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I am trying to understand why there is so much effort in play to avoid preferential treatment based upon sex, color, religion or national origin. Isn't this the principal upon which our country was founded. But then this is probably the same group who think that adultery in the oval office, followed by perjury and impeachment were all a vast right wing conspiracy to blemish a great man. Good choice for role model for the graduating class.

  • Terrance Materniak
  • BA, JD
  • 1972
  • LSA
  • La Jolla

I am about to change my E-mail address. Is there a simple way to notify you of the new one? Simpler than sending you (and others) an E-mail containing the new address?

Sending an email to mtoday@umich.edu is one of the simplest ways to change your email or regular mail address. We will be happy to forward the information to the university's records office.

  • Fred M Hindley

What an insensitive example to start this article off! "You-know-what" is supposed to be more considerate than "les"? Both are insensitive! I'll give Ms. Mitford some slack if she wrote the letter before 1960. Being Lesbian is hardly taboo and should not be presented as such. Surely the author could come up with a better example.

On the other hand, it will make for a good example in the class I am teaching on cultural competency. I must admit I am suprised to find such a good one from the University that taught me to know better.

  • Donna Mullins
  • M.S.W.
  • 1994
  • School of Social Work
  • Lansing

I'm embarassed! Bill Clinton speaking at a Michigan Commencement?? A sad day indeed.

  • Dave Casbon
  • BBA
  • 1962
  • Business
  • Valparaiso

Finally you had to adapt the admission voted by the electorate of Michigan. Merit is the only way to obtain admission, not phony policies of favoritism be it race, religion, etc.

How much did Ward Connerly, et al, pay in order to force this change. U of M should be reimburse them.

Your fighting to the end of this and the liberal antics have prompted me to stop any contributions, and I will continue so, as my wife with respect to Duke and Columbia.

  • Raymond H. Newman
  • BSE, NAME
  • 1959
  • Eng.
  • Jacksonville

I am absolutely stunned that William Jefferson Clinton has been invited to give the commencement address at my alma mater. This man completely ignored the terrorist threat that already existed, and left this for the next president to deal with. At the same time, he disgraced the office of the presidency.

That the president of our great university, who calls herself a "feminist," would invite this sexual predator to the U of M campus, placing our female graduates at risk, is absolutely disgusting. It also demonstrates how out of touch with the real world that academia has become.

I am embarrassed.

Bill Dunn

  • William F. Dunn
  • B.A.
  • 1972
  • LSA
  • Grand Rapids

I think that we need some common sense diversity in the University's management and governing boards. The voters of Michigan spoke decisively when they voted to ban affirmative action in public institutions. When President Coleman speaks out in defiance of such voter decisions she illustrates the primary reason many of us have grown to distrust the elitist academics of this country.

  • Arthur A. Koppin
  • BSE
  • 1958
  • EECS
  • Cicero

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman sets a poor example for all of Michigan in her arrogant defiance of the People of Michigan's Voters who want proposal 2. I will not donate a dime and will encourage my fellow UM grads to do the same.

  • Ken Mark

Do NOT change the name of Michigan Stadium!!!!!

  • Donald S. Brinkman
  • BSME
  • 1960
  • Engineering
  • Cody

Would it be appropriate to remember Bo by naming the stadium as "Bo Schembechler Stadium"?

  • Oktay M Tosun
  • MSc
  • 1973
  • IOE
  • Sleepy Hollow

I am very disappointed that the University and Ms. Coleman have decided to not accept the decision of the voters of Michigan when they approved a constitutional amendment banning public institutions from using affirmative action in selecting students for admission. I urge the University to reconsider and then reject this unwise position. I recommend that students be accepted solely based on merit and with cosideration given to children of alumni. I am strongly opposed to using quotas of minorities to make up the admitted classes.

  • Donald S. Brinkman
  • BSME
  • 1960
  • Engineering
  • Cody

By chance I was able to watch the Citizenshealthcare.gov for the whole two hours and was very impressed by the operation over 22 universities which may help not only shape new policy but aid the public in understanding what can be done,and what maybe done. My son-in-law who is also a Michigan grad with an MBA got my message on the video but so far has not been able to find it. his e-mail is ssturges@umich.edu. More to come I hope. PMorgan

  • Patricia Robb P. Morgan
  • Diploma
  • 1948 B
  • Nursing
  • Hackettstown

There comes a time when affirmative "action" ceases. We need to be color blind and country of orgin blind; also never ask if liberal or conservative and religion is personally owned by each of us. The real question is: is the student qualified for pursing studies in the area in which they are applying ? Otherwise we need to assist them in a remedial or development program one on one at a coumminity center, community college, or similar setting. Every student at U-M is there because they are qualified and belong there.

  • leroy strong
  • m.d.
  • 1957
  • sch.of medicine
  • grand rapids

President Coleman supports (1) a totally reprehensible program of racial preferences, and (2) using public monies to oppose the overwhelming victory of Prop 2. Maybe it's time for the 58% who voted for Prop 2 to withhold support for the university until she either regains her senses or resigns.

