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November 03, 2014 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4A - Monday, November 3, 2014

t (c inan 4 at
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
A principled tradition
The University must focus on morals in new athletic director
Building on Friday, University President Mark Schlissel
announced the resignation of Athletic Director Dave
Brandon. Brandon's resignation comes on the heels of a slew of
controversial events and decisions that led to public outcry from
students and alumni alike. As the athletic director, Brandon was
rarely able to genuinely connect with or understand Michigan
fans, often implementing shortsighted policies and marketing
tactics that betrayed the core beliefs of the school. Brandon's
justified departure presents an opportunity for President
Schlissel and the University to realign the Athletic Department
with the school's foundational traditions and values of a strong
moral code, academic excellence and tradition of athletic success.

The Michigan Daily --michigandaily.com
Taylor, White, Weiser and Schauer
:us on issues that impact students, the Daily endorses four candidates
ipcoming Nov. 4 election has the potential to change politics
on and off campus. Tuesday's ballot will cover a host of issues
tingto students, includingthe election oftwo Universityregents,
Arbor mayor and a hotly contested election for state governor.
en seems like elections are a topic with little everyday impact,
>uld pay attention to local and state elections. Basic services
costs are influenced by the future mayor, while University
:isions are made by the Board of Regents. Similarly, all Michigan
ill be affected by the gubernatorial election. Because there
at stake,students must pay attention to the issues and make
cisions Tuesday.

While much of the public outrage toward
Brandon was due to the football team's poor
performance on the field, the heart of student
and alumni discontent wasbased onthe appar-
ent disintegration of Michigan's values. Dur-
ing Brandon's tenure, the Athletic Department
mishandled a number of critical incidents, a
reflection of the department's failure to pri-
oritize basic University principles. On Nov. 23,
2013,former MichigankickerBrendanGibbons
was allowed to play in a game against Iowa
despite the fact that three days prior Gibbons
had been found responsible for an violating
the University's Student Sexual Misconduct
Policy. At best this was a communication fail-
ure, and at worst it was a willful disregard
for the ethical standards of the University. In
the Sept. 27 football game against Minnesota,
after Michigan sophomore quarterback Shane
Morris suffered a concussion on the field he
was allowed to reenter the game. Though the
incident seemed to be an accident of ignorance .
- another breakdown in communication,
apparently - the fact remains that the policy
in place failed to protect student-athletes.
Rather than reinforcing player safety
policies or the personal conduct of its student-
athletes (see former Michigan offensive
lineman Taylor Lewan's alleged physical
assault in addition to Gibbons')upontakingthe
athletic director position, Brandon appeared to

prioritize the gimmicky marketing strategies
of a profit-driven agenda; effectively brushing
aside the virtues of a "Michigan Man." From
raising football ticket prices, to the accidental
Coca-Cola ticket giveaway promotion, to the
skywriting incident, Brandon's marketing
decisions were a series of rather impulsive
ideas or mistakes from which he backtracked
following public disapproval. The University
cannot afford another athletic director with
such misaligned values.
All of which is to say the University needs
to better integrate the Athletic Department
into its overall mission. In addition to choosing
a principled athletic director, Schlissel has to
find a balance between an efficient delegation
of responsibilities and sufficient oversight to
ensure that the Athletic Department is an exten-
sion of University virtues. Learning from Bran-
don's mistakes, the next Athletic Director needs
to focus on student-athlete safety, player behav-
ior and connecting with alumni and students.
Michigan's storied history is a winning
one - especially in football - but it's not the
scoreboard from which students and alumni
draw their pride. Michigan tradition is defined
by morals, not money; the team, not the brand.
By forgoing profits, wins or skywriting in
exchange for ethical behavior in the Athletic
Department, President Schlissel can continue
to maintain that proud tradition.

For the first time in 14 years, Ann
Arbor will elect a new mayor to
City Councilmember Christopher
Taylor (D-Ward 3) is running
against independent candidate
Bryan Kelly in this year's mayoral
election. Taylor's platform relies
partially on reinforcing strategies
that current Mayor John Hieftje
(D) has utilized in the past. Taylor
is a strong advocate for expanding
public transit, increasing outreach
to students and initiating change in
downtown development and zoning
districts. While Kelly has noted the
importance of restructuring our
development infrastructure, his
platform is focused on the city's
debt, especially pension debt and
health care.
While it's clear that Kelly is
passionate about the city and its
people, his visible lack of experience
is a red flag for voters. With the
city's focus currently on the
Downtown Development Authority
and expansion of public transit
and related services, The Michigan
Daily Editorial Board endorses
mayor. However, honorable mention
is given to independent candidate
Bryan Kelly for his obvious passion
and investment in the city's issues,
and his initiative to reach out
and connect with students. Kelly
should continue his political career
and with future experience, he
will hopefully prove to be a great
candidate for the city.
In the race for two seats on the
University's Board of Regents,
four candidates have become the
frontrunners: Mike Behm, Rob
Steele, Ronald Weiser and Katherine
White. Of the four, the Daily
the current chair of the Board of
Regents, has maintained a strong

