You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, May 15, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Autism Center at University of Michigan to close as world-renowned founder resigns

By Juliana Keeping

The University of Michigan plans to close its decade-old autism center with the departure this fall of a renowned autism researcher who heads it.

Catherine Lord, who directs the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center, said she is leaving to head the Institute for Brain Development, a new, joint effort between Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital scheduled to open at the end of 2012.

Two grown children who live in New York City are driving her decision, Lord said.


Elena Mirea, right, helps her son Robby, 2, who has autism, pull out Play-Doh from a container at the University of Michigan Autism Communication Disorders Center in Ann Arbor on May 13, 2011. The center will close in the fall with the departure of its director, Catherine Lord.

Angela J. Cesere |

But Lord — a Harvard-educated psychologist who has authored hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 10 books about autism spectrum disorder — suggested that bureaucracy, territory and money may have strangled the original intent of UMACC: to integrate services across disciplines at an incredible place full of talent.

“I think it’s a very big place, and there are a lot of territories,” said Lord, who is also a U-M psychology professor. “And I think reality for the medical world is that autism is expensive. It doesn’t make money the way pediatric oncology or pediatric cardiology does.”

U-M will not fill the vacancy Lord is leaving, she said, and the school has been aware of her intention to part ways for a long time.

“I think they are going to close UMACC for a variety of bureaucratic reasons,” she said.

A U-M psychologist and a small number of researchers and staff will follow Lord to New York, she said. The researcher has brought in millions of dollars to U-M for autism research in the last decade.

U-M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald confirmed Lord is leaving and the center will close after her departure.

"Catherine Lord's resignation will be a loss to the university of an outstanding researcher," he said.


Harvard-trained psychologist Catherine Lord is leaving the University of Michigan to lead the creation of an autism institute in New York and be closer to her children.

Her departure will not impact two federally funded early intervention research projects that are ongoing: the Early Steps Study and the Early Social Interaction Project, which involve about 70 children and their families. Other services will be reshuffled to existing university or community resources or will no longer be offered at U-M.

Some Early Steps participants receive intensive behavioral treatment followed by two years of follow-up with an interventionist 20 hours per week. The program is free for study participants; an interventionist could cost a family as much as $50,000 a year.

It is no longer enrolling participants, but the Early Social Interaction Project — which trains parents on how to provide services to their children — is still enrolling participants through June, said Julie McCormick, project manager for early intervention services for UMACC, which is affiliated with U-M Rackham Graduate School.

Manchester resident Jennifer Lundberg’s two sons are autistic and each is enrolled in a UMACC study. For nearly two years, Hayden, 4, has received intensive treatment through Early Steps to help his development that her family could never have afforded, she said, because it is not covered by insurance.

In June, Hayden's participation with Early Steps will come to an end.

“I am devastated on so many levels, and every day I try to think of a way we could open up a school and put these talented people to work in a positive manner where their services can help other people,” she said of UMACC’s closing.

Lundberg and her husband, Donald, moved to Manchester from California because of UMACC services, she said. She said intensive therapies have helped her son.

“I think, in the last six months, they’ve identified what he needs to learn, and how intensely they need to teach him.”

He needs to be told over and over and over, to understand things like “this is a picture of shirt,” she said.

Staff members with the center and the study have been a text or call away when her son shows a new behavior that needs to be addressed — like screaming inside of stores.

With his participation in the study coming to a close, she said, she faces a void in affordable services that can help her son progress.

“This is a crucial age for them to learn in, and you want to put as much in front of them as they can to absorb during these early years,” she said.


Jennifer Lundberg holds her sons, Hayden and Justin. The boys are autistic and have participated in research studies at the U-M Autism and Communication Disorders Center. The center will close after its director, Catherine Lord, takes a job in New York in the fall.

Autism spectrum disorders affect one in every 110 children and one in every 70 boys, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s estimated that 1 million to 1.5 million American adults and children live with an autism spectrum disorder, a condition marked by social, communication and behavioral challenges.

While at U-M, Lord had been working to create a diagnostic tool that would catch autism earlier in toddlers than the typical age of diagnosis, which is usually around 3 or 4 years old. Over the last few years, the center has had enough research funding to offer genetic and diagnostic services for free. Those kinds of services can often run about $2,500, Lord said.

