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March 10, 2011 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-03-10

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, March 10, 2011- 3A

Snyder: Residents
must think about
'we,' not 'me'
Michigan citizens need to
think about what's best for every-
one rather than just themselves if
the state is to reinvent itself, Gov.
Rick Snyder told the Michigan
Association of Broadcasters yes-
The Republican governor
defended his nearly $2 billion in
business tax cuts and the income
tax changes he wants to make to
offset that, including a tax on pen-
sions that has drawn criticism.
People naturally object to
changes that affect their bottom
line, he said. But residents need to
think not just about their current
circumstances, but what changes
will make Michigan a better place
for their children and grandchil-
dren, he added.
"In our hearts, we know it's
time for 'we' to happen," he said
at the end of a half-hour speech.
"By following through on that
'we' attitude, we'll have an excit-
ing future."
The state is facing an esti-
mated $1.4 billion shortfall in the
upcoming budget year that begins
Oct. 1.
a House counsel to
defend ban on gay
marriage in court
House Speaker John Boehner
says the House counsel will
defendthe federalbanongaymar-
riage, now that the Obama admin-
istration won't.
A five-member House panel
yesterday voted 3-2 along party
lines to direct the House counsel
to come up with a legal defense for
the 1996 law. The Obama admin-
istration has directed the Justice
Department to stop defending
the law in court because, White
House officials believe, it is uncon-
Boehner said the law's consti-
tutionality should be decided by a
court, not by the president. Mean-
while, House Democratic leader
Nancy Pelosi, who voted against
the directive, says the defense will
be lengthy and expensive.
N.Y. fire engine
collides with
special needs van
New York City police say a van
full of special needs adults and a
fire engine collided, killing one
personinthe van and injuringsev-
eral others, two of them seriously.
At least seven people from
the van were taken to a hospital,
including one critical and one seri-
ous injury. The victim who died
was in the van and has not been
Six firefighters suffered minor

The fire engine, from Ladder
81, was driving through a Staten
Island intersection when it hit the
van's rear driver-side door as it
made a left turn, police said.
Chaos deepens as
clashes in Egypt
kill 13, wound 140
Clashes between Muslims
and Christians in Egypt left 13
dead and 140 wounded, deepen-
ing a sense of chaos as the police
and ruling military struggled to
maintain order barely a month
after a popular uprising ousted
longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
In a sign of how much security
has broken down, the pitched
battles - the deadliest in years
- went on for nearly four hours
Tuesday night as both sides
fought with guns, knives and
clubs. Army troops fired in the
air to disperse the crowds to no
The new Cabinet sought to
reassure Egyptians yesterday
night, ordering police to imme-
diately take back the streets.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Slottow not the average University executive

From Page 1A
With Slottow's title as execu-
tive vice president and CFO, it's
easy to think of him as the Uni-
versity's top accountant. And
while that may be true for Slot-
tow's role as CFO, being one of
three executive vice presidents
at the University means his
responsibility is much more far-
Slottow's fellow executive
vice presidents are Philip Han-
lon, the University's provost who
oversees all academic opera-
tions at the University, and Ora
Pescovitz, the executive vice
president of medical affairs who
is in charge of the University of
Michigan Health System and
other medical enterprises at
the University like the Medical
School. Slottow is in charge of
everything else.
Collectively, Slottow's areas
of responsibility are commonly
called business and finance. This
includes thousands of Univer-
sity employees who help to sup-
port the work conducted by the
University faculty and students
in the medical and academic
Without the business and
finance group, campus would
look dramatically different.Com-
puter labs would not exist, and no
University employee would have
a computer at his or her desk. But
that wouldn't matter, since build-
ings wouldn't be powered or
cleaned, and employees wouldn't
be paid for their work. That's
because the University's busi-
ness and finance division handles
essentially all non-academic and
non-medical tasks at the Uni-
versity, including building con-
struction and maintenance,
information technology services,
investment management and
human resources operations.
Asked to describe his typi-
cal day at work, Slottow simply
replies, "There is not a typical
day. It just doesn't exist."
There's no such thing as a nor-
mal day for Slottow because he's
is involved in so many aspects of
the University's operations. His
attention is called in many dif-
ferent directions that repeating
a day would be almost unfath-
omable. However, the structure
of Slottow's days is often very
A gymnast during his time as
an undergraduate student at the
University of California-Berke-
ley, Slottow remains physically
active, often waking up by 5:30
in the morning so he has time to
hit the gym before heading to the
But once Slottow reaches his
office on the third floor of the
Fleming Administration Build-
ing, his day disappears quickly.
Often scheduled with back-to-
back meetings for the entire day,
Slottow's schedule doesn't leave
much time for working on tasks
he must complete on his own
- including reviewing finan-
cial statements and reports and
responding to e-mails.
To help him focus on some of
his more complex tasks, Slottow

