Please, I sure hope no one fleeing a political appointment would be selected to head the University. That is weak.
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
As most people here are well aware the University's President Mary Sue Coleman is in the last academic year of her tenure and has announced her intent to retire in July 2014. Back on August 22nd I wrote my first installment of this diary with some fun wild speculation about possible candidates. At this point everything is based on semi-educated guesses and the fact that, as the University officially launches its "Victors for Michigan" campaign towards the goal of raising $5 billion before the University's bicentenial in 2017, they may want someone with previous University ties to seemlessly step into the campaign. Here's the link to the old Diary http://mgoblog.com/diaries/race-replace-mary-sue-coleman-%E2%80%93-odds-university-michigan%E2%80%99s-next-president
So logically candidates like Theresa Sullivan (former M provost, current Chancellor at UVA), Marvin Krislov (former General Counsel during NCAA investigation and Affirmative Action Supreme Court case, now President at Oberlin College) and Nancy Cantor (former Provost at Michigan and current President at Syracuse who is leaving in 2014) make some logical sense. The Regents have hired a search firm and the search is underway. Needless to say that so-called outsiders are certainly possible but the public would never get so much as a whiff of who those might be as those candidates will not want to endanger their current employment. When Mary Sue Coleman was hired away from the University of Iowa, all interviews and meetings were so secretive they did not occur in the State of Michigan.
So again, its all mostly speculation. That said, there are various factions who have championed certain possible candidates. Needless to say all of the aforementioned names have surfaced in certain discussions. One other interesting possibility that has been heard whispered in certain hallways is one Earl Lewis. Here are some links to familiarize yourself http://www.mellon.org/about_foundation/officers/earl-lewis and http://www.mellon.org/news_publications/announcements-1/earl-lewis-elected-next-president-of-the-andrew-w.-mellon-foundation/ . Briefly put, Mr. Lewis was previously the Dean of Rackham School of Graduate Studies at Michigan and a Vice Provost. He left Michigan after 15 years in 2004 to become the Provost (2nd in charge behind the President) at Emory (technically a better ranked/near Ivy League school). In 2012 Mr. Lewis left Emory to become the President of the Andrew Mellon Foundation which is one of the largest educational trusts/benefactors in the country. Mr. Lewis has an impecible academic record, has UofM ties, is fairly young in terms of candidates for this kind of position and could bring connections out the proverbial wazoo considering the people he has dealt with as President of the Mellon Foundation. Lewis would also be the first African-American President at Michigan. He's certainly an intriguing candidate and those who hear the name and credentials have had little argument that he'd make a good choice.
Further, a few more logs have been placed on the fire that perhaps an Obama Cabinet member looking towards their post-government career could be the choice. As many may note Janet Napolitano, the chief of Homeland Security, recently left her post to become Chancellor of the University of California system. Further, as some of you are also aware, Gordon Gee, the President at Ohio State University has announced his pending retirement and there has been talk that certain cabinet members have put out word that they may be interested. So, would Secretary of Education Arne Duncan or even Department of Justice Head Eric Holder or any number of other cabinet members make the jump a year early to set up their post-political life. Again, its safe to assume if rumors are coming out of Columbus that cabinet members are making themselves available, the same is happening here.
Finally, a late personal vote for Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking simply for the recent announcement of Adrian's new program that pays part or all of the student loan payments of any Adrian graduate who makes less than $37,000 a year. http://www.freep.com/article/20130918/NEWS06/309180024/adrian-college-loan-repayment-alma-college-student-loans-debt-college-affordability As we can all attest, the amount of student loan debt that college graduates are accruing plus the diminished number of jobs, and well-paying jobs and ever increasing cost of secondary education are creating an entire generation that is choking under their student loans. Props/Kudos/Raise a Glass to President Docking for stepping up for the students and graduates to try an innovative way of trying to alleviate some of that debt. As the University embarks on the Victors for Michigan fundraising effort, one can only hope a huge chunk of that money will head towards scholarships. While I certainly commend gifts of Stephen Ross and Charlie Munger, right now the students need scholarships a little more than we need new buildings. In that spirit, any of you who are reading this and agree with the latter assertions can help some Michigan undergraduate scholarships and get yourself some Michigan memorabilia at this online auction fundraiser http://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/AuctionHome.action?vhost=mgoauction which is running all fall.
If anything interesting comes to light, Part III of the Diary will rapidly be posted. In the meantime, Go Blue and Give Back.
Please, I sure hope no one fleeing a political appointment would be selected to head the University. That is weak.
No political hacks, from either party, please.
