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Ann Arbor Mchigan
Thursdav October 26 2006
THE EARLY STUDENT GETS THE WORM
would raise funding,
but opponents call it
bad public policy
By WALTER NOWINSKI
Every year the University has to
wrestle the state Legislature just to
maintain funding, so it may seem
a bit strange that University Presi-
dent Mary Sue Coleman is opposing
a ballot proposal that would guar-
antee minimum yearly increases in
Proposal 5 is an initiative that
would mandate that the state
increase education funding to
schools, community colleges and
universities every year by the rate
of inflation or 5 percent, whichever
Ken MacGregor, spokesman for
the K-16 Coalition, which is cam-
paigningin favor of Proposal 5, said
the proposal would stabilize higher
education funding and help control
the rising cost of college tuition. He
argued that establishing predict-
able increases would allow univer-
sities to better plan their budgets
and take away some of the pressure
to raise tuition.
Coleman is not enthusiastic.
University spokeswoman Julie
Peterson said Coleman supports
more funding for education, but she
believes Proposal5 is bad policy and
not a sound way to fund education.
Coleman is not alone in her skep-
ticism of the proposal.
The Presidents Council of
Michigan's universities, a group
representing the 15 presidents and
chancellors of the state's public
universities, withdrew its support
for Proposal 5 earlier this month.
Mike Boulus, executive direc-
tor of the Presidents Council, said
the proposal would simply cost the
state too much money.
"We originally got involved hop-
ing for a legislative solution (to the
funding situation)," Boulus said.
"But this proposal has a high cost
and really impacts the general fund
Many groups opposing the pro-
posal argue that earmarking so
much of the state's revenue for
education would starve other state
programs like health care and pub-
Tricia Kinley, a spokeswoman
for the Michigan Chamber of Com-
WHAT IS PROPOSAL 5?
* Voters will decide on this legislative
initiative on Nov. 7.
Would establish minimumfunding
increases from the state Legislature for
school districts, community colleges
* Would cap the pension and health
care benefits that school districts must
pay and transfer the remaining balance
to the state.
merce, which opposes the proposal,
said its passage would lead to a state
"One of two things will happen
if this passes: cuts to other critical
programs or tax increases on work-
ing families in Michigan," Kinley
Kinley also said that the propos-
al was focused on securing fund-
ing for teacher pensions and health
care and that it would do little or
nothing to control the rising costs
of college tuition.
"In 947 words of petition lan-
guage, there is not one word about
controlling college tuition," Kinley
In addition to mandating mini-
mum increases in education fund-
ing, the proposal would shift a
portion of employee pension liabil-
ity from school districts and uni-
versities to the state.
According to the proposal, the
initiative will cost the state about
$565 million dollars in its first year.
If passed, the proposal would
take effect 10 days after the final
vote is certified - forcing the state
to come up with money to fund it
this year. This would come amid
an existing budget crunch because
the legislature has not yet created
a replacement for the $2-billion
single business tax it eliminated
earlier this fall.
The proposal is a legislative
initiative and not a constitutional
amendment, and it can be over-
turned by the state Legislature.
However, overturningthe proposal
would require a three-fourths vote
by the Legislature.
Both gubernatorial candidates
- Jennifer Granholm and Dick
DeVos - have come out against the
Proponents of the proposal
acknowledge that it would come
with costs, but they argue that if
Michigan is to transition from a
manufacturing to a knowledge-
based economy, the state must
invest more in education.
Rackham student Jess Palmer holds a red worm. Palmer participates in the vermiculture program of Cultivating Community, a student group devoted to closed loop agri-
culture by, among other things, minimizing waste and reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Vermiculture is an efficient method for composting waste. The worms
are housed in 50-gallon bins in the Matthaei Botanical Garden greenhouse but will soon be moved to an outdoor ditch.
Fundraising goals at top
colleges skyrocket past$4
Michigan Difference cam-
paign nearing goal of $2.5
From staff and wire reports
Cornell University is going all-out this week.
Today features a news conference in New
York City with the mayor. On Friday, 1,000
volunteers and wealthy alumni such as former
Citigroup chairman Sanford "Sandy" Weill will
be back on the main campus in Ithaca, N.Y.,
for an elaborate dinner. The menu: a salad that
includes wild mushrooms and sweet vermouth
cheesecake; marinated beef tenderloin; and,
a hazelnut Godiva chocolate tart with minted
Cornell should more than recoup the bill.