“We believe that the earlier we can identify autism, the more we can work with families and other people involved in the child’s life and keep the child socially engaged and to help the child communicate,” she said.

She will continue her research in New York.

UMACC has been an excellent community resource and its closing will be a loss to the community, said Jeanne Brakhage, a parent liaison for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.

The intermediate district works with local school districts and included 658 autistic children in 2010. Children within the district have been referred to UMACC-run studies over the years.

"A lot of excellent research has come out of the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center, including tools for diagnosis and early intervention,” Brakhage said. “The center has also had support systems in place for individuals and groups. And, its director, Dr. Catherine Lord, is known throughout the United States — if not the world — as an expert in autistic spectrum disorders.”

Lord and two others started UMACC in 2001 after a campaign by faculty members and autism parents to then-provost Nancy Cantor pushed its creation forward, Lord said. Since that time it grew to a staff of 60 people who work together to research, evaluate and treat autism in individuals who range in age from infancy to adulthood. The center’s offices are at the Victor Vaughan Building, 1111 E. Catherine St. in Ann Arbor, while staff involved in ongoing studies work elsewhere on campus.

At any time, UMACC provides services for 300 to 400 people, Lord said.

Lord said the center has already started to slow down its offerings. It is referring some services, such as diagnostic evaluations, to other available resources in the community, such as the Autism Collaborative Center at Eastern Michigan University, which opened in 2009.

She called EMU’s center “a huge resource.”

U-M and the University of Michigan Health System offer services in the diagnosis and treatment of autism outside of UMACC, such as the pediatric genetics division at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and an autism spectrum disorders clinic offered within the child and adolescent psychiatry division of the U-M Department of Psychiatry.

Social groups for children and teens will be continued through the U-M Center for the Child and the Family. An adult social group is still looking for a new home.

Finding services for adults is challenging, Lord said.

“With adults, we haven’t found a group that really wants to take on adults with autism in terms of a specialty,” she said.

“I think our intention was to be not just a place for people came and got a one-stop diagnosis but that we could keep going across a lifetime,” Lord said. “For information and support. In that sense, we’ll leave a gap.”

According to a statement issued Friday from the University of Michigan Health System, various areas that offer autism services at U-M will begin to collaborate on a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program to evaluate children with autism following UMACC's closure. The move is being made to address confusion surrounding various points of entry for autism services at UMHS, according to the statement. The collaboration will begin in 2012 following the opening of the new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter

Has a friend or family member used services at UMACC? How has the center impacted your family or friends, and what vacancy will it leave in the community? Leave a comment below.



Mon, May 16, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

The University of Michigan needs to change their slogan from patients and families first, to football fans and their money first. Way to go Mary Sue - Shame on you!

Feat of Clay

Mon, May 16, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

Right, because the federal money that supported this center, and the ticket & athletic donations that fund football are all just in one big happy overflowing pot! I am mighty tired of hearing people blaming football for every General Fund budget decision.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

I met some folks years ago who had an autistic daughter. They said back then that the UM program was very conventional – nothing new – when others are making far more progress with other treatment directions. They treated their child's disorder as a food allergy and saw what they considered remarkable improvement. ..perhaps there is new research that will soon uncover Lord's treatment program as a dead end… We certainly know a Harvard education is no evidence of competence - look at our laughing stock of a president.....


Sat, May 21, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.

That seems like an exhausting perspective and distinction without a difference. If something is incurable, considering it a mere "difference" is fine as long as you are also flexible enough to pursue a new cure if one comes along. Deaf or blind radicals sometimes crazily insist that they would not pursue a cure if one became available because they are simply not handicapped. Lemonade with too many lemons. While having a family creates it's own rewards, parents who are so focused on loving and caring for autistic children they have but did not expect are special and to be admired.


Fri, May 20, 2011 : 11:20 a.m.

