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 Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman: 'We understand' that cuts are necessary

By Nathan Bomey


University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman sits with Center for Entrepreneurship managing director Doug Neal, Gov. Rick Snyder and DTE Energy CEO Gerry Anderson during the Clean Energy Prize Competition ceremony at U-M this afternoon.

Angela Cesere |

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman sounded a conciliatory note on higher education budget cuts proposed Thursday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Coleman, who sat a seat away from Snyder this afternoon at the Michigan Clean Energy Prize Competition awards ceremony in Ann Arbor, told after the event that she "understood that there has to be sacrifice."

Snyder proposed a 15 percent cut to public universities. If the state Legislature adopts that level of cuts, it would likely lead to tuition increases — though Snyder's budget would include $83 million in extra funding for universities that keep tuition increases below the state's five-year average.

"We’re still analyzing everything, but we understand. We want to be partners," Coleman said in an interview. "We want to be good partners with the state because we believe, like he does, in a better future."

Coleman said she was not surprised at the level of cuts Snyder proposed.

"No, no. I mean, I can look at the numbers, I can look at the revenue and I just have realized that it takes a brave governor to tackle every little piece of it, and that’s what he’s trying to do," she said. "We need to get our financial house in order in this state."

Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin yesterday expressed disappointment with Snyder's proposal, which would cut about $15 million from EMU's budget.

“This is significant,” Martin said. “We will work on it. Overall, I was disappointed in the size of the cut. It’s very difficult to handle with what we’ve been trying to do in investing in our academic quality and our facilities."

Cynthia Wilbanks, U-M’s vice president for governmental relations, said a 15 percent decline would lower the state aid to U-M to approximately $268 million — which would “be the lowest amount of appropriation in 20 years.”

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

Mary can say this for herself because she GETS PAID by the students of U of M that will be paying a HIGHER TUITION to FUND her lifestyle. Meanwhile, I am sure that the students and many of their parents feel otherwise. Mary, if EMU is complaining RIGHTFULLY as they were one of the only local Universities NOT to raise tuition in 2010, despite a TIGHT BUDGET, what the heck are you talking about here. Must be nice to know that you can pay for your children and grandchildren to attend the U of M off of the rise in tuition that student/parents will face with the Snyder budget, but others' fighting each semester to keep their children at U of M will not! Join us for a MARCH ON THE CAPITAL in LANSING on 2/22 @ 9am to protest Snyder's Draconian cuts to Higher Education in Michigan....Learn the FACTS, not the SPIN!! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Maybe to off-set part of the losses in state revenue, UM can sell that orange construction crane-like sculpture in front of the art museum (please).

Somewhat Concerned

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Which probably means that to continue supporting her pet projects that she continues to give more and more money, projects that are not her personal favorites will be soaked with higher &quot;taxes.&quot;


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 6:53 a.m.

ok Sue how r u going to make up the difference.Maybe u can raise ticket prices for football AGAIN. What i suspect will happen is tuition will go up AGAIN


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 12:40 a.m.

Mary way to step up and say it like it is....


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 10:50 p.m.

Time for you to cut your costs MSC, don't you dare raise tuition. And pry open your 5 billion dollar war chest and give the kids a break. Good Day


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

So, Mary Sue, does this mean that some day you might stop paying the police chief $182K with student and taxpayer know, the one who is working at the antique shop? And really, it's okay if you pay people who don't work for you....I could use a 2nd job now that Ricky is taxing me to death.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:09 a.m.

How is ricky taxing you to death? Your pension, which was untaxed? Anyone elses retirement income is taxed, why should government employees be exempt?


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:48 p.m.

Not surprising. Most of us know how it works. People blame unions for the financial problems. Then they want us to turn our heads when money is thrown away at the top. We can't afford waste. But as always the upper echelon will protect themselves.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

Cash, the U will cut workers, not the leaders. My friend was told today that she will be fired or laid off on Monday. because she attends conference and asks scientific questions which some big guys don't want people to mention.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:40 p.m.

Cash, the U will cut works, not the leaders. My friend was told today that she will be fired or laid off on Monday. because she attend conference and ask scientific questions which some big guys don't want people to mention about.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

MjC, This has become the shining example of the upper echelon at the UofM thumbing their nose at taxpayers. it is a waste of taxpayer money. If this was a union person, this board would light up with fury. I absolutely do NOT have respect for any public employer who wastes money, I don't care if it is a school or any other public entity. We cannot afford to be blind to waste. That ship has sailed. Open your eyes.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:10 p.m.

MJC, I happen to know a little about the chief. As it happens one of my neighbors (a UM cop) was walking his kids to the park and I called out to him: Have you put your name in for the new police chief position, yet? And, then we discussed the situation - and he's not sorry to see him go, at all. But, I won't go into details for obvious reasons. Cash's concerns are not insignificant, but not the most serious.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

Cash - with all due respect, if you know something about the DPS chief why don't you just tell us? It's all you comment about no matter what the story line is. Do you even know this man? Do you have access to his personnel files or what? If you do, come out with it! If you have no respect for the UM or the State of Michigan, then move. Stop hating on it when you have no facts in hand. I'm just saying...