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Updated 10:00 AM September 21, 2007




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Regents praise Coleman for leadership

Read the Board of Regents letter to Coleman>

Citing Mary Sue Coleman’s broad range of accomplishments and her successful response to several challenges the Board of Regents at the Sept. 22 meeting praised the president’s performance in her first five years at U-M.

Regent Chair S. Martin Taylor read aloud a four-page letter from the board assessing Coleman’s first term as the University’s 13th president.

“Whether we are standing with you on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court or reading about groundbreaking research by our faculty or hearing a monthly fundraising report that breaks yet another record, we recognize that your leadership has been extraordinary,” Taylor said on behalf of the board. “We look forward to your continued success as the leader of this great institution.” Regents approved a new contract for Coleman in July 2006.

Taylor concluded his presentation by recommending a 3 percent pay increase for Coleman.

“We wish it could be more,” he said, indicating that the modesty of the increase reflects the difficult financial condition in the state and region as well as the general level of salary increases across campus. The increase brings her base salary to $531,996.

Clearly moved by the accolade, Coleman thanked regents for their support and told them she would donate her raise totaling $15,495 to the newest phase of her President’s Donor Challenge, aimed at boosting financial aid for graduate and professional students.

Coleman assumed the presidency Aug. 1, 2002. Since then she has launched major initiatives, Taylor noted, including: The Residential Life Initiatives to strengthen and enhance student living and learning; increased interdisciplinary team-teaching opportunities; an exploration of the role of ethics in public life; and Michigan Healthy Community, a comprehensive program that seeks to improve health care within the U-M community and serve as a model for the nation.

Under her leadership, The Michigan Difference fundraising campaign has exceeded its $2.5 billion goal 18-months before the deadline. With $2.6 billion raised to date, the campaign has provided new resources for programs, facilities and the endowment. In addition, President’s Donor Challenges dramatically increased donor support for student financial aid and professorships. Taylor credited Coleman’s personal participation as being key to the campaign’s success.

Coleman has built institutional partnerships in China to enhance U-M’s global presence, and has shown strong leadership on tech transfer, state economic development and partnerships with the region, including the new U-M Detroit Center.

“You understand the unique and critical role that U-M plays in transforming our economy,” Taylor said. “Your administration’s focus on increasing our research partnerships with the private sector has received extraordinary accolades from industry, and these efforts to bring national attention to our research enterprise will pay long-term dividends to the university and the state.”

Of particular note, Taylor said, was the way the University, under Coleman’s direction, responded to the announcement of Pfizer leaving Ann Arbor. U-M helped create a fund for hiring displaced employees, offered training for Pfizer workers, and worked with state and local officials to create a strategy for attracting new jobs to the community.

Coleman has provided leadership in enhancing the physical campus as well, regents said, including major renovation and construction projects such as Weill Hall, the Cardiovascular Center, the Ross School of Business, North Quad Residential and Academic Complex and the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Women’s Hospital, among others.

The president has invested considerable time in personal admissions recruiting and outreach visits, before and after the passage of Proposal 2, in an effort to fulfill the University’s commitment to diversity, regents said. 

Coleman also launched a major new commitment to financial aid in 2005 with the M-PACT program, which provides additional grants to approximately 3,000 Michigan undergraduates each year.

“In addition to raising funds, you have worked closely with the provost in these challenging economic times to align priorities and produce annual budgets that enhance academic excellence across the institution while assuring that a Michigan education is affordable,” Taylor said. “As to this last point — affordability — it is worth noting that our financial aid packages are unmatched by any university in Michigan.”

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