Her resignation didn't have anything to do with a "supposed" weekend with Les Miles, did it?
The Race to Replace Mary Sue Coleman – Odds on the University of Michigan’s next President
The Race to Replace Mary Sue – Odds on Michigan’s next President
Although I’m aware there are many casual fans and high school students in our MGoCommunity, I also know we have a fair share of alums, many of whom do in fact care about the University as it extends beyond Hill Street (meaning academic campus). If you were not aware before, the University’s now fourth longest serving president, Mary Sue Coleman will be retiring after the 2013-2014 school year. This fact was stated by President Coleman many times in the last year or two (presumptively so the word got out and interested candidates could quietly send word of their interest) but was made “official” at the Regents meeting a few days ago. With that official announcement, the Detroit Free Press wrote the first official article discussing the future of the University’s top spot http://www.freep.com/article/20130418/NEWS06/304180143/Mary-Sue-Coleman-to-retire-from-Unviversity-of-Michigan
So, in the spirit of the official off-season here at MGoBlog and as we all enjoy our lists, oddsmaking and generally anything that we can fight about, I offer forth what will hopefully be a periodic diary regarding potential candidates to be the 14thPresident of the University of Michigan. Needless to say that the formal process to replace Mary Sue Coleman has just started. That said, anyone who knows the great political machine that is the University bureaucracy knows that candidates have been making themselves known to those that matter for the last year. Behind the scenes camps are forming and campaigns are beginning with champions of certain candidates carrying the names of their favorites through with the Regents and other high end University donors. In fact, its clear from the quotes of some of the Regents who spoke in the Free Press article, not only are names being bounced around at the Regent level, but apparently there are some names being given consideration from fields outside the traditional academia positions of provosts, chancellors and presidents. Might there be a former or current White House cabinet member out there looking for a landing spot much in the way the University of Miami (YTM) gave former Clinton White House Secretary of Health & Human Services Donna Shalala their Presidency?
Needless to say the new President could come from anywhere much the way Mary Sue Coleman came over from Iowa with little prior contact with UofM. Most of the early mentions have been candidates who have had some prior contact with UofM. However, this will change and update, particularly after the University hires a search company and the respective closets are searched for skeletons. That said, there are a few obvious qualities that the next President will likely need to possess. First and foremost will be the ability to either raise funds or not get in the way of people like Jerry May, the University’s Vice President of Development, to raise those funds. At some point this fall the University will formally unveil its next big fundraising campaign (which has silently been worked on for a little over a year now. You didn’t think those large gifts from the Zells, Penny Stamps and Charlie Munger within the last six months were some kind of lucky coincidence did you?). The goal on this campaign will be to clear five billion dollars (in comparison, the Michigan Difference campaign raised about $3.5 billion). That means our next President will be stepping into his or her role about twelve to eighteen months into the campaign. Second, at least four recent Regents have run their campaign based on stopping increases in tuition. You can bet the Regents will look hard at all candidates and their ideas regarding handling the budget of the University at a time when the State of Michigan legislature continues to minimize what it pays out to its universities. Finally, the President at Michigan has to be able to juggle not just the faculty and academics at the University but a massive University hospital system that is nearly unmatched nationally in size, scope, research and budget as far as University run hospitals are concerned. Also, the new President had better be ready to deal with UofM athletics and all that encompasses, not the least of which is David Brandon who has made no shortage of enemies north of Hill Street by massively expanding the size and breadth of the athletic department fundraising staff to the point where most Dean’s are nervous about having their donors being squeezed or swayed away from putting their name on that new lecture hall and having it end up on that new luxury box or weight room or endowed athletic scholarship. It’s a tough job but there should be no shortage of candidates. Those who love the University will be watching closely to see who our new leader will be. With that in mind, and another reminder that the early field will likely be loaded with those with previous Michigan contacts, I present the early voting odds. Someone notify Vegas and see if they’re taking action.
THE LIKELY LEADERS OF THE PACK/WE KNOW THESE GUYS!