Simple enough rule and if it is good enough for MGoBlog then it's good enough for U of M.
at least political ones. There are enough academic hacks already, like that bowtie-wearing doofus down in Columbus.
My early bet would be Sullivan, but I don't know anything about how adept she is at shaking big pots of money loose from those that have them.
Of course, if the Regents decided they needed some WOW, they only have to drive down State St. a few blocks to find their man.
Please define both political, and hack.
On second thought, don't. My comment is that anyone who would be a qualified and capable candidate virtually has to be "political." As regards the American political parties, most people at higher levels of society are able to slide easily enough among political factions. Again, it is almost a requirement. You have to get along, at least at the surface. There is really what could be called a professional political elite, often with very veiled and hidden personal convictions. Use mgoblog as an example. The best posters are rarely demogogues who easily offend some part of the mgo- demographic. Same thing with many politcal types, including candidates for the office of Michigan President. While someone might bear the "Democrat" or "Republican" moniker, that's often just for the hoi polloi, and is easily set aside when it suits said candidate.
EDIT: I make an assumption, which may not be clear. Obviously, anyone being considered for the position should have the requisite academic credentials, at a level that is respected by Michigan faculty. (not all PhD's and previous faculty gigs are equal.) Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if some "political" candidates also have the academic chops to be considered.
Well there's political, and then there's POLITICAL. In the former category, you're right - anyone reasonable for the position has to be comfortable moving in political circles.
But among Cabinet members, there's obviously some of the latter - Napolitano and Holder in particular are extremely polarizing figures and their terms have been (were, in Napolitano's case) marked by a number of controversies. It's unclear why either is particularly appealing in an academic leadership role. Basically, all they bring is name recognition, and that recognition is a decided negative for a big chunk of the donor (and student) base. They (and some other high level appointees) are "hacks" in the sense that they're asked to be the official implementers and blame-deflectors for controversial Administration policy. No bueno.
If you're going to grab someone from the Cabinet, you're pretty much limited to either the Secretary of Education or someone who's in a low controversy role. Does anyone realistically have significant animosity toward Stephen Chu?
I don't think having served in a Cabinet position makes one a "political hack." Cabinet members are more high level administrators and public servants than anything else. I actually think most of them aren't particularly politically motivated. Heck, a number of Republicans have served as agency heads under Obama. Running a federal agency and a large research university have a lot of similarities, so it would be disappointing if UM overlooks some really good candidates just because they are worried about the _perception_ of political hackery.
We may find a person to succeed her, but nobody will be able to replace her halftime show acting presence which we saw in full display during the CMU game.
On another note, I think it's awesome that James B. Angell is heading up the diary series on the U of M President search.
I've heard that Cantor was not well-liked at Illinois, though I don't know the specifics. I think that was around the time they abandoned their Chief Illiniwek mascot, which may have been a factor.
Earl Lewis would be great. He was wonderful as dean of Rackham,(and very brave in a situation involving the illegitimate arrest of someone in my grad cohort). He's received exemplary reviews everywhere he's been, and he loves UM as the place where his career began.
Whereas I personally feel Lewis failed ot adequately discpline a grad student who committed a FERPA violation and I had to hire a lawyer to send a threatening letter so that Lewis would get off his ass and respond. So I'll vote a strong "Hell no" on Lewis.
That's kind of vague mud throwing there, no?
One of my GSI's student released coursework and grads I had performed on public forums and via mass email because they had an issue with me. Disclosure of grades of course falls under FERPA.
Lewis as Dean of Rackham was actually the ultimate say in punishing this grad student, but kept ducking meetings with me, I had four rescheduled and denying responsibility until a letter from an actual lawyer rolled in, coupled with an official compliant to the Department of Education. Suddenly Lewis had all the time in the world to meet with me after that and I no longer kept getting routed to other departments. For awhile they had this whole "Oh no, we don't handle that, someone else does." thing going on to ping pong me back and forth.
Definietely interested in hearing more about these issues. Or are they two parts of the same incident?
Are there articles on this kerfuffle or do either of you have more to share on the context for the like/dislike of his actions?
They're definitely not part of the same incident. Mine involved a member of my grad cohort who was arrested and charged with 117 counts related to two armed robberies in Atlanta (where he was from) robberies supposedly in service of an attempt to mount some kind of political revolt. These robberies occurred when he was 1. at an academic conference, and 2. at his graduation ceremony. After he spent eight months in the Fulton County Jail, he was exonerated at trial and the judge formally admonished the prosecutors.
