The University Record, August 12, 2002

Coleman on the job

By Laurel Thomas Gnagey and Katie Gazella
Coleman shares a laugh with Ted Spencer, director of admissions, during a get-acquanted meeting.
(Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

Not that anyone would expect otherwise, but Mary Sue Coleman hit the ground running as the 13th president of U-M.

Her first few days on campus were full of meetings with department heads, discussions about key appointments that must be made, and a host of events designed to help her get to know the community and vice versa. Media interviews, videotaping sessions and community speaking engagements also highlight the new president’s calendar, well into next year.

Her first day on the job, Aug. 5, Coleman met with staff members at an informal reception in the Fleming Administration Building.

“We talked about how happy we were to have her here,” Ted Spencer, director of admissions, said after speaking with the new president.

“What she asked about first was the students,” said Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs. “I think she’s feeling settled, and she’s happy.”

Coleman said she enjoyed the opportunity to talk with her new colleagues and appreciated the warm reception she received.

“This was very welcoming,” she said. “I just feel like it’s been a smooth introduction to a delightful community.”

Coleman has indicated that one of her immediate priorities is to fill key positions, including provost, executive vice president for medical affairs, director of the Life Sciences Institute, vice president for development and chief financial officer. In her first week, she sent an e-mail message to the U-M Health System community indicating her desire to move quickly on filling its leadership position. She also met with a number of the other search committees.

In the coming weeks, the president will greet students at several Welcome Week activities across campus, and she will join The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs later this month for its annual planning retreat. Also included on Coleman’s calendar is an interview with the Record, which will result in a question-and-answer feature in the next issue, Sept. 3.


Although not all-inclusive, the following is a list of events Mary Sue Coleman is expected to attend in coming weeks:

Wed. Aug. 28: New faculty orientation. Noon, Michigan League Ballroom.

Thurs. Aug. 29: Move-In and Welcome Week where she will serve ice cream, Noon–1:30 p.m., West Quad, 541 Thompson. Ken Coleman also will participate.

Thurs. Aug. 29: New student convocation.
7 p.m., Crisler Arena.

Fri. Aug. 30: Graduate Student Welcome.9 a.m., Power Center.

Fri. Aug. 30: Community Plunge kickoff. 10 a.m., 1800 Chemistry.

Thurs. Sept. 5: WUOM live broadcast. 2–3 p.m.

Thurs. Sept. 5: Student Mentorship Program kickoff. 7 p.m., Power Center.

Tue. Sept. 10: MSA-hosted reception for all students. 5–6:30 p.m., Michigan League, Vandenberg Room, 2nd floor.

Wed. Sept. 11: Remembrance events: Josh Rosenthal Lecture, noon-1:30 p.m.,
Michigan League Ballroom; Alumni Center plaque dedication,
3 p.m.; student-organized vigil, 9 p.m., Diag.

Thur. Sept. 12: All-campus welcome reception, 4 p.m., Ingalls Mall.

Mon. Sept. 16: President’s Day in Flint. Campus tour with welcome reception.

Tue. Sept. 17: MSA meeting to include a brief speech, 7:30 p.m., Michigan Union.

Wed. Sept. 18: Campus event updating the admissions lawsuit where she will speak, 4–6 p.m., Mendelssohn Theatre.

Tue. Sept. 24: President’s Day in Dearborn. Afternoon welcome reception with campus community.

Tue. Oct. 1: All-campus welcome reception, 4 p.m., on the plaza in front of the Media Union on North Campus.