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Posted on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

Pam Byrnes headed to China to head up University of Michigan joint institute in Shanghai

By Ryan J. Stanton

Former state Rep. Pam Byrnes is headed to China after taking a position as executive director of the University of Michigan’s joint institute with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Byrnes, a U-M alumna, was appointed to a newly created position overseeing the hiring and management of personnel in the joint institute, The University Record is reporting. She will be responsible for staff mentoring and training, budget and planning, financial resource management, policy and operations process implementation and fund-raising.


Pam Byrnes

Byrnes holds a bachelor's degree in far eastern studies from U-M. According to the Record, she'll be moving next week.

Her office will be in Shanghai.

The joint institute places American and Chinese students here and in China. The first class of students to study in the program began in 2006. Today more than 200 joint institute students attend U-M, most in the College of Engineering.

Byrnes, a Democrat from Washtenaw County's Lyndon Township, lost in last year's primary election in her bid for the 18th District state Senate seat against Rebekah Warren.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

well,I am a Chinese student living in a smaller city near SHANGHAI just like ANN ARBOR near DETROIT,and i think this news is far more complicated than education itself,.we can see it is obviousy related to politics and economic and also,educational benefits.She just made a school authorized by U-MICHIGAN in shanghai while the shanghai jiaotong university(jiaotong means transportation) is like UC-Berkeley in California-----it is the top school in shanghai. Another issue:the human rights.Yes,to be frank,the Chinese gov't really restricts the rights of us,but it is common in eastern countries,i mean it is just like the traditions.Maybe we all hate that but nobody really cries for change.If you want to experience the atomsphere which is certainly less free than yours,you can come here.It is fine,not so horrible like it used to be 40 or 50 years ago when the damn chiarman Mao ran the country. P.S: i am now a high school student in an AP center in my hometown,Wuxi and I got some American teachers who have frequent communication with me.I want to go U-MICHIGAN ANN ARBOR and my AA is a lady from Michigan and also graduating from U-michigan.


Tue, Apr 5, 2011 : 11:12 a.m.

What qualifies Pam Byrnes for this position? Just wondering if UM posted this position or is this a MSC payback for Pam being a friendly in Lansing????????????


Mon, Apr 4, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

Ridiculous! Lose an election and the University of Michigan gives you a job. Why not report how much the U is paying Ms. Byrnes. Ms. Byrnes made a living in Lansing touting the merits of reducing the pay of union workers and cutting spending. Seems she has her own methods for a guaranteed pay check. Sorry, sorry state of affairs.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

I am not a xenophobe but I have warned President Coleman that the University of Michigan is likely involved in the transfer of cutting edge technological information to the Chinese government which will provide economic and military advantages for the The People's Republic of China (PRC). Already one of Rick Snyder's companies, Discera, is helping China gain manufacturing advantages over the US. On July 19, 2010, Discera issued a news release that contained this statement by Chief Technology Officer Dr. Wan-Thai Hsu:"By sharing our expertise in semiconductor timing, power reduction, and MEMS technology and sponsoring local research and development, Discera is helping Chinese businesses compete and win in the global marketplace." How will the University of Michigan protect against similar vital information transfer? What protections are in place to prevent this from happening?


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 2:55 a.m.

Amazing how politicians who lose or get term-limited seem to end up with nice gigs like that ain't it? Makes you wonder...

Peter Jameson

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

Why must we do business/research with countries whose government's are oppressive to their people? If they haven't figured out human rights, why should we collaborate our information?


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

Here is another administratrive position at UM. How much will she be paid? This stinks as some sort of political payoff for her support of the UM in the state legislature and more administrative bloat.