Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Statement by Regent Julia Donovan Darlow, U-M Board of Regents chair, regarding President Coleman's contract extension

Appointed by the Board of Regents to serve as the University’s 13th president in 2002 for an initial five-year term, Mary Sue Coleman is now serving in her ninth year as President of the University of Michigan. Following a thorough review of her performance in 2006, the Board renewed her appointment for a second five-year term. That second five-year term ends July 31, 2012.

Throughout her service to the University, President Coleman has performed to extraordinarily high standards and has gained extraordinarily wide recognition for her excellence. We have seen many fine institutions falter during this period — an unsettling and uncertain time. President Coleman has kept our focus firmly on our mission, and we have achieved outstanding accomplishments on global, national and local levels. For the entire University community, she has preserved and strengthened our balance, our direction and our self- confidence.

In recent months, the Regents and President Coleman have discussed whether her appointment should be extended. The motion I propose reflects a conclusion that extending her appointment now for a two-year period, beginning Aug. 1, 2012 and ending July 31, 2014, is in the best interest of the University.

To implement this conclusion, my motion includes approval of an amendment to the President’s present employment agreement with the University. This amendment sets forth important goals for the Board and the President to focus on in the next four years. They include:

1. To strengthen the University’s core academic mission and enhance its worldwide stature as a center for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

2. To develop financial strategies for a spectrum of resources (tuition, state support, research grants and contracts, philanthropy and other revenue sources) to preserve and enhance the University’s academic excellence, accessibility and affordability.

3. To enhance the University’s mission and its campus life with improved facilities across the campus, including, but not limited to, building on the success of the Residential Life Initiative to improve University housing across the campus.

4. To position the University for continued success and to maximize the University’s reputation for quality and innovation in the rapidly developing global market for higher education.

5. To develop plans for a new capital campaign.

6. To strengthen the position and preserve the excellence of the University’s Health Care System.

The proposed amendment also includes provisions for the Board and the President to work collaboratively to develop strong candidates for leadership positions throughout the University, including its presidency. While not intended to supplant national leadership searches, the amendment is intended to enrich the University’s leadership pool.

The amendment also addresses various transition possibilities and related compensation with respect to the last year of the extended presidential term.

With respect to compensation, the amendment leaves in place the President’s current salary and benefits package and carries the benefits stated in her present agreement forward for the two years of the extended term. This means that the President’s salary is not increased by the amendment. It will continue to be reviewed annually by the Board and any increases will be set at the discretion of the Board, taking into consideration performance and other relevant factors, as we did at our last Board meeting in October.

In addition, the amendment adds a supplemental deferred compensation program to President Coleman’s benefit package that will contribute $100,000 a year for this contract year, ending July 31, 2011, and for each of the following three contract years. This compensation will not be received by President Coleman until the end of her service as President. The amendment is designed to build a substantial contribution to her retirement over the remainder of her term. Certainly, she has earned it!

Based on these considerations, and with deep appreciation to President Coleman for her service to this great University, I move that her appointment as President of the University be extended for a two-year term, ending July 31, 2014, and that the Amendment to the Employment Agreement between the University and the President, in the final form presented to the Regents prior to this meeting and attached to this Resolution, be approved and entered into the minutes of this meeting for the public record.