The festivities are kicking off a campaign to
raise $4 billion.
It's a jaw-droppingsum that exceeds the size
of any university's entire endowment 20 years
ago, and all but about 15 today. To hit the tar-
get, Cornell President David Skorton will have
to raise more than $1.6 million every day for the
next five years.
But $4 billion isn't even the biggest campaign
announced in higher education this month.
Stanford and Columbia just announced cam-
paigns of $4.3 billion and $4 billion, respective-
ly. Yale and the University of Virginia recently
announced $3 billion campaigns, and 24 uni-
versities are officially trying to raise $1 billion
or more, according to The Chronicle of Higher
The University of Michigan is close to com-
pleting its $2.5 billion fundraising campaign
called the Michigan Difference. The campaign,
which has a deadline of 2008, has so far earned
$2.24 billion - progress that many say is ates-
tament to the fundraising prowess of Univer-
sity President Mary Sue Coleman.
The campaigns come at a time when college
is more expensive than ever. Just Tuesday, a
national report found college price increases
again outpacing inflation. Tuition, fees and
room and board at Cornell run $43,707 this
year, though it promises aid for any student
who needs it and will use some of the campaign
money for more scholarships.
"We have a lot of wonderful things to do with
the money," Skorton said in a telephone inter-
view this week. Of the $4 billion target, he said:
"I hope we're going to blow right by that."
They probably will. Cornell has already
raised about $1 billion. Universities don't
announce campaigns until they're confident
they'll make it, though sometimes they extend
the typical deadline. UCLA stretched a recent
campaign to a decade to reach $3 billion.
Multibillion-dollar campaigns have trans-
formed how elite universities raise money. The
traditional prodding at homecoming cocktail
parties is supplemented by data mining and
marketing consultants. Cornell's fundraising
staff numbers 125. Some schools pay top rain-
makers $200,000 or more.
The goal is luring the big fish. Nobody gets to
$4 billion in tens and twenties.
See FUNDRAISING, Page 7A
A space crunch
for student groups
Ligers and tigons and
salamanders, oh my
It's not easy to find
places to practice,
By AMANDA MARKOWITZ
Daily Staff Reporter
The demand for a dance
studio in Mason Hall was so
high last Wednesday that the
27-member Lrim Irish Dance
Team was forced to hold its
practice in a hallway.
A break-dancing team and
other dance groups were
also trying to use the coveted
These dance teams aren't
the only ones struggling with
the lack of available space for
Susan Wilson, director of
the office of Student Activities
and Leadership, said her office
recognizes more than 1,000
student organizations each
year and there is always a lot
of activity on campus.
However, she said Univer-
sity schools and colleges have
precedence over student-led
groups in reserving space and
"My office, through the
Student Organization and
Recognition process, is trying
to get schools and colleges to
treat student organizations as
groups worthy of using (Uni-
versity) resources," Wilson
The Ross School of Busi-
See SPACE, Page 7A
Hybrid animals shed light
on the process of evolution
BY EKJYOT SAINI
In the Smoky Mountains of North Caro-
lina, Rackham student Matthew Chatfield
carefully inspects each salamander before he
snaps off their tails with his hands and brings
the tails back to his lab in the Ecology and
Evolutionary Biology Department.
Chatfield returned from his third trip to
North Carolina in September, where he was
collecting DNA samples from three different
species of salamanders: the red-cheeked sala-
mander, the Southerngray-cheeked salaman-
der and a hybrid salamander, which is a cross
between the red and gray-cheeked species.
Hybrids come about when the two pure-
bred forms mate.
Chatfield set up a campsite atop a moun-
tain ridgeinthe Smoky Mountains duringthe
summer to collect salamander tails, which
regenerate when removed. Chatfield wanders
the ridge looking for the salamanders, armed
a thermos full of dry ice, which he uses to pre-
serve and transport the tails.
The red and gray-cheeked salamanders are
found at the highest elevations of the moun-
tain range - about 4,500 feet - but inhabit
it an eight-mile stretch of land that overlaps
these areas, known as the hybrid zone. This
stretch is known as the hybrid zone.
See HYRBlDS, Page 7A
People mill around the interior of the Power Center on Oct. 25. The
theater is a sought-after venue for some student groups.
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02006 The Michigan Daily S U D O K U..
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