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May 30, 2002 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-05-30

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


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4 -The Michigan Daily - Thursday, May 30, 2002


Faculty 'excited' by choice,
surprised White not chosen

By Shoshana Hurand
and Karen Schwartz
Daily Staff Reporters

Dropping the second bombshell
of the summer, regents appointed
University of Iowa President Mary
Sue Coleman the 13th president of
the University of Michigan. The
decision, announced early yesterday
morning, elicited a general feeling
of approval from faculty across the
As the first woman president in
the school's history, Coleman's
appointment was met with enthusi-
asm by many female faculty mem-
"I'm very excited," Graduate Stu-
dent Instructor Lani Pascual said.
"Thirteen presidents and our first
woman." She included Coleman's
background in education and
research as major qualities the new
president will bring to the school.
Medical Prof. Denise Kirschner
was also pleased that the selection
committee and regents chose to hire

a woman with a science back-
ground. She said it shows that the
university is open to leaders of dif-
ferent genders and those with a sci-
entific background.
"It's different when a woman
takes the helm," Kirschner said,
adding that women have their own
approach to doing things and that it
will bring a different perspective to
the administration.
Yet some University faculty did
not see gender as an issue in the
"I don't view this as a landmark,"
said Dennis Severance, professor of
computer and information systems
at the Business School. Severance
added that he does not feel the gen-
der of the individual should have an
effect on the hiring process.
He said he was surprised interim
President B. Joseph White was not
selected given that he felt White was
the general favorite during the inter-
view process. He added that "if the
committee has done their work then
I'm quite satisfied."

Coleman's appointment did not
surprise History lecturer Jonathan
"She's research-oriented," he said,
adding that with her background in
the sciences, she probably under-
stands "the politics" of sciences.
"Given Michigan's plans to devel-
op the life sciences, her appoint-
ment makes a lot of sense," he said.
LSA Dean Shirley Neuman spoke
highly of Coleman in an e-mail
written yesterday.
"This is a great appointment of a
very strong scholar with a distin-
guished record of university admin-
istration. We're tremendously
excited," Neuman said. "And we're
also very pleased to have appointed
Michigan's first female president."
Recognizing Coleman as "a fine
scientist," Executive Vice President
for Medical Affairs Gilbert Omenn
called her a "national leader in high-
er education" and noted her interest
in the big picture.
"She is broadly interested in the
entire university," he said.

"I'm going to be on the job
until August 1, when
(future) President Coleman
- B. Joseph White
Interim University President
Incoming President
Mary Sue Coleman (left)
will officially replace
former University
President Lee Bollinger
(above) Aug. 1 after a
five month search.
*.J Bollinger left in
~ ~> .December 2001 to
assume the top position
~ ~ at Columbia University.
The University Board of
Regents moved interim
President B. Joseph
White (above left) into
his current position J an.
1, 2002. During the five
months that followed,
~ the regents handed the
task of finding suitable
candidates to replace
Bollinger over to a 16-
member committee
chaired by Rackham
Dean Earl Lewis, who
said the committee
investigated more than
DEBBIE MIZEL/Daily 200 nominees.

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Continued from Page 1.
what they mean ... what the future may
hold," he said.
White also said he dedicated his peri-
od of service as interim president to the
memories of the 18 alumni who died at
the World Trade Center and their loved
ones. "That set a very high standard for
me in terms of the quality of the job I
feel I needed to do here. I feel that's
been accomplished," he said,
As for the future, White said he plans
to be "on the job" until his title expires
Aug. 1. Until then, White said his focus
will be on ensuring that the routine work
of the president's office continues unin-
terrupted and meeting with Coleman so

there is a smooth transition.
"The single most important thing is
that I do my best to help her understand
the culture at the University," he said,
referring to the variety of elements and
departments that make up the University
and community.
After August, he said he plans to
return to faculty work, teaching and
research and "gradually resume the life I
was engaged in a year ago at this time."
White complimented Coleman on her
comments earlier in the day and praised
her leadership style. "President Cole-
man's remarks after the election were
warm, funny, heartfelt and down to earth
and if I were to choose the leadership
approach that is valued at the University,
all those words would be part of it."

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Continued from Page 1
named president Coleman said.
"Iowa is a fabulous place to be" she
added. "I was very happy at Iowa. Many
good things were happening at Iowa....
I agreed to become a candidate because
the University (of Michigan) is such a
great university," she said.
As president at Iowa, Coleman
said she was involved with students
on a number of levels, ranging from
making Madonna videos of herself
for the school's Dance Marathon to
working with student organizations
and student government to making
herself available for student com-
The president always makes an
appearance at the school's Dance
Marathon, she said. "I always make a
fool of myself," Coleman added.
Besides her Madonna imperson-
ation, Coleman said she would "like
students to know that I'm an open per-
son, accessible, that I care about the
ideas students have."
At Iowa, she visited sororities and fra-
ternities, answered student e-mail and
started a fireside chat program co-spon-
sored by the University of Iowa student
government, where 500 students a
month are invited to informally meet and
discuss topics of interest, she said,
adding that the event is publicized and
open to all student, regardless of if they
receive an invitation, she said.
Coleman is the first woman president
at the University, but said she did not
feel that being a woman holding the title
would change the job description.
"This is a hard job, a stressful job for
men and women and I think the pres-
sures are the same," she said.
With regard to issues the University is
currently facing, including the Martin
conviction, Coleman said she looks for-
ward to the challenges as opportunities.
"I am committed to having the truth
come out and I am dedicated to making
it right because that's what we should
do," she said.
As far as the president's role in the Ed
Martin investigation and other issues,
she said integrity is a central issue.
"The president is going to be involved
with the regents to see that the informa-
tion comes out. It is extremely important
for the public to have absolute confi-
dence in the integrity of the University,"
she said.
"I believe in evervthingr that the U~ni-

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