  • Brian Chamberlain
  • B.S.
  • 1961
  • LSA
  • Washington

I very much approve the President's statement to keep some form of action which will enhance support of education for minorities, the poor, disabled and of different cultural and sexual background. Although it may be very difficult for the University to defend what is termed "reverse discrimination" in an individual situation, the principle of affirmative action or special attention to better education for minorities is sound, as both a social principle worthy of legal protection, but also as an expression of "free speech" by an institution expressed by individuals who are responsible for its function. Ms.Coleman's public statement is worthy, courageous and consistent with University policy. Its perspective ought to be pursued by individuals who believe its worth.

Ken Stewart L.50

  • Ken Stewart
  • 1948 and 1950
  • Law
  • Wichita

The current NewsE is really great throughout, it seems. I say it seems only because I haven't got the fiction to play on my computer yet.

  • john woodford

I think it would be a great idea to compile a book (with abundant pictures) honoring Bo. A good title might be: Bo: A Celebration of Life at the University of Michigan. Proceeds from the book could be used to help fund The University of Michigan Heart Research Center. The book could be offered in either soft cover or hard cover with two appropriate donation levels. Other annual appropriate university activities could provide further funding.

  • Keith Syrja
  • B.S.
  • 1969
  • LSA
  • Perrysburg

Thank you for informing me about the great state electorate's vote to ban affirmative action. Now UM stands proudly among the University of Chicago, Berkeley, UCLA and the other California schools, where quality in admissions and hiring is a primary concern, and insincere, politically correct "diversity" with regard to race, sex, religion, etc., does not matter as an "end goal" of arbitrary inclusion. For years, SOME realistic UM leaders recognized this principle (e.g.,the late Bo S.) and, for instance, did not aggressively try to recruit dwarves as football linebackers or really short, skinny people as basketball centers. How many minority recruits have ever played in the National Hockey League??? How many have been awarded scholarships to play at UM???

President Coleman's challenge somehow to undermine the vote of the citizenry, which largely pays the bills at all the state schools, seems both personally arrogant and undemocratic (ironically, in one of the few remaining "Blue" states, where the voice of the people is supposed to matter).

  • S.T. Hu
  • Ph.D.
  • Rackham
  • Williamsville

If this suggestion has already been made here or elsewhere, please forgive me. Since we are upgrading and expanding the stadium, I feel that the "official" capacity should be increased by one. If we have a seat saved for Crisler, how can Michigan Stadium proceed without saving one for Bo. Longtime radio announcer Bob Ufer dubbed Michigan Stadium "The Hole that Yost dug, Crisler built, Canham carpeted, and Schembechler fills every cotton-pickin' Saturday afternoon." What better way to honor not only a great coach, but a great man than to always remember him with his very own seat.

  • Victor M. Ordonez
  • B.A History, B.A. Political Science
  • 2004, 2005
  • LSA
  • Clearfield

What a wonderful article. It was nice to hear about Bo off of the field. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at my husband's stadium commencement last year and at an office retreat in the late 90s. It was easy to see, both times, what a vibrant and endearing person he was. Thanks for sharing this insight.

  • Silvia
  • B.A.
  • 1995
  • LSA
  • Los Gatos

I worked for Bo, indirectly, when I was in school (1973-1977). I had wanted to go to Michigan since I was 4 years old, so it was my dream come true. I was the manager of the men's varsity swim team and a statistician for the men's varisty basketball team (even though I was a girl). I had been the manager of Pine Crest swim team in Florida, under US Olympic coach Jack Nelson and Rosemary Dawson (Matt Mann's daughter). He did not know who I was, but I always worshipped him. He was a fierce competitor, but a nice man and he would take the time to talk to me and answer my questions (no matter how trivial they were). Bo's death has really affected me -- more than any other person, other than my parents' deaths. I will miss seeing him on TV and reading about him. Michigan football will never be quite the same. My heart goes out to the people who knew him better than I did because I am sure the more you knew him, the more you loved him. Sincerely, Max

  • Maxine Lans Retsky
  • BGS, MBA
  • 1973-1990
  • LSA, GSBA
  • Glencoe

I am the son of an father of Michigan graduates. Have followed football and other sports very actively. Love the Maize and Blue. Is anything going to be done in the way of making the Celebration available on tape or CD for those of us who missed it or couldn't get it. Would be a good fund raiser for a worthy cause (diabetes for one). I would buy several copies if they were available.

Video of the memorial may become available in the future, though it is not now. The decision will be made by Bo's family along with the athletic department. If it happens, we'll announce it. --editor

  • Richard Schlee
  • Ceresco

I hope you and The Wolverine have space and the inclination to do a piece on Tom Slade. He was an exceptional athlete and person.