says he sometimes delays arriv-
ing to the office in the morning,
instead opting to escape to a local
coffee shop to avoid the inevita-
ble distractions that can arise at

his office.
"I'll basically go, like when I
was a student, to a coffee shop
or somewhere just to not be any-
where near the phone or near the
inbox if I really have to focus on
something," Slottow said in an
interview with The Michigan
But even those early morn-
ing escapes don't give Slottow
enough time to catch up on the
work that piles up on his desk or
the e-mails that flood his inbox.
To complete these tasks, Slot-
tow takes work home with him
at night and often responds to
messages long after many others
in Fleming have left for the night.
Though he works long work
hours and is never truly being
"off-the-clock," Slottow is a fam-
ily man. It may be difficult at
times for him to spend as much
time as he might want to with his
children - all of whom are now
in college - or his wife, but it's
clear he has found a way to make
everything work.
Sitting in his office during an
interview, Slottow shows off pic-
tures of his children displayed
on his desk. They're a little out-
of-date now, he admits, proudly
sharing what each child is doing
His eldest daughter is a gradu-
ate of the University's School
of Music, Theatre & Dance and
is now pursuing her master's
degree at the University of Texas
at Austin. His son is an Engineer-
ing junior at the University of
Michigan and an active member
of the Parkour Club on campus.
And Slottow's youngest daughter
is pursuing her bachelor's degree
at a small music college in St.
Paul, Minn.
Though their academic
endeavors may separate Slottow
from seeing his children as much
as he would like, it's clear Slot-
tow makes every effort to spend
time with his kids - even if it's
just swinging by Zingerman's
Deli between meetings to have a
quick lunch with his son.
Having celebrated his silver
anniversary last summer, Slot-
tow is also very devoted to his
wife, who is a reconnective heal-
ing practitioner, an artist and a
competitive ballroom dancer.
But Slottow's wife isn't the
only one with a dancing gene.
Slottow enjoys spending some
time on the dance floor too. The
proof is on YouTube, where

