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June 29, 1994 - Image 8

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1994-06-29

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, June 29, 1994

Former student sues
'U' over residency

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By Frank C. Lee
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
University graduate Robert
Silverman is suing for $25,000-- the
difference between the tuition paid by
out-of-state and Michigan residents.
Silverman, a New Yorker, said he
applied for residency every term since
1988 and was denied each time with no
reference to anything specific in his
application.
"Our court claim is based on a de-
nial of due process," Silverman said.
"What they're doing is unfair. They
categorically denied me without seri-
ously considering the merits of my
situation.... Iamnotthetypicalout-of-
state student who came here to go to
school.
"I came to the state of Michigan to
dive with Dick Kimball.... My goals
were and my intent was to make an
Olympicteamin 1996,"saidSilverman,
a 1992 graduate. "The fact that he
coached the University of Michigan,
the fact that I went to the University of
Michigan was secondary to coming
out and diving with Kimball."
Silverman saidby traininginMichi-
gan for the 1996 Olympics, he showed
intent to stay after his 1992graduation.
University officials worry that ifhe
wins, it will cause a barrage of other
lawsuits contesting residency status,
but they are confident that the Univer-
sity will prevail.
"It's not an unusual case," said
University spokesperson Lisa Baker.
"There are about half a dozen of these
lawsuits each year, and we've never
lost one yet."
But Silverman's attorney, Helen
Gallagher, said she believes her client
has a fair chance of winning.
"I can't tell you for sure if Mr.
Silverman will prevail, but I think his
claimis well-founded,"saidGallagher.
Silverman said there have not re-
ally been many cases and that's why
his has been attracting the attention. As
for the University's success rate, he
said he believes that nobody has pur-
suedreclassification as aresidentin the
courts to a final decision.'
"Eachresidencycasethatcomes up
isdifferent,"Bakersaid. "Notwocases
are alike.... There is no formula.... He
feels his case is different, but everyone
feels his or her case is different when
applying for residency."

Marilyn Fitzpatrick, academic ser-
vices clerk of the Registrar's Office,
saidtodeclareresidency, studentsmust
show they have brokenout-of-state ties.
"You need to show that you've
come to Michigan for reasons other
than educational purposes, and y4
need to show an intent to remain in
Michigan once your education is com-
plete," Fitzpatrick said.
A clerk in the Registrar's Office
said the cost for first-year and sopho-
moreresidents is $2,352per termcom-
pared to $7,485 per term for non-resi-
dents. These are current fees, but as of
September they will likely increase.
Fewer than half of the residency r
quests are approved, according to tl-
Registrar's Office.
Fitzpatrick said the residency re-
quirements for the University are
among the strictest in the nation.
"From what I understand, some
schoolsuselowertuitiontoattractmore
students, with more lenient regula-
tions," she said. "The University of
Michigan is able to attract students fo
other reasons, like the high qualitytY
education for one."
Gallagher said theUniversity'sresi-
dency process is unfair.
"The University of Michigan never
gives students who are applying for
reclassification as a resident any rea-
sons for why their applications are re-
jected," she said. "They just get a form
letter saying here are the criteria we
applied,andwedecidedyoudon'tmeS
residency status based on the criteria.
"It makes me wonder about the
actual applications of the residency
policies on a case-by-case basis,"
Gallagher added.
Both sides, though, are still await-
ing a decision from the courts. The
case was originally filed in the wrong
court, according to the Michigan Su-
preme Court. The issue of residen
classification has not yet been debat
in the court proceedings.
"As any large organization does,
it's not necessarily ethical but it cer-
tainly is legal to pursue every avenue
on procedure that is possible,"
Silverman said. "Like good lawyers,
the University attorneys have made
sure every avenue has been taken inthe
hopes that an individual such as myself
would be drowned out and financiall
unable to pursue it any further."

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