Theresa Sullivan– Currently she is President of the University of Virginia. Formerly Provost at Michigan starting in 2006 when she came over from a high level administrative job at the University of Texas, she left for Virginia in 2010. She was very well received during her time at Michigan and has her bachelor’s degree from MSU (ties to the State of Michigan). Went through an ugly episode with the UVA Board of Visitors (their Regents) where she was ultimately fired and then reinstated in what amounted to a political coup by some of their Board members who wanted a bigger name candidate for the position when Sullivan was hired. So having survived that and only being there three years, perhaps she’s unlikely to leave since she’s been there a short period of time. On the other hand, maybe she has had enough of UVA and wants to come back where she’s wanted? ODDS 10-1
Marvin Krislov – The current President of Oberlin College since 2007. While one might raise an eyebrow about moving from a smaller school like Oberlin to Michigan, remember that Marvin was the Vice-President and General Counsel at Michigan for nine years before assuming the job at Oberlin. He’s worked with much of the current leadership at Michigan and specifically was integral in the handling of the Ed Martin scandal and subsequent NCAA investigation and the affirmative action case that went before the Supreme Court. Accordingly, Mr. Krislov has handled the brightest lights on the big stage at Michigan before and handled it well. ODDS 20-1
Nancy Cantor– Currently President of Syracuse University which she started in 2004 after leaving the Provost’s position at Michigan. She has raised over a billion dollars during her ten year tenure at Syracuse University and UofM will be in the first year or two of its next big financial campaign which is rumored to have a fundraising goal of $5 billion. Further, Cantor has indicated that she will not renew her contract with Syracuse when it ends in 2014 meaning she’ll be available when Mary Sue Coleman retires. One has to wonder if there is a reason for that. One big knock on Cantor is that during her tenure at Syracuse, the University has taken criticism that it has dropped in academic reputation and, voluntarily withdrew from the Association of American Universities (AAU that we hear about so often in looking for new Big Ten schools) rather than be kicked out. ODDS 30-1
Timothy White – Current Chancellor of the Cal State system, former President of Cal State Riverside for four years and former President of the University of Idaho for four years. Before that, he was the Provost at Oregon State. White did his post doctoral studies and was on the faculty at Michigan (his first professional position). His administrative experience can’t be understated and for clarification, he runs the WHOLE Cal State system (that’s 23 campuses). Dealing with the size of Michigan shouldn’t be an issue. ODDS 40-1
Evan Caminker – I don’t see this one as much as some other people do. I want to call this the Bollinger effect where people assume there is some kind of line directly from the Law School Dean’s chair to the President’s residence. Caminker was a fine Dean of the Michigan Law School for ten years having only recently decided to not renew after the end of his last contract. However, running the WHOLE University (athletics, hospital and all schools) is a far cry from just the law school. The one feather I’ll put in Caminker’s cap that could prove useful is that he had a reputation as a good fundraiser. The Law School underwent some tremendous renovation and addition that was backed up by tremendous fundraising during Caminker’s tenure. Michigan may need that in the next few years if they seriously look to hit the five billion dollar mark in this next capital campaign. Conversely, I’ve heard others say Caminker is enjoying being a professor again and may not want to go back to being an administrator. ODDS 40-1
Martha Pollack– Will assume the role of Provost at Michigan when Phil Hanlon leaves for Dartmouth this summer. Some have said she’s been given the role as a warm up to eventually being named the President. Others have said it’s a done deal. The highest administrative role she’s held previously was Vice Provost for Budgetary and Academic Affairs since 2010 and before that she was the Dean of UofM’s School of Information. People who know her love her and say she’s got the stuff. That said, compare the resume to those of some of the others on this list. In MGoBlog terms, would this be going for a Big Ten coordinator over a sitting head coach? ODDS 60-1
BETWEEN THE LEADERS AND THE PACK
Wallace Loh – Current President of the University of Maryland, College Park – Got his Ph.D. in psychology from Michigan. He has plenty of University administration experience as he was previously the dean of the University of Washington School of Law, vice chancellor of the University of Colorado, a Dean at Seattle University, and most recently provost at the University of Iowa where he oversaw budgets and personnel for the state university's eleven colleges. He’s also responsible for bringing the school into the Big Ten. ODDS 75-1
Thomas Haas– Thomas Haas is the current President of Grand Valley State University and was formerly President of SUNY Cobleskill for three years. Haas has two masters degrees from Michigan but seems like a bit of longshot considering the smaller schools, budgets, lack of a large hospital system or large athletics at the schools he has presided over. ODDS 150 - 1
Phil Hanlon –Current UofM Provost, leaving to become President at his alma mater Dartmouth College in July. Can’t imagine he would have accepted the Dartmouth position knowing full well that the Michigan job would be opening. His odds are only so wide because he just accepted the Dartmouth job. Otherwise, he’d be infinitely qualified and frankly, the logical choice. ODDS 300-1
THE DARK HORSES– I have heard a few names recently but I can’t buy them until we get them on campus for an official recruiting visit. If that happens, hold on to your hat. These people could all play as freshmen…….errr……I mean they could all very easily be good picks.
