deal," Wills said.
So far, he has managed to pay
off his loans by working during
the summer.
He also said that his twin
brother, who attends Michigan
State University, has more loans
to repay even though they have
effectually the same financial
"I think (the University's
financial aid package) is great,"
Wills said. "He doesn't get at all
what I'm getting."
Reid, on the other hand, has a
much less generous aid package.
She has $5,500 in scholarships
and must pay for the remaining
$14,500 through loans.
"I'm in a lot of debt," she
admits, because her parent's
income is figured into her finan-
cial aid. While she had a better
financial aid offer from West-
ern Michigan University, she
elected to attend the University
"It's an investment," she said.
"I wanted to go somewhere that
was the best."
She has not found many
resources on campus that spe-
cifically address the issues faced
by financially independent stu-
"I know that they're there, but
it's incredibly difficult to take
advantage of them," she said.
According to Fowler, there
are no University scholarships
or counseling services through
the Office of Financial Aid that
specifically aid financially inde-
pendent students. But Fowler
added that counselors who work
in the University's financial aid
office will assist a student by
completing the FAFSA upon
LSA sophomore Monica
Sendor, a member of the honors
college, has assumed responsi-
bility for her college payments

this semester. She also had bet-
ter aid offers from other univer-
"Private universities have a
lot more endowments to give
and loans't6 offer," Sendor said.
"There was a noticeable differ-
ence in the percentage of finan-
cial aid."
To make up for the differ-
ence, she works a combined 20
hours a week between two jobs,
one as a campus tour guide, and
another as an office assistant at
the Center for Russian and East-
ern European Studies.
Like Reid, she has found it
difficult to get advice about
being financially independent.
"You have to be responsible
for a lot of things - making sure
you have enough money to pay
the bills on time," Sendor said.
She would like to see a coun-
selor or adviser who specifically
addresses concerns for students
who have to navigate the finan-
cial aid process by themselves.
While the tuition bills carry
a lot of responsibility, there are
merits to being financially inde-
Amy Mason, a School of
Music freshman who pays her
tuition. Her parents pay for her
room and board, finds the free-
dom of financial independence
"I'm really motivated to keep
my grades upbecause I don't want
to waste my money," she said.
But she pointed out one draw-
back: "I have no money."
Mason, a viola performance
and music education major, pays
$3,500 by earning money play-
ing her viola in the Dearborn
Symphony Orchestra and by
playing music gigs in the Detroit
metro area.
Reid said she also finds the
same benefit from her situation.
"There are times I think I
wish I could be one of those stu-
dents who rides through college,
but I know how the real world
works already," she said.
As a trade-off, students who
have the responsibility of pay-
ing for college have little time
to be involved in college orga-
"In the summer, I allow
myself time for (extracurricu-
lars)," Reid said, explaining that
she simply cannot fit clubs into
her schedule.
Nonetheless, Sendor, Reid,
Wills, and Mason do not regret
their decisions to pay the Uni-
versity price tag independently.
"It's never easy, but it's always
fulfilling," Reid said.
- This article originally
ran Jan. 24, 2006.

Texas official Sullivan named
new University provost

By Jason Z. Posick
Editor in Chief
More than three years after taking the helm as
University president, Mary Sue Coleman put the
finishing touches on her executive team Tuesday
by naming Teresa Sullivan the next provost and
executive vice president for academic affairs.
Currently the executive vice chancellor for
academic affairs for the University of Texas
system, Sullivan will become Coleman's sec-
ond-in-command, managing the academic and
budgetary aspects of the University of Michi-
Pending approval by the University Board of
Regents, Sullivan, 56, will assume the position
June 1. Interim Provost Edward Gramlich will
hold the post until that time.
When Coleman became president in 2002,
many of the University's top executive positions
needed to be filled. Paul Courant, whom Cole-
man inherited as interim provost and then named
provost for a three-year term when she became
president, stepped down in August.
Coleman, formerly president of the Univer-
sity of Iowa, has also appointed vice presidents
for finance, development, medical affairs and
research during her tenure.
Coleman said in an interview yesterday that
she is excited to have her team in place and said
she and Sullivan "just see eye-to-eye on a lot of
issues," stressing the importance of "having a
partner in a provost."
Sullivan's appointment marks the first time
people from outside the University have filled
both the president and provost positions. Sullivan
admitted she will face a steep learning curve.
"It's the risk that you take in bringing in an
outside provost," she said.
But she also said a new set of eyes might bring
insight to the University.
History Prof. Nicholas Steneck, an expert in
University history, said there is a tradeoff between
picking an internal and an external candidate.
"Usually if you want to keep the University
moving on a smooth course, you appoint some-
one from the inside," Steneck said, but he added
that bringing in officials from outside the Uni-
versity can also bring new ideas.
The search process leading up to the selec-
tion was at times criticized as too secretive. At a

recent meeting of the Senate Advisory Commit-
tee on University affairs, the executive arm of
University faculty governance, SACUA member
and Engineering Prof. Semyon Meerkov sparred
with Coleman, suggesting she was neglecting to
consult the faculty in the search process.
Coleman responded that unlike the selection
of some other administrative positions, the selec-
tion of provost is her decision.
Institute for Social Research Director James
Jackson, chair of the search advisory commit tee
that generated a list of candidates for Coleman,
said searches for high-profile positions tend to be
closed to the public because many potential can-
didates will not enter an open search. The search
committee had been working since April, shortly
after Courant announced he would step down.
Coleman said she thinks people will be happy
with the appointment once they learn about Sul-
livan's background. Coleman cited Sullivan's
administrative experience and the quality of her
scholarship as important factors in her decision.
As a sociologist, Sullivan studied labor force
demography, focusing on people with consider-
able debt problems. She also served in a number
of administrative positions, including vice presi-
dent and dean of graduate studies at UT-Austin,
chair of the sociology department and director of
women's studies. Sullivan received her master's
degree and doctorate from the University of Chi-
cago and her bachelor's degree from Michigan
'State University.
- This article originally ran on Jan. 5, 2006.




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