Rise & Fall: Mike Ball and Gordon Gee
One is being recognized for trying to make a difference in the lives of incarcerated teens; the other is under public scrutiny for his lavish spending, as compared to others in the same position. These are AnnArbor.com's picks for a winner and loser in the news last week:
The Whitmore Lake teacher turned a visit to the Maxey Boys Training School into a mission: Using the arts as a vehicle for incarcerated teens to learn how to express themselves. Ball formed “Lost Voices,” a non-profit organization that brings musicians into juvenile facilities. After a six-week workshop, the kids — killers, rapists, thugs and also, typically, victims — put on a concert. “We plant a seed of self-respect in the heart of each child,” Ball said.
Ohio State University’s president is the top-paid CEO of a public university in the U.S., according to a report from the Dayton Daily News — but the report also detailed his ‘lavish’ spending, which at $7.7 million since 2007 compare poorly to his $8.6 million salary. Key to that ‘lavish’ conclusion: Comparison to University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. She billed her state-funded university $410,235 for entertainment, travel and dining during a period when Gee’s bills in those categories totaled $1.1 million. And during those years, Coleman was raising $3.2 billion for an endowment campaign.
(Rise and Fall will appear regularly on AnnArbor.com's opinion page. To make a suggestion for this column, email us.)