University of Michigan seeks to abolish age limits for university president and executive officers
The University of Michigan wants to get rid of a rule that requires university presidents to retire by the age of 70.
AnnArbor.com file photo
For current 68-year-old President Mary Sue Coleman, who has an Oct. 2. birthday, the rule would take effect in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Coleman's current contract is set to expire in July 2014.
According to the school's General Counsel's office, however, the bylaw constitutes age discrimination and is in violation of Michigan's Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act.
Jacki Miller, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, said "in a private organization they can set a cap like that" but public employers "cannot force someone to retire based upon age."
University officials will ask the Board of Regents to remove the age limit from U-M bylaws at a meeting Thursday.
In a memo to regents, Sally Churchill, U-M vice president and secretary, sought several other revisions to the university bylaws.
They include changing the title and job description of the school's vice president for communications (now the vice president for global communications and strategic initiatives) to establish a global focus.
Churchill's memo also suggests amending tenure, promotion and resignation guidelines to give the provost a role in such personnel matters.
Read more suggested changes here.