Mary Sue Coleman, the first woman to serve as the University of Michigan’s president, will retire in July 2014, the university announced on Thursday. Ms. Coleman, who is 69, was appointed president of the three-campus institution in 2002, after having led the University of Iowa for seven years. Ms. Coleman led Michigan as the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 decided two affirmative-action cases stemming from admissions policies at the university. During her tenure, the university also undertook a campaign to hire 100 new faculty members specializing in interdisciplinary teaching and research.
Also on Thursday, the university announced that Charles T. Munger, a prominent investor and philanthropist who is a Michigan alumnus, had pledged to give the university a $110-million gift. The university said the gift, which will finance the construction of a new graduate-student residence, was the largest single donation in its history.
This walk-and-talk wasn’t written by Aaron Sorkin.
The Atlantic Wire reports that a small West Wing reunion was instigated by Mary Catherine McCormack, who played Kate Harper on West Wing and whose sister is running for the Michigan Supreme Court.
The candidate, Bridget McCormack, is an associate dean at the University of Michigan’s law school, and she manages to fit allusions to her credentials in with some public service. The same ad also highlights voter confusion in states with nonpartisan ballot sections.
Bridget McCormack isn’t the only one in the spotlight: Mary McCormack plugs herself as whip-smart, “possibly even hot,” and Bradley Whitford gets to be a “movie-star Louis C.K.”
The Atlantic writes, “How [Mary] managed to convince all of her former co-workers to fly to Ann Arbor and reprise their roles for free just to support the issue of partially blank ballots is anyone’s guess, but fans of the show surely appreciate her efforts … We suppose her sister appreciates it, too, since she is about to become the most famous judicial candidate in America.”
The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday approved a ballot measure seeking an amendment to the state’s Constitution that would protect public and private employees’ collective-bargaining rights by prohibiting legislation that would prevent the workers from forming unions, according to Bloomberg News. The court ruled that proponents of the measure, called “Protect Our Jobs,” had collected enough signatures to put the question before voters on the November ballot. The referendum, if approved, would nullify a new state law that bans graduate-student research assistants at the state’s public universities from unionizing.