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July 05, 2011 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-07-05

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'U' hires new School of Natural Resources dean

Duke faculty
member to return to
Michigan with aims
to improve program
Daily Staff Reporter
Marie Lynn Miranda, one the
nation's top children's environ-
mental health researchers, is
making a homecoming of sorts.
The Detroit native will be the
new dean of the School of Natu-
ral Resources and Environ-
ment starting next year, pending
approval from the University's
Board of Regents.
In a June 24 University press
release, University President
From Page 1
represents the entire population.
"I think it's just the recogni-
tion of reality that an increasing
share, particularly in states like
California, is going to be Latino
and black," Washington said. "And
to try to run a country by excluding
those students (from universities)
... is wrong and inviting a catastro-
In his address at the Union,
Washington noted that Proposal 2
passed with nine of every ten black
votes and only two-thirds of white
votes, adding that the obstacles to
racial equality in education begin
with discrepancies in secondary
school opportunities and negative
perceptions of affirmative action.
Kellie Lewis, BAMN organizer,
said she is pleased about the deci-
sion and the opportunities for
minority students that may come
with the court's decision.
"I'm really excited," Lewis said.
"I definitely think it's going to
make opportunities for black and
Latino students a lot more equal to
be able to attend college."
She added that in addition to
helping to create diversity, the
decision will also increase inclu-
siveness across campus.
"It definitely gives students
opportunities to be who they are,"
she said. "When you are around a
diverse or integrated crowd it defi-
nitely feels like you are represent-

Mary Sue Coleman said Miranda
is a strong choice for dean of the
SNRE based on her former suc-
cess as both a researcher and an
administer at Duke University.
"Dr. Miranda's scientific exper-
tise and leadership skills made
her a clear choice for guiding the
School of Natural Resources and
Environment," Coleman said in
the release. "She will pay a criti-
cal role in advancing the univer-
sity's commitment to devolving
approaches and solutions for a
more sustainable world."
Miranda will be leaving her
current position at Duke Uni-
versity as faculty member in the
Nicholas School of the Environ-
ment and the Department of
Pediatrics. At Duke, Miranda also
served as the founding director
of the Children's Environmental

Health Initiative, which works
with a number of organizations -
including the U.S Environmental
Protection Agency - to address
environmental health issues that
afflict children.
Miranda said the key to help-
ing alleviate the problems of the
nation's children is through col-
laboration between researchers,
local communities and govern-
ment officials.
"Children, especially those
from disadvantaged communi-
ties face a multitude of stressors
from poverty to crime to environ-
mental exposures," she said. "For
each child to reach his or her full
potential, we need to create policy
changes that address all of these
many factors."
Miranda said she is excited to

a place she visited frequently with
her family while growing up in
Detroit and during high school for
various programs.
"I grew up admiring the Uni-
versity of Michigan, and spent
time on the campus as part of
high school summer programs,"
Miranda said. "I have long felt
an affection and attachment to
the University of Michigan, and
returning home to the state of
Michigan is especially appealing
to our family."
Miranda added she is proud to
join the faculty, staff and students
in the SNRE due to their collec-
tive mission to improve methods
of protecting the Earth's natural
As dean of the School of Natu-
ral Resources and Environment,

ward to using SNRE's interdis-
ciplinary nature to continue to
achieve the school's initiatives.
"I am very excited about join-
ing the SNRE community, whose
students, faculty, and staff are
truly impressive," Miranda said.
"I particularly look forward to the
opportunity to further the many
achievements of SNRE, as well
as to build bridges with the other
schools at Michigan."
Miranda added that she is plan-
ning to gather concerns from indi-
viduals and educators within the
SNRE in order to make improve-
ments to the school.
"I plan to spend the initial
months of my deanship listening
to the many SNRE constituencies
as we begin a. strategic planning
process for this next phase in the
school's history," Miranda said.