When he was arrested in Ann Arbor (and this is according to his account, after the fact), the provost internally requested that Rackham terminate his fellowship and expel him from the graduate school (this was pre 9/11 but the case involved pretty lurid speculations by the Fulton County prosecuter about armed rebellion). Lewis, in his first year as dean (might have been his first semester), refused, stating that he would be considered the same as any graduate student who had to take a leave of absence. Once he was exonerated, he returned to the program without penalty.
During his tenure as dean, graduate travel and research funding increased significantly, there were a lot more write up fellowships available, and he oversaw a revision of how doctoral programs performed admissions so that admissions better reflected the state of the academic job market (crappy!) and resulted in far fewer doctoral students going into debt to fund their initial years.
I know nothing about the incident CRex referred to (and couldn't quite figure out what happened because I don't know what "grads" refers too, sounds bad though). Sounds like there was definitely attempts by the dean's office to at least dodge CRex in addressing the incident. I will say that, having been on the GEO grievance committee, the lines of authority between Rackham and GEO (as in what Rackham had the power to do in cases of GSI misconduct) almost always required extensive meetings/debates/fights between the union and administration.
Thanks for the update.
Many good candidates on that list, and I also hope the position doesn't go to an Obama cabinet member. Many of the richest Americans are Republicans for obvious reasons, so that may not facilitate fund raising. Earl Lewis sounds great, and I'm also partial to Theresa Sullivan after her drama at UVA.
if only Sullivan wasn't a Sparty...
I would agree that Sullivan makes a lot of sense on a bunch of levels. That said, I've heard that there were some people that were rankled in some way by how or when she departed for UVA. Not sure how influential those people are or how true that is but I've heard it from a couple of people.
Right now here's my guess:
I THINK: It'll be an outsider if a good enough one emerges. I think there are issues surrounding most of the UofM connected candidates (Sullivan JUST LEFT, Krislov is president at a small school, Syracuse's academic reputation suffered under Cantor, No internal candidate is senior enough).
I WISH: Somehow Earl Lewis will get the gig. That said, his current job is pretty cushy. He may not want to go.
MY DARK HORSE: Is Marvin Krislov. He has many admirers for his handling of the NCAA issues and the Supreme Court case. The big issue is lack of the academic management experience and fundraising experience. That said, he certainly knows how to handle a hot issue and he already knows most of the players. If no external/outsider candidate were to emerge, I bet Krislov gets the nod.
Oberlin is in the midst of a $250 million campaign - the largest in the school's history. I've heard that he still loves Ann Arbor and UM.
Syracuse's academic reputation suffered under Cantor
we laying SU's exit from the AAU on her for a reason? was it her call/rec? are there other issues with her at SU?
Yeah I don't get the idea of going after Cabinet members. Particularly Eric Holder, who is perhaps the most polarizing member of the current administration. Polarizing is not something you want in a President and Fundraiser in Chief.
But beyond politics, I don't really see how the qualifications for a cabinet post line up with those for a university president. Very different jobs.
Earl Lewis is probably my favorite of the candidates you mention. Theresa Sullivan would be good as well, but UVA to UM is something of a lateral move and would be a somewhat odd path to take after the major brouhaha she went through to keep her job there. That said, she's probably the candidate most likely to fall in the "their's if they want it" slot.
I would say that whether or not Sullivan wants the U-M job is dependent on a few things. Like whether the working relationship between her and the BOV is repaired - and there were reports to the effect that it wasn't a great relationship about a year after the mess. Also, whether Sullivan feels her contract at UVA will be renewed - she is on a five-year contract which is up in 2015, a year after MSC's retirement.
It doesn't help that the governor re-appointed Helen Dragas to another term, which ends in 2016, but she's been very quietly replaced as rector and is now just a regular board member. I don't know when exactly that happened, but it wasn't publicized, and it might thaw the relationship between Sullivan and the Board somewhat.
No H in Teresa, by the way.
...who they should hire but they won't get a single penny out of me for their fundraising if it is anybody from Washington, DC.
Seriously, I would rather see them hire Gordon Gee than any of those theiving DC political types.
No way faculty would ever sign on.
Whomever is selected as the next president will face a lot of issues:
1. First and foremost is the 800 elephant gorilla in the ante room of every undergraduate campus: can the traditional liberal arts education have a role in the current world that justifies the high tuition and board fees? Many of the programs have an easier time "justifying" their existence. The engine school produces engineers. The natural sciences part of LSA produce scientists. I have a LSA degree so please don't think I'm one of those people who believe everything on campus has to be directly linkable to a final job or salary. Just wanted to point out that this is the question that every college president is facing from alumni and prospective student parents. Can't pretend everything is fine and hope no one asks these questions.