My kid is different from most people: he is an Aspie. He needs services to function well in the world, just as a blind or Deaf kid needs services. That doesn't mean that he needs to have a core part of how his mind works changed. It's not about being PC. It's about parenting the kid I got, instead of the kid I expected. All I hear from you, shep, is a desperate desire to fix those kids with autism, those broken kids. What does that say to my son, if the first and strongest lesson I gave him was that he was wrong in a most basic way? I'm sorry that you feel the only way to succeed in parenting is to erase any differences immediately, but since I've seen your comments on other differences, I'm not all that surprised. My son needs -- and receives -- services to help him develop skills. He doesn't need to be fixed, because he's different, not broken.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

Congratulations on making your lemons into lemonade in your own head Meg but be careful what you wish for. Your attempt to classify autism as something other then a disorder sounds PC but may make programs tempting targets for budget cutters who would eagerly agree with your generous definition of normalcy. The deaf and blind try the same spin – "we're normal but where's are government check from other "normal" tax payers." …and ask the mental health folks about how happy the government was to close the metal hospitals and where many of those people live today. I agree that anecdotes mean little statistically but where some think they find a cure, I would hope researchers take some interest and check it out. Certainly the anti inoculation nuts did not benefit from exhaustive research. In the end, most still cling to their illusions. I hope your rosy "acceptance" it not code for "giving up on treatment".


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 11:27 a.m.

cette, autism is as much a part of my kid as his blue eyes. He is not broken or damaged. Do I wish sometimes that taking him to his sister's school party didn't make him panic, or that he could have a sleepover? Sure. But accepting your child doesn't mean seeking to change everything about him that's unlike you.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 8:32 a.m.

Maybe Terri, you feel that way, but there's plenty of families and kids who wish they were not struggling so.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 8:31 a.m.

think about it, she couldn't change it for the better, she said so in the article. Slamming on Harvard grads... how U of M of U.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

Autism isn't a food allergy, and this focus on "curing" autism is offensive. It's not a disease, for Pete's sake.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 2:11 a.m.

The plural of anecdote is not data. There is no evidence that diet changes cure autism, only that they may moderate conditions for some children that may exacerbate manifestations of autism. I'm not looking for a cure for my kid. He is who he is, and if I could make him neurotypical I wouldn't, because it would change him so profoundly.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

You are awesome, thank you!


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

"I think reality for the medical world is that autism is expensive. It doesn't make money the way pediatric oncology or pediatric cardiology does." Whether she was an egomaniac or not, this comment is gonna start sounding more and more familiar as our health industry crumbles around us. If diseases do not hold out the promise of huge profit, research into them and services for their victims will be jettisoned.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Where was the U of Michigan when the autism insurance reforms were trying to get enacted in the legislators last year? Where was the support? A center isn't about one talented person, it's about the system using that talent. The University is not supporting their community, both at the clinical level or at the public policy health level.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

Speaking as an adult with high-functioning Asperger's I think that treating autism as a psychiatry problem is wasteful. The UofM should be focusing on finding the causes of autism, not spending $millions to inefficiently treat symptoms. Near as I can tell autism is caused by immune system dysfunction, with heavy metal toxicity being most common and mercury toxicity being particularly problematic. I tested positive for elevated mercury. I'm still reading up on how to deal with it. This research doctor's books seem especially insightful: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Ignore his focus on mercury amalgam dental fillings in adults. The science works for mercury toxicity from any source. I have no fillings so I didn't give heavy metal toxicity the attention it deserves until recently. Northern Europeans are especially slow at heavy metal excretion. Symptoms vary depending on genetics and how early the initial poisoning occurred, possibly including in vitro from a mercury toxic mother. The more immature the immune system is, the worse the effects of heavy metals. Anything you can do to reduce burdens on the immune system seems to be helpful. Most of the immune system is in the gut so diet is important. Paleolithic and Specific Carbohydrate Diets (SCD) tend to be helpful. Paleo is simpler, SCD is more flexible. &quot;Everyday Paleo&quot; will get you off to the fastest start. At the very least get all artificial food additives (petroleum) and all gluten (wheat) out of the diet. Unfortunately the medical field is very political and any mention of heavy metals, diet, or heaven forbid vaccines is a good way to terminate your career. Don't ask me why. It makes finding effective help very difficult. All I know is that I've been able to moderate my symptoms.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 11:07 p.m.

