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April 22, 2014 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-22

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2B - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Presidential initiatives driven by economy

Dogged by budget choosing to focus on cutting
costs and launching the Uni-
challenges, a focus versity's first major fundraising
on alternative in 1988, Duderstadt, a nuclear
engineer, .took over the presi-
funding streams dency and found a less extreme
economic backdrop. State fund-
By YARDAIN AMRON ing levels continued to fall,
Daily StaffReporter but on a gentler slope. Student
- tuition and fees continued to
There were 12 presidents that rise until they surpassed state
oversaw more than 197 years of funding as the key contributor
University history before Mary to the General Fund.
Sue Coleman was selected as Lee Bollinger succeeded Dud-
the 13th president of the Univer- erstadt in 1996. Duderstadt said
sity in 2002. A dozen years later, Bollinger did not seem comfort-
she's retiring and the classic, able at Michigan and preferred
end-of-tenure question arises: Is the East Coast. After five years,
she the University's best presi- Bollinger resigned to become
dent? president of Columbia Univer-
According to James Dud- sity.
erstadt, the University's 11th "To put it bluntly, I think the
president, and former LSA place went into a nosedive for a
Dean Terrance McDonald, the while," Duderstadt said. "And
director of the Bentley Histori- I think one of the challenges
cal Library, presidential lega- President Coleman faced was
cies are best determined by the pulling it out of the nosedive
times in which they took place. and getting it back into leveled
Follow the money Coleman assumed the presi-
dency in 2002 in the midst of a
The University's most recent national financial crisis, popu-
presidencies have largely been larly referred to as the dot-com
shaped by economic conditions. boom and subsequent bust.
In 1960, the University's "People can forget that almost
General Fund - which pays for the day that Mary Sue Coleman
academics, admissions and ser- became president of the Univer-
vices like museums, libraries sity of Michigan, the Michigan
and insurance - was financed economy collapsed - also the
with 78 percent state dollars and national economy," McDonald
the rest student tuition and fees. said.
Today, the fund accounts for Add to that the 2008 reces-
$1.7 billion, or 27 percent of the sion, and it becomes clear why
University's approximately $6.4 state funding has dropped
billion budget. another 30 to 40 percent since
For the next two decades, the turn of the century. Today,
state support stayed relatively state funding is 16 percent of the
stable until economist Harold General Fund; student tuition
Shapiro assumed the presidency and fees account for 71 percent
in 1980. At that point, state dol- - an almost mirror flip from
lars accounted for 65 percent their percentages in 1960.
of the fund, and over the next The lack of state funding,
few years, dropped 30 percent, however, has multiple aspects.
mainly in a free-fall that result- It's a toxic mix of economic
ed from the 1980 recession. turmoil and lack of state invest-
Shapiro's reaction was to ment, and Duderstadt pointed to
embrace "smaller but better," prison as a possible culprit.

"We spend $2 billion a year
on locking people up right now,"
Duderstadt said. "More than
any other state in the Union, our
prisons are more expensive and
are locking up a higher fraction
of our population. So for what-
ever reason, a series of decisions
were made that prisons are
more important than education
in this state. Today even the Tea
Party people are beginning to
believe we walked ourselves out
on a limb on that one."
Coleman responded to the
financial hardship with a con-
coction of fundraising and
expansion, quite a contrast to
Shapiro's "smaller but better"
approach in the 1980s.
"Her attitude always was we
have to go forward in spite of
these constraints," McDonald
said. "That is where a presiden-
tial personality can make a dif-
ference. There could have been
a president who said, 'we better
stop building, we better drop
five schools,' or something dra-
matic like that."
In an interview with The
Michigan Daily, Coleman
said she understood the state
could not supply the resources
required for the University to
remain competitive with its
peer institutions.
"We had to do much more in
philanthropy - we had to be
much more like a private insti-
tution while still being proud
of our heritage of being a public
university and so we had to con-
fine those two better," Coleman
Coleman's fundraising prow-
ess can be argued as a central
component of her legacy. She
piloted two fundraising cam-
paigns: First, the Michigan
Difference, which raised $3.2
billion between 2004 and 2008,
the most by any public univer-
sity campaign in American his-
tory; and second, Victors for
Michigan, which launched this
past year with a $4 billion goal.
"She's easily one of the small-

est of handfuls of effective
presidents in America with
campaigns," said Jerry May,
vice president of development.
"I mean lets face it, no public
universities have had campaigns
this big, and she's led our cam-
paigns and inspired donors."
Coleman also combated the
lack of state funding by increas-
ing enrollment and tuition.
Between Winter 2002 and
Fall 2013, the student body grew
from 36,377 to 43,710. To com-
pare, Duderstadt said there had
been serious thought to reduce
enrollment in select schools
during his presidency.
"The growth in the size of the
student population - with a sig-
nificant fraction of those com-
ing from out-of-state students
paying significantly higher fees
- really was the key to plugging
the whole that was left from the
withdrawal of state support,"
Duderstadt said.
The economic environment
could have had a really devas-
tating impact on the University,
but McDonald said Coleman
strengthened the University
over her tenure and set an opti-
mistic tone.
Context matters
McDonald said Americans
frequently make the mistake
of confusing the context with
the individual, and are tempted
by a 'Great Man' theory of his-
tory. While a president sets the
tone and can possibly damage
the institution, he warned that
there are much larger forces at
play than any one individual.
"Michigan is a notoriously
decentralized organization,"
McDonald said. "The president
doesn't hand down orders from
the Fleming building. There
are 19 schools and colleges run
by their faculty and led by their
deans and a lot of the good
things that happen on this cam-
pus happen on this great decen-
tralized level."


38,972 46,730 38,972 43,710

66% increase
$8,294 $13,783 $24,460 $41,617
State appropriation as percentage of expenditures drops from 34% to 4.77%
2aa:6.°x 2002: 13.6% 2013: 8.6%
By 108,000 DMNBtKBIctBG

For instance, a juxtaposition
of the University's expenditures
under Duderstadt and Coleman
is insightful not only for the two
presidents' priorities, but more
so for what was necessary at the
specific junction. Duderstadt
focused mainly in the core aca-
demic units, renovating most of
LSA, while Coleman upgraded
more of the auxiliary units like

medical buildings, student resi-
dence halls and athletic facili-
Duderstadt compared it to the
catchphrase 'You play the hand
you're dealt.'
"This institution kind of
shapes the presidency and the
agenda of the president rather
than vice versa."

Diversity efforts stalled by affirmative action ban

Students from
CTE, BSU say
Coleman could
have done more
Daily StaffReporter
University President Mary Sue
Coleman gave a special address
Nov. 8, 2006 on the Diag to a
crowd of more than 1,700 stu-
dents, staff and community mem-
One day earlier, Michigan's
voters outlawed the consideration
of race in college admissions in a
ballot measure that in many ways
stemmed from opposition to the
University's practices. Today, the
University remains embroiled in
the legal battle over the constitu-

Coleman told the crowd that
diversity would remain a priority,
both for her and for the Univer-
sity, and she would do whatever it
took to maintain it.
"I am standing here today to
tell you that I will not allow our
university to go down the path
to mediocrity. That is not Michi-
gan," Coleman said in 2006.
"Diversity makes us strong, and
it is too critical to our mission,
too critical to our excellence, too
critical to our future simply to
Affirmative action policies at
the University, along with diver-
sity and climate, are not a debate
Coleman started. When she came
to the University in 2003, the
University was already involved
in the issue through two Supreme
Court lawsuits filed against LSA
and the law school's race-con-
scious admissions policies under
the former University President

Lee Bollinger. In the former case,
Grutter v. Bollinger, the court
upheld the University's narrow
-use of race in admissions in the
interest of creating a diverse
class of students. The decision to
uphold the case is part of what
spurred the push to create and
implement Proposal 2.
But now, as she prepares to
depart 12 years later, with the
issue of affirmative action in
Michigan is again before the
Supreme Court, enrollment num-
bers for minorities at the Univer-
sity have fallen precipitously and
student protests about campus
climate are nearly a common
occurrence. Her efforts before,
during and after Proposal 2 have
become a part of what she'll leave
Beyond the numbers
Today. Black students make

