Eight of the candidates vying for two seats on the Board of Regents in the Nov. 7 election are scheduled to participate in a free, public forum on Oct. 23 sponsored by the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) and Senate Assembly.
Scheduled for 4:306:30 p.m. in Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, the forum is designed to provide voters an opportunity to hear the candidates views on affirmative action, the lawsuits involving admissions practices, academic freedom and other issues related to the University.
Candidates and the party affiliation of those who are expected to participate are Wendy Anderson (Republican), Susy Avery (Republican), Laurence Deitch (Democrat), Tim Maull (Libertarian), Rebecca McGowan (Democrat), Marvin Surowitz (Libertarian), Scott Trudeau (Green) and Nick Waun (Reform).
Also running for election are David James Knight of Hartland and Joe Sanger of Lansing, both affiliated with the U.S. Taxpayers Party.
This election is important for the University and the faculty Senate is pleased to provide the campus community with an opportunity to learn the candidates views on a wide range of issues, says SACUA Chair Jacqueline Lawson. Because SACUA and Senate Assembly are the sponsoring organizations, we especially encourage faculty to attend.
For those unable to attend, the forum will be broadcast live on UMTV, Channel 22, and on the Web at www.itd.umich.edu/umtv/webcast. For more information, including how to log on to the Webcast, visit the Web at www.umich.edu/~sacua/candidates.htm or call (734) 764-0303.
A reception will follow the forum.
Born and raised in the Downriver area and now a Commerce Township resident, Anderson is a graduate of U-M-Dearborn. My parents never graduated from high school, but their burning desire for education was passed on to me, Anderson says. I received a great education at Dearborn and to this day maintain many relationships with my professors and members of the administration.
Anderson has worked to help those seeking a college education by raising scholarship money for students with financial struggles similar to those she faced. She has spent much of her professional life in the Michigan Legislature, and now is a full-time mother and part-time consultant.
I want to be a Regent because I want to give back to a system that aided me at a time when I needed help and sought a great education, Anderson says. I believe that I can be a voice for the moms and dads who have to save for their childrens education, for the alumni who want their children to attend the University but because of race-based admission policies are seeing their dream dissolve and, finally, for the students who manage to afford a great education and at the same time do not want to leave college in debt.
I believe the major challenge will be to address the unfair race-based admission policies. It is simply unfair to pick winners and losers based on race. Those who argue that diversity will be lost admit that our minority population suffers in a public education system that doesnt serve them well. I dont believe that any other person is smarter than another. I do not believe that minority children who receive a quality education at the K12 level cant compete with any other children. I am far more optimistic.
Additionally, I see tuition being held at the inflation level or below. Parents and students seeking an education without going into massive debt must have confidence in their administration that the level of tuition increases are just.
A resident of Grand Rapids, Avery is director of Travel Michigan. She previously was director of Gov. John Englers southeast Michigan office, and has held several elected positions, including Wayne County commissioner and supervisor of Northville Charter Township. She also has served on many public boards to improve roads, parks and schools.
Also a U-M-Dearborn graduate, Avery was recognized as the U-M Distinguished Alumna of the Year in 1995 by the U-M-Dearborn Alumni Society.
As tuition soars, more of Michigans families are being priced out of the opportunity to attend our universities and colleges. It will be my primary mission to establish strict spending guidelines to hold tuition at the rate of inflation. U-M must take advantage of technological advances, such as the Internet, that make it efficient and cost-saving to buy everything from office supplies to bulk food. Further, we must foster partnerships with the private sector to expand scholarships and research grants.
The access to a quality education by our working families is being restricted due to the skyrocketing costs of tuition. Since 1980, tuition has seen a five-fold increase. I plan to fight for an agenda that creates tax credits for college tuition, increased funding for federal Pell grants and establishing tax-free tuition savings accounts. I will also fight for cost-saving measures that will keep tuition at the rate of inflation.
As a working mother who has raised college-educated children, I know firsthand how difficult it is to finance a college education today. Working for private companies, I have learned the lessons of efficiency and cost savings. As a local elected official and now head of a major state agency, I have learned the importance of building partnerships to reach goals. While these experiences are important, the lessons I have learned as a mother will most benefit me on the Board.
Deitch, of Bloomfield Hills, holds A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University and is a partner in the law firm of Bodman, Longley & Dahling LLP of Detroit. He previously has served as vice chair of the Michigan Civil Service Commission, president of Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills and treasurer of the Michigan Democratic Party. He was elected to the Board of Regents in 1992.
Serving on the Board of Regents for the last eight years has been a great privilege and a very enjoyable experience, he says. I believe that I have done an excellent job that merits re-election.
I am very supportive of President Lee C. Bollinger and the other leaders of the University, who I believe are moving it in the right direction in the face of significant external challenges. Finding the resources to properly compensate our superb faculty and staff, defending our affirmative action admissions policies and keeping the classroom free of political interference are all current challenges.
I believe my understanding of the responsibilities and limitations of trusteeship and my skills as a corporate lawyer and problem-solver make me well-suited to be among those charged with the responsibility of meeting these and the other current challenges facing us, as well as the yet-unidentified challenges of the future. My love for the University and its people, and my belief that the University needs strong, experienced leadership motivate me to want to do so for eight more years.
A resident of Ann Arbor, McGowan holds a B.A. from Lake Forest (Ill.) College. Following graduation, she was a legislative assistant to Sen. Adlai Stevenson and later for Sen. Frank Church. She was a senior staff member in the White House for Vice President Walter F. Mondale, and was deputy national campaign director for his candidacy for the presidency.
McGowan moved to Ann Arbor in 1985 and was the director of government relations for the Industrial Technology Institute. She is on the board of Lake Forest College and received an honorary degree from the school in 1998.
Elected to the Board in 1992, she also is a member and past chair of the Leadership Council of the Center for the Education of Women and a former member of the board of directors of the University Musical Society.
Since my election to the Board, I have worked very hard at this responsibility, McGowan says. I think Ive been effective, and I think higher education can use people who take this position seriously.
The University of Michigan is a great public asset of Michigan and must be treated as such. During my time on the Board, we have ended discrimination against all the members of our community. We are defending our admissions policies that put a diverse and able student population as a core educational objective. I am pleased that we have been publicly supported in this effort by U of M graduate and former President Gerald R. Ford, Gen. Colin Powell, General Motors, the Michigan attorney general and Ohio State University, to name just a sampling. We decided to keep the Hospitals within the University for the benefit of the people of this region and for the future health care professionals whom we will train. And, I worked hard to help put in place men and women of excellence and character to provide leadership for the University.
The Board of Regents is charged under the Michigan Constitution with general supervision of [its] institution . . . We must ensure academic freedom, sustain the diversity of our campuses, maintain the Regents policy that guarantees need-based financial aid for every Michigan resident undergraduate to ensure accessibility, and encourage you [faculty] as you expand our knowledge base. The Board also has responsibility for the control and expenditures from the institutions funds. We must tend our growing endowment with care and continue to insist on sound management. These are great days for the University of Michigan, and I look forward to continuing to work with you for our future success.