Oh please. You sound like Jenny McCarthy who somehow thinks because she has an autistic son she knows the answers.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

Wow. A lot of cynicism and unfounded conjecture. The university is not in the business of losing money. If the person who brings in the research dollars to (probably only partially) fund this endeavor leaves, the university probably found closing it to be the fiscally responsible thing to do. How does anyone know the politics, if any, involved. Maybe she wanted bigger and better opportunities. I've also noticed that some people jump at every chance to slam UM. Without UM there would be no Ann Arbor. It's a world class institution and no organization with 40,000 employees and just as many students is ever going to find agreement on everything. Lighten up please and think where we would be without the university.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

Criticizing the administration of the University is not the same thing as wanting the University to go away.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

What many of these comments are missing is that UMACC was primarily a research center, and it was very good at that. It was not part of UMHS and the services were not intended to be comprehensive. Our son benefited from the social groups he attended, and the leaders were fantastic, but it was not his primary source of services. We got wind of the UMACC closing a few months ago and started services at ACC. They are not as research-focused and will probably never produce the level of evidence that UMACC did, but they are better at seeing us as a whole family needing support and tools, not solely as our child with autism. We miss the people at UMACC, but recognize the difference between research with services and services with research. There's nothing wrong with either model. But to portray this as Cathy Lord turning her back on the community and depriving our children -- let's be realistic. She took a new job. The university opted to close UMACC. If this results in a reshuffling of services within U-M and UMHS that better supports the kids and families, great.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

Yep, and if Cathy Lord and UMACC was heavily supported and run by research dollars, the money goes with the researcher. It would be a huge shortfall that the U would have to find to continue to fund the research, as well as finding a leading researcher. Best of luck and continued success to you and your family!


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

One person leaves (It's her right since she's not an endangered servant to U of M) and the whole program shuts down?


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Who cares if the center closes, as long as the football team gets everything they need? Obviously, not the Administration! People wake up: no football player will ever enrich your life, save your child's life, or make your community a better place to live. So sad to see the slow demise of a great University and Medical Center due to an Administration that is clueless.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 1:18 a.m.

Not true, Tom Brady and enriched my life. And sorry but you won't get 113,000 people together every Saturday cheering like crazy for some lab coat person studying a kid with autism.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

Could you please offer anything to support your assertions of demise and cluelessness?


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

Well, those sure are vast and sweeping generalizations, which are totally not supported by facts.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

Article translation: No real headway made in the field of Autism, University cuts losses.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 2:16 a.m.

babmay, I hear you WRT UMACC being a great place for research, but not so much with the services. While the testing our son got through UMACC research was top-notch, the services we're getting at EMU seem to be a better fit for our family--we're all able to get some needs met, not just our kid with ASD.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

There has been amazing headway in the field of Autism if treated early. Look into it and learn the facts.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

Or maybe autism treatment isn't funded by insurance...the real problem. Thank you, Michigan Chamber of Commerce.. Think about dialysis,what are the numbers, that 25 % of people who start dialysis die that year, yet they get dialysis, or that typically an elderly person can cost up to half a million a year during their last 6 months on this earth, and there's Medicaid and Medicare to make sure that hapens, but you know,try to get insurers to pony up $50,000/year for three years for a very satisfying 90% improvement rate with about 40% coming diagnosising off the spectrum, and researchers hit a brick wall here at the University. Someone once told me that as a Peace Corps volunteer they could save thousands of lives if they could get people do dig a ditch and then use the ditch for sanitation reason. But they just couldn't get people to do something that different, and so there were destined to be many unnecessary deaths. Difficulty with novelty is a problem that ASD kids share with senior administration types in big institutions, unfortunately...

Wolf's Bane

Sun, May 15, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

cette et. al. I'm not an expert, but I do know that the University is in a real bind when it comes to funding the Autism program and other ventures that don't produce fruit; patents, additional funding etc. Financially, it makes the most sense to have some other organization carry the torch forward; maybe an entity with deeper 'private' pockets. I'm certainly not for it by any means, but why not call a spade a spade and move on?