Arne Duncan – Duncan is the current Secretary of Education under President Obama. There was some speculation he might not stay on in the position in the second term but he did end up staying. That said, by the time he would start there would only be about a year and a half left on his term in the Obama Administration so its not unreasonable that he might have to jump for a longer term opportunity. Duncan is originally from Chicago (the son of two UofChicago professors). He was also a basketball player while at Harvard which may give him the insight to deal with our athletics program. Duncan has no experience running a University, nor fundraising (which will be important since the new President will be knee deep in a fundraising campaign). His professional credentials are centered around his turnaround of the Chicago Public School system. The lack of university experience hurts, but the name recognition and contacts he has made working in the White House for six years could make up for that. ODDS 330-1
David Brandon– Under any normal circumstance I would be laughing at this along with you. BUT never forget (a) he was a Regent previously. Someone once told me he is THE second most powerful person at the University above any Dean, Provost, or Vice President. Considering his past business power, political ties, and close relationship with Mary Sue Coleman, would it really shock you? ODDS 350 – 1
Patricia White– After you say “who?”….you could make an argument that if Caminker, why not White. Dean White is the Dean of the University of Miami (YTM) School of Law and holds her bachelors, masters and juris doctor from our own beloved University of Michigan. White has been Dean at Miami since 2009 and was previously the Dean at Arizona State University’s Law School. She has also previously been on faculty at Michigan Law School and also worked at Bodman, Longley, a powerful law firm in Michigan. Further, she has some experience in athletics as she was a tax advisor to Major League Baseball. ODDS 400-1
THE PACK– I’m calling this group The Pack. Its mainly comprised of Presidents of Universities with, if you’ll pardon the Michigan arrogance, lesser academic reputations than Michigan. It seems unlikely that Michigan would want to hire a sitting President from a school that isn’t at least Top 50 kind of school, Ivy League, Big Ten, maybe someone from a more prestigious east or west coast University. As mentioned in the Free Press article Stephanie Bergeron, president of Walsh College, David Eisler, president of Ferris State University, , and Susan Martin, president of Eastern Michigan University and Lloyd Jacobs, president of the University of Toledo all are local presidents. All actually have ties to the region and many have ties to the University of Michigan. It just seems unlikely that the powers that be would be accepting of someone who didn’t come from a school with a very significant national academic reputation as well as someone who comes from a school that has had to manage the significant issues that go along with high end Division 1 athletics. Realistically how can you expect someone from one of these Universities to step on to campus and handle David Brandon and not get walked all over. ODDS: 500-1
Teresa Sullivan isn't exactly a young individual. She's 5 or 6 years younger than Mary Sue (we're close like that).
I can't really imagine the academic staff being OK with Brandon as president of the university, plus then he has a find a replacement for his position - not an easy one to fill.
If Brandon were to ever go, I do wonder if he isn't grooming Hunter Lochman to replace him.
I had to downvote this as flamebait because the idea of turning the AD over to fucking Lochdog makes my skin crawl.
"Wallace Loh – Current President of the University of Michigan, College Park"
How many other schools have actually taken over another state's flagship university? Long live the M-pire!
I've never been more supportive of adding a school to the B1G. Why didn't we think of this before? ADD MICHIGAN AGAIN!
Before he moved to Oberlin. Good guy, I liked him a lot.
all fixed now :)
thanks for this summary - looking forward to the ongoing "race"
Obviously his age is an issue as well, but he seems like he'd be a better fit than Brandon. Older alumni love him, so he'd be a boon for fundraising and he has at least some background as an educator.
"Someone once told me [Brandon] is THE second most powerful person at the University above any Dean, Provost, or Vice President."
This is a problem. I would like to see the next president seriously attempt to rein this in.
I think it's important to remember that we're talking about Brandon himself, not the AD position. He's a former Regent, and he's very wealthy and politically connected in addition to being employed in a position with a ton of media exposure (and probably a boatload of sought after favors to give). He might be the most overqualified athletic director in the country, and that probably has something to do with the amount of personal prestige he enjoys.
Exactly. Its not about the A.D. position. Its Brandon himself. He's super wealthy. Been the CEO of two of Michigan's largest corporations (Domino's and Valasis). He is so politically connected in the Republican party there was talk of him running for Governor instead of Snyder. Add that he was a Regent which means Mary Sue had to deal with him as essentially her boss and you have a relationship different than the average President and A.D.
Its the person, not the position.
If DB were Govenor, would he still put "shoulder" stripes over everything? Licenses, license plates, official vehicles? Mackinac Bridge?