relationship with the student body
throughout her terms, including the
reporters at the Daily. White has
previously said she endorseslowering
tuition for students as well as
increasing minority enrollment and
diversifying campus. With a strong
background in higher education and
advocacy for diversity on campus,
White is an excellent choice for
the board.
Newcomer Ronald Weiser
is a University alum, a former
ambassador to the Slovak Republic
and the founder and CEO of
multimillion-dollar real estate
firm McKinley Associates. Weiser
has demonstrated his dedication
to the community. His service on
the board for the Detroit Institute
of Arts shows his dedication to
the arts, which is encouraging for
the University as he emphasizes
greater funding for non-specialized
programs. Weiser believes his
background in business can help
the University better manage its
funds, especially with regard to
responsible budgeting and lowering
student tuition. On diversity issues,
Weiser plans to increase diversity
by lowering tuition and improving
accessibility. Weiser, who has strong
ties to the Ross School of Business,
must focus on all parts of the
University in order to be successful.
The 2014 gubernatorial election
pits incumbent Republican Gov.
Rick Snyder against former U.S. Rep.
Mark Schauer. The decision was
difficult, as the editorial board had
reservations with some of the stances
of both candidates on different issues.
Though the course of the state
economy has trended positively
during Snyder's term, his policies,
such as the elimination of the
Michigan Business Tax, tax
reforms and elimination of various
tax credits for individuals that
mostly affected the middle and

lower class and introduction of
taxed pensions, have delivered
good, but not sensational, results at
the expense of the aforementioned
raises in personal taxes. Education
funding, while initially cut under
the Snyder administration, has
trended upward over the past
four years, but his plans for
more educational choice have
spawned charter schools that lack
oversight. His role in the Detroit
bankruptcy proceedings and the
Grand Bargain were instrumental,
but his pro-fracking and other
environmental and energy stances
lack the progressivism we wish
to see. Snyder also continues to
dodge questions on social issues,
and it's difficult to figure out where
he stands.
Meanwhile, Schauer says a lot of
the right things, but lacks details
on how he would implement his
ideas. He wishes to reinstate tax
credits for lower- and middle-
class individuals and eliminate the
pension tax, as well as repeal Right
to Work legislation. However, his
general proposals such as cutting
waste and expanding the tax base
do not specifically answer how he
would achieve the increased revenue
needed to accomplish things like
substantially increasing education
funding, rendering his plans
idealistic. He says he would not have
instituted an emergency manager in
Detroit, but hasn't provided details
on how he would have dealt with the
situation differently.
However, Schauer sets himself
apart from Snyder with his stance
on social issues, his progressive
environmental goals and his
vision for education in the state.
The Michigan Daily has a strong
precedent of placing importance
on these issues, therefore, we
for governor.

Devin Eggert, David Harris, Rachel John, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, Megan
McDonald, Victoria Noble, Allison Raeck, Melissa Scholke, Michael Schramm,
Matthew Seligman, Mary Kate Winn, Jenny Wang, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Exactly the right time

Vote yes on annexation

Before Friday, Michigan's midterm elec-
tions seemed primed to be the story of
the week. Then former Athletic Director
Dave Brandon turned heads_
one last time, resigning his
office, and suddenly, the gov-
ernor's post seems secondary.
compared to the still-warm w
but newly empty chair of the
athletic director at the Uni-
versity of Michigan. °
Normally it would be TYLER
cheeky to suggest the oust- SCOTT
ing of an athletic director at a
single university trumps the
importance of a changing of
the guard of the state's highest political office,
but timing is everything.
With each progressive controversy, the
question of what exactly it would take to get
Dave Brandon fired mid-season was asked with
increasing regularity. In the end, whether it was
the botched handling of Shane Morris-gate,
the ineptitude of the highest-profile athletic
team or just the mounting public pressure Dave
Brandonisnowgone - somethingthatstudents
should be proud of.
Tirelessly, the mantra of the "leaders and
best" is preached, but even in this liberal haven,
most dramatic illustrations of student activism
elicit a response that can only be measured by
how likely a passerby is to actively avoid the
Diag on demonstration day.
After the misery of the Minnesota game on
Sept. 27, organizers of the protest to have Dave
Brandon run out of town seized the perfect
time to voice the growing discontent. Hundreds
gathered around the heart of campus and the
media were there to listen. Students - the most
faithful followers of the once-great Michigan
Wolverines - were seemingly more fed up than
Poor Mark Schlissel. Not even a semester
into his tenure as University President, and
hordes of angry students were literally out call-

