University of Michigan President Says State Treats School Like 'Failing Institution'

Tim Goral's picture
Thursday, March 15, 2012

University of Michigan is a top-ranked public school, but people looking at recommended performance goals to earn state funding would think the university is a “failing institution,” President Mary Sue Coleman told a state House committee.

But members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education had tough words for Coleman, saying the university is “thumbing its nose” at the Legislature by not providing requested information, including about human embryonic stem cell use in research.

The committee met with Coleman and presidents from three other state universities to gather opinions on Gov. Rick Snyder’s “carrot-based” budget recommendation, which calls for schools to earn 3 percent increases in aid based on meeting goals.

The increases – coming on the heels of a 15 percent cut in 2011 – are based on goals including offering more degrees, having students graduate on time and keeping tuition increases to 4 percent or less.

But the panel had tougher words for Coleman, who spoke of University of Michigan’s role as a job-creator and economic engine in addition to its academic benefits.

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