<insert deep thought Raptor meme picture>
Not sure about stripes, but I guarantee you the Mackinac Bridge would go from green and white to an absolutely blinding shade of Maize (which would change every 3 weeks).
It's nice to see how many seemingly qualified candidates the Regents will have to choose from. Thanks for the detailed write-up.
how could you forget to put me on this list?
I should be a 10-1 shot. Since I would take one dollar in compensation!
I nominate James Burrill Angell to come out of retirement!
I humbly accept your nomination.
James Burrill Angell
January 7, 1829 – April 1, 1916
You have a very liberal definition of "retirement".
Had Marvin Krislov for a great law class (focusing on political jurisprudence) while I was an undergrad at UofM. Incredibly smart guy. I credit that class to motivating me to become an attorney. I think he'd make for a great president - though, Mary Sue is surely a very tough act to follow.
While I know none of these people personally, from resume Krislov seems like an excellent choice. And unlike Hanlon and Sullivan, taking the Michigan job would be a definite upgrade to his current position.
This is an incredible bevy of information. Arne Duncan would be a tremendous choice, there is a lot of mutual admiration there on both sides, but I just can't see it happening for political reasons. Though if Mitch Daniels could assume the Purdue presidency directly from the Governor's Mansion it may not seem that farfetched.
Speaking of Governor's...could Snyder be an option. I realize his term won't be up when Mary Sue retires, but there have been interim presidents before so it doesn't seem too farfetched.
The only way that happens is if Snyder loses the election and the search is still ongoing in late 2014. No idea if that will be the case. All indications are that Snyder is going to run again so he wouldn't know if he was out until very late in the process. There are so many other good candidates that I can't imagine it won't be filled by then. That said, if the process is slow and all the various bureaucratic steps haven't been fulfilled by the time that election ends, I guess its possible. That said, for those circumstances to happen, he would have just come off an election defeat. Will he be that popular of a choice at that point?
I guarantee you LEO and GEO would strike immediately.
If Arne Duncan were to be named UM president, I would immediately stop any contributions to my alma mater until he leaves. I'll write that to the regents if he becomes a candidate.
(The following might be a policy statement, so I guess political, but it is a comment on both/neither party, so please bear with me, let's have nice things, etc).
Arne Duncan has been one of the key figures in pushing standarized testing in public education in the past 16 years and privatization of schools in general. I want him nowhere near my public university alma mater.
I'd like to expand on it, because it is important to this very important UM topic, but I don't want to bring party politics into this. Suffice it to say, there's an assault on public education (a war MSC has been fighting specifically with the state of michigan) and Duncan is a key player in that assault. Because of that, I don't think he would ever be seriously considered.
Sorry if too political, but given this topic, there's bound to be political factors to be considered.
You can criticize Duncan's methods, but clearly something drastic had to be done. Our public schools are terrible and have been so for a long, long, time.
^ this and thats not a politcal statement. Part of this has to do with the fundemental shift in our society to blame others instead of ourselves, hence parents raging on teachers and not spanking their kids when they bring home an F.
I had a parent railroad me for a student getting a "B". True story.
You can criticize Duncan's methods, but clearly something drastic had to be done. Our public schools are terrible and have been so for a long, long, time.
Actually that's not entirely true. Many, many school districts are great. Just look here in Ann Arbor - one of the best public school systems in the country. However, when No Child Left Behind started, school's funding was determined by improvement based on very flawed tests. So schools already performing highly with little room to improve had no way to succeed with NCLB.
Enter Race to the Top where schools were rewarded for adopting certain policies (such as Merit Pay for teachers) regardless of those policies' effectiveness. In fact, study after study has shown that merit pay, on its own, will not improve student achievment. There are even studies that suggest it will harm students as teachers will have to choose between collaborating with their peers and winning their allotment of the merit bonuses.
Furthermore, the school districts that won Race to the Top funding were often wealthy districts that could afford consultants to come in and help them redesign policies that matched the RTTT requirements. Poorer districts were not in a position to do that and lost out on fundings, keeping them poor and feeding the cycle of failure.
No Child Left Behind was a colassal failure and nobody denies that. However, Duncan has basically continued those practices through Race To The Top. Ask any teacher about how standardized tests has hampered their abilities to creatively teach. Ask any teacher that works in privatized, for-profit schools where they are overworked and underpaid (by teachers standards!) while some fat cat on Wall St. rakes in the profits. Race to the Top may not be NCLB, but it is pretty terrible by its own rights. These policies are the result of business people trying to judge education as a business.