there's a video of Slottow and his al actors, in mind.
wife dancing on the stage of the in fact, Slottow said he's prob-
Michigan Theater at a benefit for ably one of the only people he
the Make A Wish Foundation of knows who is in such a high-
Michigan, an organization for profile position but hasn't had to
which Slottow also sits on the compromise on morals or doing
board of directors. what is best for the organization
And while dancing may pro- asa whole.
vide a common competitive "I have always done what is
activity for Slottow and his wife, best for the institution since
the entire family has pursued coming to Michigan because of
another activity - tae kwon do. the fact-based decision-making
Each member of Slottow's family process," Slottow said. "Not
has a black belt. many people can say that in jobs
Perhaps that statement like mine."
should be clarified though, as This approach is something
neither Jack nor Nala - the Slot- that's possible, Slottow says,
tow family's two dogs - have because the University is free
black belts, though both are very from many of the political pres-
much a part of the family. In sures he faced during his time
fact, while showing off the pic- with Amtrak and the city of
tures and trinkets that line the Seattle.
bookshelf in his office, Slottow "We're independent from the
points to a party invitation sent state, yetwe're a public non-prof-
to some of his senior staff mem- it whose mission is to educate
bers that jokes about how much leaders to solve big problems,"
the dogs are considered part of he said. "If our regents were
the family. appointed by the governor, I hate
Slottow also enjoys hitting the to say this, but I think I would
tennis courts, though the execu- hate it because they would be
tive, who is humble about his motivated by political appointees
abilities and accomplishments, and political careers."
insists he's not yet skilled enough
to play competitively. KEEPING SIGHT OF
"I practice enough to be com- WHAT'S IMPORTANT
petitive, but so far, I am not good
enough to actually be competi- Amid pictures painted by his
tive," Slottow said. "But I enjoy wife and the electronics and
getting the exercise, learning paperwork essential to do his job,
a new sport and meeting folks Slottow keeps simple reminders
from all walks of life who are in his office of how important
crazed about tennis." his group's work is to the Univer-
As if his interests weren't sity. They're tokens and trinkets
well-rounded enough, Slottow that help him remember what
also plays classical guitar. And his work means and how vast
though he doesn't show off his the work of business and finance
musical talents on YouTube, truly is.
Slottow makes an appearance in One such indicator is an old
and is the subject of the lyrics in fire suppression system sprinkler
his youngest daughter's original head perched on his bookshelf.
music video "Don't Be My Hero." Given to him after a day of shad-

kler head as a souvenir.
Other symbols of the essen-
tial work done by the business
and finance groups are scattered
throughout Slottow's office. On
the circular, four-person confer-
ence table that sits in Slottow's
office, between his desk and a
small seating area, is a special set
of coasters.
With the Michigan 'M' proud-
ly emblazoned on each of the
four coasters, Slottow explains
that the set was a gift from
Lewis Morgenstern, a Univer-
sity professor of neurology and
neurosurgery and director of
the University Hospital's stroke
Morgenstern served on a
faculty committee that advises
Slottow on business and finance
matters affecting faculty when
he decided to take a sabbatical
from his post at UMHS to work
for Slottow's office in what Slot-
tow described as "an intern, a
grunt" position.
But after working with the
business and finance division of
the University, Morgenstern's
career path changed slightly. He
has since written a script for a
movie that describes the role of
the business and finance division
at the University and now has a
partial appointment in the Uni-
versity's Office of the Provost.
Slottow also keeps things in
his office that clearly demon-
strate how much he values the
people who work for his orga-
nization. Walking around in his
office, Slottow points to a poster
hanging near the door. It's a post-
er that displays what are suppos-
edly the best movie quotes of all
It looks of out place, but Slot-
tow explains it was something
his assistant bought him because
one of the people Slottow cor-
responds with likes to include
movie quotes in his messages.
The poster, Slottow says, allows
him to build a better relationship
with this person and to take part
in the fun exchanges.
Slottow takes great care to
make people feel valued, espe-
cially by making time to listen to
feedback from his staff. Through
informal, off-the-record conver-
sations with cross-sections of his
division called "pulse checks,"
Slottow hears directly from all
members of his staff about what
issues employees are facing so he
can stay in the loop.
It's perhaps unusual for an
executive at Slottow's level to
meet with employees who range
from custodians to his boss,
University President Mary Sue
Coleman, and the University
Board of Regents. But it's what
makes Slottow the leader he is.
He doesn't settle for anything
less than what's best for the Uni-
versity. He can't. He cares too
much to give anything less than
his best.

Between balancing his fam-
ily and his wide range of work
responsibilities, Slottow's
attention may be stretched
thin. It is impossible for him to
spend as'much time with each
business unit, family member
or hobby as he might like, but
his focus on results is some-
thing that drives his success.
A self-described "fact-
based, data-driven" man, Slot-
tow's past as a consultant and
his financial work for both
Amtrak and the city of Seat-
tle have shaped his rational
approach to ensuring decisions
are made with the best interest
of the University, not individu-

owing the division of his office
responsible for maintenance of
fire suppression systems on cam-
pus, Slottow received the sprin-



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