ing for change from the front steps of his home.
The decision sat with Schlissel, but the protest
made national news. It wasn't that the evening
on the Diag caused any change directly, even
with the news chopper whirling overhead. But
it evoked frustration with the status quo and
put Dave Brandon in the middle of a nightmare,
albeit one that looked escapable.
There seemed for a moment to be a glimmer
of hope for Brandon. Next year's student
football ticket prices were slashed, excitement
about the upcoming basketball and hockey
seasons quelled some woes, and Michigan
finally won again - at home, under the lights,
with proud and elated players.
It was all a cruel coincidence. A loss at
Michigan State on Oct. 25 reincarnated the
dismay, and the University's Board of Regents
began to put serious pressure on Brandon.
Perhaps the left-leaning board was happy to
excusably berate the staunchly conservative
corporate pizza man, and perhaps much of
what transpires on the football field doesn't fall
directly on the athletic director.
It should be said that Brandon did some great
things for the University. Chiefly, the state-of-
the-art facilities for many of the athletic teams
and clubs should come to mind, but the timing
was all wrong. Once this season began its disap-
pointing course, Brandon never had a chance.
To claim that students had some hand in the
resignation of Brandon may be overreaching.
A lot of degrees, experience and money go
into making decisions of such magnitude.
Nevertheless, the entire ordeal would have had
a different feel were it not for the protest on the
Diag that fans and media members alike often
referred to.
For once, it at least feels like the student voice
meant something, that it made a difference by
providing a key outlet of discontent - and at
exactly the right time.
- Tyler Scott can be reached
at tylscott@umich.edu.

through difficult times. Last month,
Whitmore Lake students focused on
the character trait of perseverance,
They learned that perseverance is
important throughout life.
Perhaps unknown to these stu-
dents, their own school district is
tryingto persevere in providing high-
qualitysustainable education despite
continued inadequate funding from
state government. Whitmore Lake
is not alone. The Ann Arbor public
schools struggle to maintain excel-
lence in the face of state reductions to
support classroom teaching.
These two school districts are
proposing an innovative, joint
approach in their tenacious battle.
Both districts support the annexation
of the Whitmore Lake public schools
into the Ann Arbor public schools.
Annexation will be on your ballot
Tuesday as the Ann Arbor Schools
Proposal. It deserves our support.
The future of our children depends
on a "yes" vote.
For the last eight years, I have
had the pleasure of teaching
Whitmore Lake children. As an
Ann Arbor resident of 12 years, I
compare the resources at our Ann
Arbor neighborhood school to the
limited Whitmore Lake offerings: no
elementary art, limited AP courses,
only Spanish in high school. How is
it that students, only a few minutes
north of Ann Arbor, are the casualties
of a political decision made before
their births?
Proposal A, implemented in 1995,
centralized control of school funds
at the state level. A foundation allow-
ance, or the appropriation per pupil,
was allotted based on enrollment.

The foundation allowance of each
district reflected its spending prior to
Proposal A. Ann Arbor students cur-
rently get $9,100 per student while
Whitmore Lake students receive
only $7,126 because of the patterns
and policies of over two decades ago.
Annexation is a local, proactive
solution that benefits students in
both districts. After annexation, all
students in the expanded district
of $9,095 per student. This allowance
includes an ongoing annual state
appropriation of an additional $100
per student to districts choosing
annexation. With the nearly 18,000
students in both districts, the added
$100 per student would yield $1.8
million annually.
Each district must, by law, have
its own superintendent and board of
education. Each district must also
have central administrative services
such as business services and human
resource departments to fulfill its
educational and fiduciary respon-
sibilities. Annexation would lead to
the elimination of a superintendent
and other duplicative services. The
consolidation of central adminis-
trative seryices would cut costs by
$500,000. These savings would
dwarf the $5 decline noted above for
the Ann Arbor foundation allowance.
The sum of the $1.8 million in
recurring revenue and the $500,000
reduction in administrative costs
yields a total of $2.3 million of new
annual support for instruction. In
addition, the state is offering a one-
time grant of $1.4 million to offset
costs related to the annexation.
The annexation of Whitmore Lake
would attract students back to the

Whitmore Lake schools and attract
School of Choice students from a
broader geographic area. It would
further lower central administra-
tive costs per student and increase
the proportion of the state, appro-
priation devoted to instruction. The
Ann Arbor superintendent and the
Board of Education are pursuing this
policy now. Incorporating Whitmore
Lake into this plan would open up
possibilities of new educational pro-
grams, such as language immersion,
STEAM, magnet schools and Inter-
national Baccalaureate programs,
which benefit students as well as
attract them. The Whitmore Lake
District would become a neighbor-
hood attendance area analogous to
those of Huron, Pioneer and Sky-
line. The geographic area of sus-
tainable, excellent public education
would increase.
The ability to think creatively
allows people and, in this case,
districts to persevere. The current
system of funding schools is broken.
If we wait for elected state officials to
fix the problems, more students will
have gaps in their education. Instead,
this annexation proposal allows two
districts to take a stand and work
through the funding situation so the
education of our students will not
suffer. Together, Whitmore Lake
and Ann Arbor will be a model of
strength, unity and perseverance.
Our community will model the traits
we teach our students. Vote yes on
the Ann Arbor Schools Proposal
for annexation.
Caroline Semrau is an Ann
Arbor resident and a teacher in the
Whitmore Lake Public School district. _

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and viewpoints.
Letters should be fewer than 300 words while viewpoints should be 550-850 words.
Send the writer's full name and University affiliation to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

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