To your original point: our public schools are only "terrible" exactly where you'd expect them to be terrible (poor neighborhoods, inner cities). I went to an amazing public school district and many, many people can say the same. The problem is very multifaceted and is, in my opinion, a much larger one than simply educating our youth.
(Whew, I made it through that whole thing without saying anything about party politics. Woo for nice things!)
I'll also mention that I like Duncan as a person. He speaks out on the behalf of teachers often. However, he either stands for the ideas promoted by Race to the Top or he is playing the politic game and not shaking the boat to keep his high post.
Deborah Ball (Dean of UM School of Education) has been one of Duncan's top consultants, so there's hope for me that something will change.
However, until someone in Washington stands up to standardized testing and the for-profit privatization of schools, then I cannot support that person to run a public university.
What about Jon Gruden?
Timothy White is going to be hampered by the problems the Cal State system is facing, even though he has limited culpability in the development of those problems. Both the UC and the Cal State systems are struggling to meet their mandates and budgetary problems are killing them.
As with anything else, White will be guilty by association, regardless of whether or not he should be (I'm not qualified to pass any judgement here).
A real dark horse would be William Powers Jr, the president of the University of Texas system. He has no connection to Michigan, but he's in a very high profile fight with the state government to the point where some speculate he could be forced out. Very long odds, but he would be a truly fantastic pickup if he were available.
not on that list. Since the president has little to do with academic matters, and has a lot to do with fund raising, someone from business community would work -- probably needs to have a terminal degree.
See my comment below--it doesn't matter that the president wouldn't teach, do research, mentor junior faculty, or any of it. I think you invite losing the support of faculty if the president isn't academic.
We have business acumen in spades on the Board of Regents and in the CFO area. The President needs to be an academic type, for balance and for credibility.
This is awesome. One of my favorite diaries in recent memory. I can't help but notice that the odds, when added together, are much longer than what you usually see. Is that just a scaling issue (e.g., maybe Sullivan is actually 5:1, Krislov is actually 10:1, Cantor is actually 15:1, etc.), or do you think it's very likely that the eventual president isn't on this list?
According to my math, "the field" (unnamed candidates) must have odds of 1.4:1 in order for this to work (if these odds are statisical). If the numbers represent betting lines, "the field" odds would probably be closer to 1:1.
You guessed it: Frank Stallone
It is Teresa Sullivan, not Theresa. Another person out of UVA is James Hilton, her CFO, who she poached from UM. He's a good bit younger and pretty talented.
As talented as Dave Brandon is with fund raising and connections, I don't think he's be very popular with the faculty. Faculty relations are pretty important for the President. That's what saved Sullivan at UVA. The faculty had her back as did the students.
James Hilton would be an interesting choice. He hails from Texas, received his PhD from Princeton, was a tenured professor of psych at Michigan for years (his area of specializaition is the psychology of suspicion, hmm), became interested in digital rights, was appointed associate vice provost of all things information, then left for UVA with Sullivan (and when one of his kids matriculated there), and is now back in Ann Arbor as Dean of the Libraries and several other administrative posts. He is solid gold.
Please delete this entry; was a duplicate
Just an FYI, and you may know this, but Shalala didn't exactly come from outside academia when she took over at Miami. She was a professor at a small school and Chancellor at Wisconsin before joining the Clinton Administration. Source: I went to Miami for undergrad.
I'm not sure Caminker even wants to be president. I met him at an admitted stidents reception a couple of months ago and I got the sense that he was relieved to be shifting back to a full-time faculty role. My money is on Sullivan. She came out of the whole brouhaha with the UVA trustees looking golden, and leaving on her own terms to take the top job at another public university would be a great way to get her revenge. She was well-liked while she was at Michigan and there's no reason why she wouldn't be wanted back. If not Sullivan, then the lady from Syracuse.
David Brandon (Republican) corrected odds on Regent approval as President: 'Cold day in Hell'-to-1.
Mark J. Bernstein (D)
Julia Donovan Darlow (D)
Laurence B. Deitch (D)
- Shauna Ryder Diggs (D)
- Denise Ilitch (D)
- Katherine E. White (D)
- Andrew C. Richner (R)
- Andrea Fischer Newman (R)
You hit nail on head.
In addition to his not being qualified for the job, that's a good insurance policy.
Dave Brandon entering the AD job with zero athletics administration experience was one thing.
Dave Brandon entering the presidency with zero academic administration experience, much less zero experience in the academy... Disaster. Dismantle the Diag, mothball the libraries, send everyone home.
I don't even know why this is even a hypothetical. Zero percent chance. Not even worth seriously discussing.
Maybe the board can step it up this time and find a candidate from one of the MAC schools instead of Iowa.