Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, November 18, 2010

U-M regents extend Coleman’s contract through July 2014

Mary Sue Coleman will serve as president of U-M for an additional two years beyond her current appointment, extending her contract through July 2014. The Board of Regents unanimously approved the extension at its meeting today.


The two-year extension is effective July 31, 2012, when her second five-year contract was set to expire. Coleman was appointed to her first five-year term in 2002.

“Throughout her service to the university, President Coleman has performed to extraordinarily high standards and has gained extraordinarily wide recognition for her excellence,” said Julia Donovan Darlow, chair of the regents. “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. “


Read statements by:
Regent Julia Donovan Darlow
President Mary Sue Coleman

The regents and Coleman have set a number of goals for the next several years, including:

• Strengthening the university’s core academic mission and enhancing its worldwide stature as a center for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

• Developing financial strategies to preserve and enhance the university’s academic excellence, accessibility and affordability.

• Enhancing the campus life with improved facilities across campus, including student housing.

• Maximizing the university’s reputation for quality and innovation in the global market.

• Developing plans for a new capital campaign.

• Creating a plan to develop strong candidates for leadership positions throughout the university.

• Strengthening the position and preserving the excellence of the University's Health Care System.

“I am excited and honored to continue serving the University of Michigan. As I have said many times, I have the best job in the world,” Coleman said. “I deeply appreciate the board’s confidence in extending the opportunity to lead this remarkable university. Together, we have made tremendous progress as an institution these past several years. And we have done so in particularly challenging economic times.

“I am proud of the hard work, innovation and dedication of so many members of our community who believe in the university and the essential contributions we make in today’s world,” she added. “I want to continue that momentum.”

The president’s current salary and benefits package remains in place. In addition, the amendment adds a supplemental deferred compensation program. Annual salary increases will continue to be set at the discretion of the board.

The board has recently praised Coleman and her leadership team for heightening U-M’s academic standing in a fiscally responsible manner — all during a time of economic difficulty within the state. In particular, regents earlier noted that during the past year under Coleman — named by Time magazine as one of the 10 best university presidents in the country — the institution successfully:

• Increased financial aid to record levels while holding tuition to the lowest increase in more than 25 years.

• Sustained the university’s AAA bond rating and increased its endowment.

• Generated more than $1 billion in research funding and recruited top-flight faculty.

• Dramatically expanded the potential of the research environment with the acquisition of the North Campus Research Complex.

• Improved the Health System’s operating margin.

• Enhanced student residential living, as well as athletics facilities.

“As president, my job is to look forward — 10, 20, 50 years forward — and build a strong future for the University of Michigan,” Coleman said.

Coleman was named U-M’s 13th president after serving as president of the University of Iowa for seven years.

A signature program of her presidency has been the Interdisciplinary Junior Faculty Initiative to hire 100 new faculty to work in cross-cutting teams.

She also has emphasized the essential role of entrepreneurship and technology transfer, active engagement in state economic development initiatives and the need for more private and public partnerships, and is nationally recognized for her efforts. Earlier this year, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke named Coleman a co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Under her leadership, the university launched “The Michigan Difference,” a campaign to raise $2.5 billion for the future of the institution. At its conclusion in 2008, the campaign finale stood at $3,200,733,103 — the most ever by a public university.

Coleman is regarded as a national spokesperson on the educational value of diverse perspectives in the classroom. Her extensive leadership positions in higher education include serving on the Association of American Universities Executive Committee and the Internet2 Board of Trustees.

Elected to the Institute of Medicine, Coleman also is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She co-chaired a major policy study of the Institute of Medicine, examining the consequences of uninsurance, and is a nationally recognized expert on the issue.

At the university, she holds appointments of professor of biological chemistry in the Medical School and professor of chemistry in LSA. She earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina.