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Posted on Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 3:42 p.m.

University of Michigan extends President Mary Sue Coleman's term for two years

By David Jesse

The University of Michigan Board of Regents agreed this afternoon to extend President Mary Sue Coleman's contract by two years to July 31, 2014.

Coleman joined the university in 2001 and had her contract renewed once before in 2006. That renewal was for five years and was set to expire in 2012.

Regents Chairwoman Julie Darlow announced the motion at the beginning of the meeting in Flint. The Regents, without extensive comment, unanimously approved the extension.

In making the motion, Darlow said the contract extension also contains language to help in any transition from Coleman's presidency to whomever may follow her.

The contract does not increase Coleman's base pay, which was raised last month to $570,105.

The contract also keeps Coleman's benefits package the same, with one notable change. That change is to give Coleman an $100,000 deferred compensation payment each year, starting with this year. That money will be paid to her at the end of the contract.

Darlow praised Coleman's time as the head of the university.

"President Coleman has performed to extraordinarly high standards and has gained extraordinarily wide recognition for her excellence," Darlow said.


U-M President Mary Sue Coleman

The contract amendment also sets forth several goals for the Regents and Coleman to work on over the course of the contract.

Those are:

  • Work on strengthening the university's core mission.
  • Develop financial strategies to "preserve and enhance" U-M's academic excellence, accessibility and affordability.
  • Work on improving facilities.
  • Make U-M more of a global player in higher education.
  • Develop plans for a new capital campaign.
  • "Strengthen the position and preserve the excellence of the university's health care system."

The contract also calls on the board and Coleman to develop "strong candidates" from U-M for leadership positions in the university, "including the presidency."

Coleman thanked the board for the renewal.

"I've had so much fun over the past years," she said. "I can't believe it's been nine years. We've had some challenges to face."

David Jesse covers higher education for He can be reached at or at 734-623-2534.



Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 9:04 p.m.

Only very few U-M employees got fat pay raises in last several years. The most people are facing benefit cut.


Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 8:43 p.m.

How much the U-M president make in 2002? "Honey,the tuition has gone up 60% since 2002; We would have saved a lot of money for our retirement if we stated our family right after we met."

Dog Guy

Fri, Nov 19, 2010 : 2:19 p.m.

This contract extension will raise her consultancy fees. At the end of this contract she may be offered a better-paying job with Ann Arbor Public Schools.


Fri, Nov 19, 2010 : 10:24 a.m.

"President Coleman has performed to extraordinarly high standards and has gained extraordinarily wide recognition for her excellence," Darlow said. Yes... she meet " Rich-Rod " in Ohio hotel at Midnight. Must pay big money for she very smart person. Bank account say so!


Fri, Nov 19, 2010 : 7:29 a.m.

stunshif, Are you saying that Rick Snyder will demand that Mary Sue's salary be cut? Really?


Fri, Nov 19, 2010 : 7:05 a.m.

CMSMW, Don't you get it? We cannot afford excess for ANY public employee right now. This is excessive and a slap in the face to taxpayers. Why is the name Imelda Marcos bouncing around in my head right now?


Fri, Nov 19, 2010 : 1:02 a.m.

Everyday I am scared of getting fired, it would be great to be told that you can't get fired for two years. Good for her, keep it up Mary and soon you will have the job for life.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 10:34 p.m.

Just to add some perspective, how much do you think Mary Sue Coleman's salary costs each Michigander? Answer: About a nickel per year. Sounds like a good deal to me.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 8:06 p.m.

@cash, I cannot believe that I am in agreement with two of your posts here tonight, maybe I died and am in the "twilight zone". Heck, I know I am a selfish, stingy conservative and hate having my taxes go up but hey, this is the season for giving. May I suggest (despite my income being 10% less than 4 years ago) that the state raise my taxes to give more money to Mary Sue and any other public employees. Mary Sue deserves more money as she has done a wonderful job increasing tuition at double, if not triple the rate of inflation. This allows the U of M to give their employee's fat pay raises/pensions and benefits which stimulates our economy. This is Jenny Granholm's version of "trickle down" economics. Good Day, No Luck Needed


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 7:27 p.m.

bruno, "keep it up michigan, we are flying high"...not sure if you are referring to the state or the school. Either way, a lower case "m" is probably appropriate because that's an absurd statement. We are the 2nd highest state in unemployment...need I go on? Michigan the state is in dire straits as we all know. You can try to sugar coat's still misery. Taxpayers are suffering. Let them eat cake attitudes are insulting to us all.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 7:09 p.m.

rick better not whack it.....but if he does we will cover the loss in funds, michigan is nothing without its teachers and administration. keep it up michigan, we are flying high, awesome news!!!!


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

That is why they are asking state of mich for more aid. overpaid by too much you and Rich Rod can hit the door soon!!!! Go Wisconsin.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 6:50 p.m.

Trespass: With all due respect, you are incorrect. The AA campus' state appropriation in FY2002 (2002-03) was $363M. It was the same in FY 2003 (2003-04). There was a big cut in FY 2004 (2004-05) to $327M or so. This year's appropriation is $315M -- and will likely be whacked mid-year by the new Governor.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 6:42 p.m.

I think she has done well. Only asking for 2.6% must indicate they are expecting to get about 1%. Students at Univ Cal were rioting over tuition increases, 9% or so. Not sure how they figure the school will find the money especially in Ca. I guess they just tell the admin to "write a check." Hope that doesn't happen here.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 6:21 p.m.

@anneb- there was a drop between 2002 and 2003 but the amount is the same as it was in 2003, as I stated. Is the $100,000 in deferred compensation in addition to her current compensation?


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 6:16 p.m.

awesome!!!! may they extend it another 2 years next year, i love it!!! kudos U of M Regents, sorry taxpayers, she deserves every penny!!!!


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 4:58 p.m.

trespass: Check YOUR facts. The AA campus' state appropriation is $45M less IN NOMINAL DOLLARS than it was in 2002 - or over $110 less in inflation adjusted dollars.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 4:52 p.m.

If I read these post right, a 60 pct increase in tuition the last 8 years? A 800,000 usd salary? Really? Much like the titanic, the band played on, all the way to the bottom of the sea. We (like most of the country) have educators out of touch with reality. Would not the board of regents even consider someone, at a lesser price. Sad. On a lighter note, I think all my friends in Columbus will be thrilled at this story. U of M has truly become the "harvard of the midwest." Their athletic teams are awful, and insignificant (all during the Coleman era),also their tuition is out of reach for most Americans. LOL!


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

@Ignatz- you don't know the facts. The state funding may not have kept up with inflation but it is the same this year as it was in 2003. Tuition has gone up because we are chasing that federal grant funding. Tuition has gone up 60% since 2002 and even if state funding had kept up with inflation it would have gone up 50%, so stop blaming state funding for tuition increases. It is because the budget is going up at twice the rate of inflation. Every time they talk about how the have made cuts, it means they have cut one line in the budget and increased it somewhere else. The net result is it still goes up at twice the rate of inflation.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 4:15 p.m.

President Coleman is a credit to our great state and this fine institution of higher learning.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 4:11 p.m.

@Cash: Actually, taxpayers are paying U-M and other univeristies less and less each year. That's why tuition goes up so much and why they look for research money.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 4 p.m.

she's laughing at taxpayers all the way to the bank............


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 3:58 p.m.

GREAT news!