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Regents will hold January meeting in New York

By Peter Shahin, Daily News Editor
and Jennifer Calfas, Daily Staff Reporter
and Sam Gringlas, Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 18, 2013

FLINT, Mich. — Regent Andrea Fischer Newman (R) announced at Friday’s Board of Regents meeting that the governing board will travel to New York City for a “strategic planning session” in place of their January 2014 meeting.

While in the Big Apple, the regents will discuss the importance of university medical centers with a host of higher education leaders, including Princeton University president Christopher Eisgruber and Yale University president Peter Salovey, as well as former administrators from Johns Hopkins University and Emory University.

Last January, the regents attended sessions in California to discuss the challenges facing higher education with Robert Birgeneau, recently retired chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University President John Hennessy; Robert Berdahl, former president of the Association of American Universities; and Dan Russell, one of Google’s top research scientists. California is the most well-represented state at the University besides Michigan, with 2,282 Californians enrolled in classes, according to enrollment data released Wednesday.

The second largest body of non-resident students hails from New York, with 2,102 students calling the state home. The state is also home to a large number of alumni.

With the trip scheduled a few months after the capital campaign launch on Nov. 8, Newman also said the University plans to meet with donors and alumni during their excursion. University alum Stephen Ross, chair of the upcoming Victors for Michigan campaign and a resident of New York city, will also host a development-focused event.

Jerry May, vice president for development, attended last January’s California trip along with two University gift officers stationed in California. May did not attend the Board's seminars and meetings, but focused on connecting the regents with alumni and potential donors at two events.

In January, University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said the west coast trip provided an opportunity to reach out to donors in a state heavily populated with University alumni.

“This presents an opportunity to reach out to people who care about the University and want this institution to thrive well into our third century,” Fitzgerald said last year.

In an email interview before the California trip, Regent Denise Ilitch (D) expressed interest in holding similar meetings in the future.

“I look forward to more meetings that allow us to learn, exchange ideas and promote the virtues of the University of Michigan,” Ilitch wrote. “It is vitally important to be an ‘ambassador’ of our great institution.”