2. Medical campus: Again whether one likes it or not, running the university now has taken on partially running the medical campus which has a multi-billion dollar budget bigger than the combined budgets of central campus, Dearborn and Flint combined. The new president will need to determine who is the next Executive VP for Medical Affairs. A bad choice or mediocre choice is not only demoralizing for medical campus but costs big bucks. Research funding is plateauing and probably will decline so clinical revenue will become ever more important to bridge and keep many departments solvent.
3. Future development: As others have pointed out, dollars may be better spent on scholarships rather than buildings but buildings will go up or be renovated. The acquisition of the Pfizer property now gives an uninterrupted chunk of land from Central Campus to US 23. What will go there? A new replacement adult hospital? More power generation?
1. First and foremost is the 800 elephant gorilla in the ante room of every undergraduate campus: can the traditional liberal arts education have a role in the current world that justifies the high tuition and board fees?
The most poetic mixed metaphor on MGoBlog today. I am just trying to picture an "800 elephant gorilla." In an ante room, no less. Not just any gorilla, and not just any room. An 800 elephant gorilla in your ante room is gonna leave a mark.
I think whoever Stephen Ross supports will win this one.
He'll be the head of the new fund raising campaign and whoever he is close to will win.
I would rather have a professional academic with experience leading a major research institution, preferably a public one, than anyone coming out of a government leadership position at the federal or state level (regardless of their particular ideology, even if I tend to agree with it).
Yes, she is leaving Syracuse University but she accepted the chancellor position at Rutgers - Newark campus. She must not be concerned with money anymore because she will be taking a 40 % pay reduction frim the Syracuse chancellor postion to take the new positon.(.approx mid $ 400,000 from almost $ 950,000 at Syracuse. She is widely blamed for the pour handling of the Bernie Fine ( former top assistant to Coach Jim Boeheim) child molestation situation and as previouly mentioned. academic reputation did not improve, despite reaching some fund-raising goals and being able to accept students with higher GPAs than in the past.. Newark is probably one of the few areas in the country that is worse to live in than Syracuse..
should be removed from consideration in a summary disposition. That decision alone smacks of insanity. True, I spent 8 months there, but being in the military I had little choice and my doors were locked by 8 p.m., some of the times I was even inside.
In her defense, she's taking that job at a critically important moment for Rugers-Newark, as the state university system figures out how to integrate the operations of the Medical College of New Jersey into the Rutgers system. In short, New Jersey's state medical school used to be independent but now is falling under Rutgers' institutional umbrella. Figuring out how that's going to work has to be a fascinating managerial task.
And there's always the PATH train...
But it does likely eliminate her as a candidate.
We might as well replace Mary Sue with a Mary Sue.
I would support any candidate who improves on the University's abominable track record on the individual rights of students/staff. That would include restoration of the standard of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law for the accused, freedom of speech and both color-blindness and gender-blindness in hiring and admissions.
I'm not overly optimistic.
blind admissions would lead to 80% women and 80% from the east coast.
The elephant in the room is the Athletic Department, or more specifically, Dave Brandon. Now, I am not mentioning this because I am anti-Brandon, but rather that he seems to be someone who can be "bi-polar." He puts on an UTL 2 as the equivalent to any SuperBowl. Everything planned and carried out almost perfectly. And then he goes ahead and hire a skywriter to put Go Blue over Spartan Stadium, kind of like a fraternity prank. He builds a new Crisler Arena/Center (although Bill Martin had something to do with that) and then oversells sets and does not announce a plan until after sales have been made (can you spell bait and switch). At any rate, its important that a new President run the entire U, not most of it.
I'm a native Ann Arborite and UM alum now living in Virginia. As a prof myself at an undisclosed public U in VA I have to say that I have been unimpressed by Sullivan's tenure so far at UVA. I thought the effort to oust her was inane, but frankly she hasn't been there long enough to have been an obvious success as a University president. Nor does she seem to me like a particular innovative person in that role. Nor does she have the sort of national reputation that screams "go get her." This is not meant as any sort of criticism - it's just that the bar in my mind for the UM presidency is pretty damn high.
Finding the right person is always tricky because you need to combine the intellectual chops to be taken seriously by the faculty and the political polish and interpersonal skills to handle the "real world." Not too many folks who fit that bill.
I will also second the "no political hacks" rule - absolutely the last thing we need.
And that is Bill Martin.
You know he's rested and ready from being on his boat.
...after Les Miles?
FWIW I brought up Krislov to a room with some knowledgable observers and they looked at me like I'd lost my effing mind. So I am not sure how serious a candidate I'd consider him. They agree that Cantor was a "no way" choice too.