Less than a day after Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal 2, University President Mary Sue Coleman gave a rare speech on the Diag to answer the question on everyone’s mind: How will the University respond to the state’s ban on affirmative action?
Three years into her tenure, Coleman’s public displays of leadership have been few. Her successful fundraising efforts and her support for adding luxury boxes to Michigan Stadium have defined her legacy so far. But in the wake of Proposal 2, all eyes are on the University – and Coleman. Though her speech provided few specifics, it did make one thing clear: Coleman will ensure the University does not back down on its commitment to diversity.
However, other than promising the administration will explore all possible legal actions and reassuring the University’s current students and employees that their financial aid and jobs are not jeopardy, Coleman’s speech was vague. That angered some who wanted to hear a more concrete plan to preserve a diverse campus – and annoyed others who figure the University should just move on.
Coleman’s generality is understandable. The University finds itself in a difficult situation, and no one is certain where to go from here. But however tenuous this situation is for the University, the speech itself left something to be desired. Coleman’s clich