Students will have to wait at least another day to know with
certainty how the University’s leadership for the next eight
years will shape up.

With 78 percent of Michigan precincts reporting early this
morning, current regents Olivia Maynard (D-Goodrich) and S. Martin
Taylor (D-Grosse Pointe Farms) led with 25 and 23 percent of the
votes, respectively. Republican challengers Patrick Anderson of
Bath Township and Carl Meyers of Dearborn trailed were close
behind, with 23 and 22 percent of the vote. Anderson trailed Taylor
by 27,676 votes.

The top two vote-getters will take the spots alongside the other
three Democrats and Republicans on the University’s Board of
Regents.

The regents positions are not paid but can be influential. The
regents, who are similar to the University’s board of
directors, vote to approve the University’s budget, faculty
and administrative appointments, the construction of new buildings
and academic initiatives.

In the past few terms, the regents have agreed to hold tuition
to the rate of inflation, agreed to construction plans for both the
new Depression Center and Central Campus parking structures and
decided to support the University’s use of race-conscious
admissions.

LSA Senior Nathaniel Damren, a Green Party candidate, acquired
less than 1 percent of the vote, and most of the other third party
candidates also received less than 1 percent.

Taylor and Maynard, both elected to the board in 1996, have been
supporters of the University’s affirmative action policies.
Both have also supported providing domestic partner benefits for
same-sex couples, a policy that could potentially be challenged
after Proposal 2 passed yesterday.

Taylor, an executive vice president of DTE Energy Company in
Detroit, has made tuition and state funding two of his key issues.
The University has not stressed the importance of higher education
to the economic health of the state, Taylor has said, causing part
of the decrease in state funding.

With a lack of funding, the University is finding it difficult
to keep tuition down. Taylor also has pledged to increase minority
enrollment at the University.

“We need to change the dialogue in the state,”
Taylor said in a recent interview. “It almost now seems as
though in Lansing higher education is sort of the bad
guy.”

Maynard, president of Planned Parenthood in Michigan and The
Michigan Prospect in Flint, also has strongly supported holding
down tuition costs and making college more accessible to middle and
low-income students. She is also a supporter of the Life Sciences
Institute.

Anderson, who founded the consulting firm Anderson Economic
Group LLC, said he would bring more accountability to the Board of
Regents, including putting the race-conscious admissions procedures
to a vote.

Anderson also wants to pursue a more aggressive policy toward
the Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Legislature in obtaining state
funding.

“My main theme has been to make the board of regents more
active in representing the systems that elected them,”
Anderson said. He is also pushing for “public votes on major
policy issues like admissions and curriculum,” he added.

But Anderson has noted that he holds no personal feelings
against the two incumbents, although he believes both Republicans
would better serve the University.

“I have a great deal of respect for Olivia and Martin and
what they’ve done for the University in the past eight
years,” he said.

Agreeing with Anderson’s assertion that the University
should pursue a more aggressive stance toward the state, Meyers
said he also supports lowering tuition costs, but believes his
record as a businessman makes him fiscally responsible.

Meyers is the senior vice president of investments at Raymond
James and Associates.

Meyers said this year’s new application is too difficult
and needs to be simplified.

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.