work at the University since it was Miranda said she is looking for-

ed there, like you can have a place
Taqee Vernon, Business junior
and spokesperson for the Black
Student Union, said he did not
attend the event but is pleased by
the news. However, he added he is
still dismayed by continuing racial
and socioeconomic inequalities.
"Being ... an African American
and a Detroiter, I kind of have a
very clear position in which I get to
see a socioeconomic, on one part,
and then racial, on another part,
injustice that still exists and per-
sists in America," Vernon said. "So
I feel like the things that affirma-
tive action allowed to counter that
injustice was a very positive step
for the United States."
Among the advantages of affir-
mative action, Vernon said, is its
ability to encourage dialogue about
racial injustices and the benefits of
"It allows people to look at injus-
tices and inequalities, to openly
recognize that they do exist, and
to at least seek to correct those dis-
crepancies," he said. "The diversity
of Michigan allowed me to see a
different perspective ... and I can
only hope I see that improve with
(the decision)."
For the American Civil Liber-
ties Union of Michigan, instilling
diversity within the state's public
universities was one of the major
benefits of affirmative action and
the most severe casualties of Pro-
posal 2. According to an ACLU
press rglease, the number of Afri-

can American, Hispanic and Native
Americans in the University's
freshman class has dropped 11.4
percent since 2006 - a trend the
ACLU hopes will be reversed by the
court's decision Friday.
"(Friday's) ruling has kept the
door open for thousands of academ-
ically qualified students of color to
continue to pursue the American
dream through our state's colleges
and universities," Kary L. Moss,
executive director of the ACLU of
Michigan, said in the statement.
In a July 1 statement, Univer-
sity spokeswoman Kelly Cunning-
ham said it is too soon to predict
what implications the decision may
have on University admissions, but
added that the University will con-
tinue to monitor the situation in the
likely scenario of an appeal.
"The University is reviewing the
possible implications of the court's
decision, and recognizes that there
may be further legal steps as well,"
Cunningham said.
Michigan Attorney General Bill
Schuette confirmed Cunningham's
speculation, and said in a statement
that he would appeal the decision
with the hope of restoring merit-
based admissions.
"(Proposal 2) embodies the fun-
damental premise of what Amer-
ica is all about: equal opportunity
under the law," Schuette said in the
statement. "Entrance to our great
universities must be based upon
merit, and I will continue the fight
for equality, fairness and rule of

From Page 1
Shirvell wrote in a July 2
statement to The Michigan Daily
that he requested his testimony
be sealed because he feared for
his personal safety.
"I asked Judge Tarnow to
seal my upcoming deposition
because Chris Armstrong, his
counsel Deborah Gordon, and
Armstrong's associates and
political supporters intend to
publicly disseminate the testi-
mony elicited during my deposi-
tion in order to irreparably harm
me, thereby using my deposition
for purposes not directly related
to the lawsuit," Shirvell wrote.
Shirvell wrote he has received
several threats and intimidat-
ing messages from supporters
of Armstrong over the past ten
months and is "thoroughly dis-
appointed" the judge did not
award his motion, adding that
Armstrong and his associates
did not accommodate his best
"In the past, Armstrong has
repeatedly sought media atten-
tion concerning this case in
order to promote his political
agenda, and Armstrong and
his allies have sought to finan-
cially benefit from it - all at my
expense," Shirvell wrote.
Shirvell added that the rul-
ing has challenged his ability to
find employment after he was

fired last November due to the
"Armstrong and his associ-
ates have also evinced a willing-
ness to make my life a living hell
by continuing to harass me and
making it impossible for me to
earn a living," he wrote.
Deborah Gordon, Arm-
strong's attorney, said it is
uncommon to seal depositions
except in extreme cases. She
added that while it is unclear
why Shirvell wanted to seal the
deposition, it appears he does
not want anyone to hear his tes-
"I think a clear point of his
papers is that he doesn't want
anyone to see what he says in his
deposition ... which I don't know
why, since he says he's telling
the truth," Gordon said. "Why
wouldn't you want someone to
hear the truth?"
Gordon also refuted Shirvell's
claims that she and Armstrong
intend to harm Shirvell's repu-
tation with the deposition, add-
ing that Shirvell's desire to seal
the deposition appears to indi-
cate that something in it could
potentially prove to cause him
"It's an odd statement for him
to make," Gordon said. "He's
going to be answering ques-
tions under oath, (and) he has to
answer honestly - he apparent-
ly feels that his honest answers
to questions are going to harm
his reputation."

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