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March 14, 2011 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-03-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, March 14, 2011 - 5A


From Page 1A
Coleman is recommending that
Snyder be given a Doctor of Law
"I think one of the messages,
I hope, to graduates is here we
have a UM alum - triple alum as
a matter of fact - who went out
and had a successful career, and
he's come back in public service,
public service in a way he hopes
he can use -his knowledge and
expertise to help build a founda-
tion for the future of the state,"
Coleman said of Snyder.
Before becoming Michigan's
48th governor, Snyder served as
CEO and chair of the board of
Ardesta, LLC, a venture capital
firm Snyder co-founded. While
at Gateway between 1991 and
2007, Snyder also served as exec-
utive vice president, president

and chief operating officer, chair
of the board and interim CEO.
Snyder is also the co-founder of
Ann Arbor SPARK, a regional
business accelerator.
Snyder's post as governor is his
first position held in public office.
"I admire the fact that he was
willing to run (for governor) in a
time when many states are facing
challenges," Coleman said.
During their Thursday meet-
ing - which will be held in
Detroit for the first time - the
regents are also expected to
approve a slew of nominations
for honorary degrees to be given
at commencement. Among those
recipients, Coleman said she is
proposing that honorary degrees
be given to former U.S. Rep. Vern
Ehlers (R-Mich.), William Clay
Ford, Jr., the executive chair of
Ford Motor Company, Spike Lee,
a well-known film and television
producer director and writer, and

Stephen Ross, a University alum,
real estate mogul and prominent
donor to the University.
Additionally, the Board of
Regents will be asked to approve
an honorary degree for Wash-
ington Post Columnist Eugene
Robinson, who has accepted an
invitation to speak at Rackham
Graduate School's graduate exer-
cises in Hill Auditorium on April
Coleman said this year's line-
up of honorary degree recipients
represent beacons of creativity
and hard work.
"It is quite amazing ... " Cole-
man said. "I think they will natu-
rally serve as role models for our
Coleman is recommending
that Robinson, also a University
alum and former co-editor in
chief of the Daily, be given a Doc-
tor of Humane Letters. Robinson
is an award-winning journalist,

having won the Pulitzer Prize in
2009 for a series of columns he
wrote while covering then-Sen.
Barack Obama's presidential
"(He's) a former Daily report-
er who went on to have a spec-
tacular career," Coleman said.
"It should generate, and I know
it will, lots of pride from the
Ross is being recommended
for an honorary Doctor of Law
degree. The Business School's
namesake, Ross is well known
on campus for his philanthropy,
including a $100 million gift to
the Business School. He is now
the chair and CEO of The Relat-
ed Companies, L.P., a real estate
firm based in New York.
"(Ross is) a tremendous phi-
lanthropist not only to the Ross
School, but to other areas in the
University as well," Coleman said.
Coleman is also recommend-

ing that Ehlers receive an hon-
orary Doctor of Law degree.
Ehlers, who used to represent
Michigan's third district in the
U.S. House of Representatives, is
also a retired physicist and pro-
fessor at Calvin College in Grand
Rapids, Mich., where he served
as chair of the physics depart-
"With his advocacy for science
and a scientist himself, he under-
stood what it took to be able to
support great science," Coleman
said. "He was a tireless advocate
for the sciences in Congress, and
we're very proud to honor him."
Pending the regents' approv-
al, Ford is expected to receive
a Doctor of Law degree at com-
mencement as well. Ford has
served in numerous leadership
roles at the Ford Motor Compa-
ny, including his current position
as executive chair and former
position as CEO.

"The Ford Motor Company
has been a tremendous partner
with the University in research,
and over the years, they've been
so generous," Coleman said. "We
are so pleased that Ford has done
well and is on the road, we hope,
to recovery."
Lee is expected to receive
a Doctor of Fine Arts. Calling
him a "creative genius," Cole-
man said, "We're very pleased to
honor his work."
Lee's production company, 40
Acres & A Mule Filmworks, has
produced more than 35 movies.
Lee has also received an Emmy
Award and has been nominated
for two Academy Awards.
Commencement is set to take
place on Saturday, April 30 at 10
a.m. in Michigan Stadium. Rack-
ham's University Graduate Exer-
cises are scheduled for the day
before at 9:30 a.m. in Hill Audi-

From Page 1A
poned the date. Once the contract
expires, a new contract will be up
for a vote of approval by the Uni-
versity's Board of Regents.
More rights for GSIs with
disabilities is just one of many
changes that have been suggested
for the new contract during the
26 bargaining sessions that have
taken place since December. Once
implemented, the signed proposal
will be the first article in any Uni-
versity union's contract to outline
the rights of GSIs with disabili-
While many issues facing
reform under the new contract -
like salaries and benefits related
to child care - have existing

articles under GEO's current con-
tract, the tentative agreement
signed Friday will be a brand new
addition to the contract.
Echols said in her research
of other universities' employee
unions, she hasn't found another
collective bargaining agreement
that allows GSIs to request spe-
cial accommodations.
"This is pretty groundbreaking
because no other union has taken
this on as something to change
employer policy and employer
structure," Echols said. "In terms
of this collective bargaining
agreement, it's really unique."
GEO President Robert
Gillezeau, a GSI in the Depart-
ment of Economics and a gradu-
ate student research assistant for
the Center for Afroamerican and
African Studies agreed with Pat-

rick O'Mahen, former communi-
cations chair of GEO and a former
Michigan Daily columnist, who
called the signing of the proposal
The main resource set up for
GSIs with disabilities will be
a process in which instructors
can request accommodations for
their disabilities, according to
Echols. This willbe done through
a similar process for students
with disabilities who go through
the Office of Services for Students
with Disabilities.
Echols said GEO has been
working on the proposal since
last summer and has been negoti-
ating the finalized proposal with
University administrators since
"We hope that the Univer-
sity will use that for all kinds of

employees," Echols said.
Mathieu Desan, a GSI in the
Department of Sociology, said
the administration has been flex-
ible in evaluating all issues under
negotiation except the inclusion
of graduate student research
assistants under GEO's collective
bargaining rights.
GEO has been advocating to
allow GSRAs in the union since
it bargains on their behalf. But
University officials still follow
a 1981 Michigan Employment
Relations Commission regulation
that states GSRAs are foremost
students,and not employees.
Despite this, Desan said he
thinks the administration has
been "really receptive" to their
Federico Pous, a GSI in the
Department of Romance Lan-

guages and Literatures, and Jen-
nifer Bowles, a graduate student
fellow, brought their 4-year-old
daughter Iris to the bargaining
session Friday. They are expect-
ing their second child soon.
Pous and Bowles are advocat-
ing for the elimination of a stip-
ulation under the current GEO
contract that requires a 20-hour
work week for both partners in
order for them to have access to
child care resources. Pous said
negotiations with the administra-
tion have been difficult as many
of his propositions during pre-
vious bargaining sessions have
been shot down.
International GSIs are often
denied access to child care
because the University has a poli-
cy that limits the number of work
hours for foreigners, Bowles said,

adding that she hopes GEO's next
contract will change the require-
Desan said while he isn't a
parent, he sees the struggles his
friends with children go through
and thinks it is important GSIs
are given more support when it
comes to child care.
"I'd like to see the University
move on our child care proposal
in particular," Desan said.
The collective bargaining
agreement will be negotiated
between GEO and the adminis-
tration's bargaining team in two
meetings this week. Gillezeau
said he anticipates the union
and administrators will reach a
consensus at the meetings and
that the agreement will then pro-
ceed to the University's Board of
Regents for approval.

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