up 4.8 percent of the under-
graduate population. Hispanic
students comprise 4.3 percent.
In the last two decades, Black
enrollment peaked at 8.9 per-
cent in 1996.
When looking at Coleman's
legacy on diversity, it's hard to
ignore those numbers. However,
Lester Monts, senior vice pro-
vost for academic affairs, said
in the context of the legal con-
straints imposed by Proposal
2 and other measures enacted
during her tenure, Coleman's
impact on diversity on campus
can more easily be understood
in her institutional support such
as infrastructure or advocacy.
"Her style is different from
President Bollinger's, her style
is different from President
Duderstadt's," Monts said. "But
diversity and multicultural-
ism is such a part of University
life that any president coming
in has to embrace it, and put
their own stamp on, and I think
that's what Mary Sue has done.
I think that's the infrastructure
improvements. I think that's
the expansion of diversity to
embrace the things that we're
doing globally."
Immediately after the pas-
sage of Proposal 2, Coleman
established the Diversity Blue-
prints Task Force, which was
charged with discovering ways
to increase and maintain diver-
sity on campus without affirma-
tive action.
More left to be done
Even when the conversa-
tion about diversity on campus
during Coleman's tenure is not
treated as a question of num-
bers, the impact of reduced per-
centages is hard to ignore.
Student groups focused on
diversity issues said they under-

stand the legal constraints the
University is operating under.
However, they claim the Uni-
versity and Coleman could have
done more to maintain diver-
sity and alleviate the effects of
homogeneity on campus.
LSA senior Erick Gavin, the
Black Student Union's public
relations chair, said in his expe-
rience, the administration and
Coleman have focused on the
bigger picture items, like Pro-
posal 2, and less on ameliorat-
ing day-to-day issues.
"That's sometimes where
we miscommunicate with each
other, the difference between
having wide-sweeping policy
changes and having life-style,
student affairs changes that
help students grow and learn,"
Gavin said.
Public Policy junior Daniel
Morales, a founding member of
the Coalition for Tuition Equal-
ity and former chair of Central
Student Government's Diver-
sity and Inclusion Commission,
said campus climate noticeably
deteriorated after Proposal 2
The Coalition for Tuition
Equality protested for the past
several years about the tuition
status given to undocumented
"We could do more, and
President Coleman frankly
could have done more, when
Prop 2 passed, to reinvigorate
or kick it up a notch in terms
of engaging these communi-
ties," Morales said. "I know it's
really hard and I want to give
her credit, but we haven't kept
it diverse and we've declined
so much and we've become so
much less diverse."
Monts echoed Gavin's
thoughts on the importance of
bettering campus climate. "All
of these (initiatives) don't solve

all the problems," Monts said.
A voice for change
In an interview with The
Michigan Daily, Coleman said
when she spoke in the Diag
almost eightyears ago, her focus
was about affirming the Univer-
sity's commitment to diversity.
"I wanted our community to
understand that as a University
we very much value diversity
and would continue to find legal
ways to achieve diversity," Cole-
man said. "That's what we've
tried to do and I thought it was
a message that the community
really needed to hear."
Sometimes, what that com-
mitment to diversity has trans-
lated into is still a little murky.
Coleman's infrastructure
represents a long-term effort -
one that might not fully come
to fruition until long after she's
gone. The outcome of legal
action against Proposal 2 is
expected sooner, in June, but
there's no guarantee that it will
reverse its legal restraints. The
impact of movements like CTE
or #BBUM campaign isn't clear,
since both groups continue to
negotiate with administrators
about their respective issues.
But in the end, the simple fact
that she has been so open and so
vocal about her support is what
her legacy might be shaped by.
"Mary Sue Coleman saying
that diversity is something that
she wants, I think puts on other
administration's radar, faculty's
radar, and even student's radar
how important diversity is,"
Gavin said.
"Can I say specifically what I
think she's done to make chang-
es? I personally cannot," he
added. "I can say things that I
think she's pushed forward, that
have enacted a lot of change."

Students participate in a protest organized by the Black Student Union in front of Hill Auditorium on January 21. The
speakers made seven demands concerning their campaign, Being Black at the University of Michigan, and gave University
atticials seven days ta respond.



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