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Coleman says U-M must lead state in new technology

U-M President Mary Sue Coleman told a Washington, D.C., audience Feb. 5 that the state of Michigan must "seize the opportunity" to become a leader in new technologies or risk falling behind.
President Mary Sue Coleman with U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Township) (left) and U.S. Rep. Nick Smith (R-Addison) )Photo by Stacy Mitchell)

In remarks at the annual U-M Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill, Coleman touted the increase in technology transfer that the University has created, but said stiff competition from other states makes continued state investment imperative.

"On the football field, we can see the team of the other university," Coleman said. "In the laboratory, it is possible to lose the game without ever being aware that the game was being played. We must be watchful of eager economic competitors."

Coleman called on Michigan officials to continue their support of technology development, in spite of the current economic challenges facing the state. She said research funding overall was up 10 percent during the last academic year, the highest ever at U-M.

Coleman also discussed the current affirmative action cases now heading to the Supreme Court of the United States. Coleman said U-M agrees with President Bush about the need for diversity, but she added, "Where we differ is how best to achieve that diversity." She said U-M firmly believes it will prevail in court.

About 340 U-M alumni, members of Congress and friends of the University attended the breakfast, which is the largest annual alumni gathering outside the state of Michigan. The event, sponsored by the U-M Club of Washington, D.C., donates all proceeds from the breakfast and an accompanying silent auction to its local scholarship fund, which currently supports four D.C.-area students who attend the University.

Following the breakfast, Coleman met with several members of the Michigan congressional delegation for informal discussions.

To contact the Washington office, call (202) 554-0578 or e-mail mwaring@umich.edu.

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