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

I don't think it's that simple, but it was very frustrating to those of us with children on the autism spectrum that UMACC focused solely on research and didn't try to provide any kind of expertise in the treatment areas. Yes, they did an excellent job of diagnosis, but they could have created a real one-stop shop with a treatment center. Families that come here don't have access to a high quality ABA program center, and very little else exists here as well. While the public schools have improved the autism services, especially at the preschool level, the K-12 portion of services and programming leaves a lot to be desired. And this year they have lost several key providers on their autism support team - not realizing the value of the BCBA credential and those who have good autism and behavioral training. And with state ed cuts the picture is grim. Didn't pass that autism insurance law last year either, which would have gotten private insurers to at least provide some of the medical services these kids need. UM didn't really come out and support that either, probably don't want to pay for it. Sad. BTW treatment is NOT a waste of time and resources. ABA is shown to be quite efffective if started early and provided by qualified BCBAs or other behaviorally trained staff. It's way worth it in the long run financially as well as being the right thing to do. Millions of $$ in lifetime services can be saved if these research based proven programs were implemented.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

Well, that's nonsense, and spoken like somenone who doesn't the expertise to weigh in. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:49 p.m.

Autism can be a very difficult disorder to diagnose and treat, and can be very expensive, and usually doesnt result in any significant improvements in the diagnosed person's life. I think it is best that U-M spends its resources in other fruitful endevours. While it is sad for the families who have autistic children or maybe even if one or both parents are autistic, I , as a offspring of a &quot;high-functioning&quot; autistic Dad, have come to think of &quot;treatment&quot; being more or less a waste of time and resources.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

I agree with the comments about prestige and empire building by ego-maniacal types like Lord. Let her and her crew go the NYC. UM can use the resources to get back in the business of educating and degree granting which I believe is its core mission in the first damn place.


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 1:23 a.m.

Dr. Lord is lucky to be leaving the 'hoke' crowd behind for the Big Apple. Why should she stay here where she is treated like a second class citizen? Anyplace in the U.S. would be better to work at than the U of M. The professionals at NYC institutions are sooooo much nicer than the egomaniacs at U of M. You are lucky to be saying good riddance to the U of M. Dr. Lord - enjoy NYC .


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

shame on you. Cathy Lord has advanced the field immeasurably. Michigan is moving into a doldrum state, and the autism crisis is not slowing down.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Talk about selfish! She started the program, now she is picking up her toys and going home! Since U of M is not carrying on with her program their must have been a few fathers ruffled! Ms. Keeping it would be worth reading, the real story here. Instead of being the mouth piece for the Politically Correct (PC) how about some real reporting! (Dumpster diving, talking to other people involved, friends, enemies)


Mon, May 16, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

How do you expect Ms. Keeping to gain access to the sources to report the alleged &quot;real story&quot; without getting trespassed by the goon squad?


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 11:03 p.m.

Yeah it is so selfish to devote your life to helping autistic children and then wanting to live near your own children. I cant believe how selfish that is of here to spend thousands of hours doing what she does, and then at some point wanting to be with her adult children who could give her grand children. What a horrible person. By the way, in any of these types of projects, the need is to always have a succession plan. If it is only based on Lord, then it was not worthy of keeping. Always keep in mind that Dr Lord could die tomorrow, and then what? It seems the program either had not developed a plan for passing the baton.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

I'm with Meg. Where the researcher goes, the research dollars go. This happens ALL the time. It is unfortunate that UM either couldn't or wouldn't create enough of incentive to make her stay. However, the fact that she will be working and living closer to her children may have been too much to overcome.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

Researchers start and leave centers *all the time*. Characterizing her as selfish doesn't seem right. But, really, this isn't about her, it's about the families that will be negatively impacted by the loss of services.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

What is happening to the remaining staff, that is not making the transfer to NYC with Dr. Lord?

Wolf's Bane

Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

They will be donated to the United Way.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

This is a devastating loss to the community. UMACC is the gold standard facility for diagnosing and treating autism. Local schools in particular rely on UMACC's expertise for training and consultation. U of M's decisions is incredibly short sighted.

Floyd Griffey

Sun, May 15, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Empire building/Territory has been a problem at the UofM for 50 + years. It would seem paying these people lots of money to keep 'the best' doesn't work. UofM continues the slide.

Bemused Passerby

Sun, May 15, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

While it's always disappointing to see a developed program at the University discontinued, I think this is a critical opportunity for the University and the Health System to re-evaluate their role in both the study and care of these children and families. UMACC may have been a productive research program, but for the 1 in 110 kids and their families in the area, having the opportunity to participate in a study is not the same as having a clinical home at UM. EMU's program has stepped up to fill a tremendous void in autism services unfilled by UM, including diagnostic evaluation, multidisciplinary treatment, and truly helpful family and parent support services. The leadership in neurosciences and pediatrics at UM should think long and hard about the University's place in the care and study of this disease, and what role the new Children's Hospital might play. Plans should be made to engage the tremendous expertise already in place within the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Any plan would wisely include performance metrics beyond recovery of extramural grant dollars -- regardless of what drove UMACC's focus on research and it's limited clinical reach, the program simply was not serving the community in any substantive way. The talent and enthusiasm to make a multidisciplinary program succeed is already in place at the University --- here's hoping that the leadership of the medical school and health system leverage the folks that are already providing care for so many of these families, rather than anchoring the future of autism care at UM to the most recruitable external investigator. In the meantime, they'd be very wise to look to EMU's program.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

Who are you, Bemused Passerby, who cheerleads every move the Univ of Michigan makes, no matter how fumblefingered, who thinks AAPS manages autistic children excellently while they attend school, and refer people to EMU after praising the University's staff? Hmmm.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

No the expertise is not there at the University, or they wouldn't have let Cathy Lord leave and shut the center. Why is the U taking so long to understand what these children need and making sure it is being delivered to the children? Until autism is covered by insurance, it is doubtful the U will deliver standard of care autism services.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

I wouldn't get too carried away by AAPS, they are getting there, but they aren't the standard bearers in the field of education and autism management. There are some in the administrations who are beginning to realize what they don't have, but what is desperately needed is funding, real funding to run programs that impact the children's function, independence and school experience.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

Research is the tail that wags the dog.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

With so many of our children being diagnosed with autism, the closing of this center will be a tremendous loss. Um stated that they would &quot;begin to collaborate on a comprehensive multidisciplinary program&quot; -- why not continue on with the program that is already established and obviously well operated. Again, this will be a great loss to the family with autism children and more importantly to the children themselves. God bless of the professionals who work with these children -- for indeed they are very special.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

The rankings of the medical school are dropping. From 6 to 10th in Research ranking and 10th to 20th in primary care. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The top stem cell researcher also announced last week that he are leaving. <a href=""></a> "I think it's a very big place, and there are a lot of territories," said Lord The UM Provost, Phil Hanlon totally disregarded the vote of the faculty senate on extending the tenure probationary period. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> I think these are all signs of declining morale among the faculty at UM and it is all related to the power grab by the administration of President Coleman and the fact that they do not really listen to faculty input unless it agrees with them.

Feat of Clay

Mon, May 16, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Calling yourself a University &quot;insider&quot; whilst referring to faculty as &quot;tenure tract&quot; (sic) is a bit rich, isn't it?


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 11:03 p.m.

Trespass...clearly you have a personal axe to grind with this administration, and i suspect i know what it is and who you are. But please...enough already, as running such a complex institution involves far more than your snit, and on the whole it's a pretty well run place, as i have as much reason to know as you.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

Stephan- the public understands little about UM politics. The tenure and tenure tract faculty of the Medical School opposed the change but the majority of the governing faculty (voting) are non-tenure tract, thus they have no vested interest in the policy. The Medical School Dean made it clear that he wanted the faculty to vote for the change. The Dean sent out email trying to get as many administrators to attend the faculty senate meeting and vote for the change but it was still defeated.


Sun, May 15, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

How can you possibly connect Lord and Morrison leaving with the decision to extend the tenure probationary period? It was the medical school faculty that were most interested in extending the period from eight to ten years. Coming to the conclusion that this is a sign that all the faculty are unhappy AND that this is President Coleman's fault is a huge stretch, to say the least.