  • Lee McFall
  • DDS
  • 1978
  • Dental School

What can the UM President be thinking? With incredible arrogance she now thinks the University should spend millions of taxpayer and student dollars to overturn in court the will of the people of the State of Michigan. It will not happen and it should not happen!

"Diversity" is just a code word for reverse discrimination. The money spent on lawyers would be much better utilized if it were dedicated to solving the root problems that create the inequalities in our society at a much earlier stage in the lives of young people. Giving them a "diversity handout" at the age of 17 or 18 is not the way to heal the wounds of the past 200 years.

My pride in the University of Michigan under the current president and her predecessor has been declining for too many years and I am sad to see that a once great institution now thinks it is above the law.

  • Philip J Carlson
  • AB, MBA
  • 1965, 1967
  • LSA, Business School
  • Northfield

I grew up and attended public school in New York City. I attended the Bronx High School of Science which was then, by common consensus the best public high school in the country. Affirmative Action, which is a eumphemism for quotas, cost the school its preeminent position. To state that diversity is what makes the University of Michigan great is simply untrue. What makes any institution of higher education great is the intellect and abilities of its faculty and students. It is simply politically correct to say otherwise. One of my children attended the University for a year and found that being taught by teaching assistants was not her idea of going to college. She transferred to a school in the east where she graduated summa cum laude. Her younger brother went to Stanford and then on to Medical School. They made it without affirmative action even though they (and my wife and I) are Jews...members of the historically most discriminated against minority on the planet. The thing that really matters is ability, not race, religion, ethnicity, etc. If that is unacceptable to the University of Michigan or its current President, shame on them! s/Kurt J. Wolff, L'58

  • Kurt J. Wolff
  • JD
  • 1958
  • Law
  • Chicago

There may be a typographical error in Prof. Richard Bailey's article "Talking About Words: How Many Word?" in the November 2006 issue of Michigan Today NewsE. The text that may be in error states, "In July 2006, the appellate court agreed to hear the redskin case." The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit released an opinion in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Harjo in July 2005 remanding the case to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and in July 2006, the District Court issued a procedural opinion denying a motion by Harjo et al. for limited discovery. A public copy of the 2005 Court of Appeals decision is available at http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/federal/judicial/dc/opinions/03opinions/03-7162a.pdf.

Thank you for pointing out the error. --editor

  • Martin B. Tittle
  • B.M., J.D.
  • 1970, 2001
  • Music, Law
  • Ann Arbor

It is shameful that the University of Michigan, once a great school, has sunk to the depths. Diversity, as it is used by President Coleman, is a code word for racism in our current postmodern culture.

When the people of the State of Michigan vote to ban race based favoritism but the President of our University speaks out in favor of racism, the school can go no lower.

What a tragedy!! It is time for our alumni to withhold their money and insist that the University of Michigan obey the law and return to the American tradition of God given equality for all. Affirmative action is anti-American.

  • James E. Stewart
  • Naples

I wish someone would send this article about Bo to Sports Illustrated. The article that they printed in last week's SI about him was aweful. The rest of the country needs to know this side of Bo.

Gary Arnold

  • Gary Arnold
  • BA, DDS
  • 1971,1975
  • LSA and Dental
  • Ann Arbor

Mr. Bacon, you made me cry. Your tribute to Bo Schembechler in Michigan Today was the best of all the ones I've read.

I still love UM Football and "my" coach was and shall always be Bo Schembechler.

Thanks

  • Joanna Daneman
  • B.S.
  • 1974
  • LSA
  • Middletown

Too bad Ms. Petersen's news story about enrollment centers on demographic quantities (freshmen class size and minority composition) instead of academic qualities of the student applicants and freshmen.

The article opens with a quote that praises ". . . the academic preparation of the students applying to Michigan . . .” but then never manages to substantiate the President's claim.

Where is mention of SAT scores, grade point averages, advanced placement coursework, foreign language competency or other bellwethers of academic preparation? Isn't that what is important to the quality of the students and the education at the University of Michigan? Doesn't the distribution of intellectual diversity weigh more heavily in determining one's learning environment than demographic diversity?

When I graduated, no one asked how many minorities I sat in class with, or how many foreign students I met along the way. In fact, my education was hampered, not enhanced, by a foreign mathematics graduate student teaching assistant who couldn't speak English well enough to answer Calculus questions my freshman year. If I truly wanted to "immerse myself in a (demographically) diverse academic community", I would find a more accurate environment with a textbook and a cup of coffee at any McDonalds restaurant in Detroit or New York City. It is there I would be more likely to encounter the 13.4% of Americans who are African American (according to the July 1, 2004 U.S. Census) as opposed to the 7.2% of this year's student population at U of M. And I'd be less likely to encounter a foreigner, since they comprise only about 1% of the U.S. population, instead of 11% of this year's freshman class.

Of all the institutions of higher learning in the U.S., why does U of M feel compelled to admit 1.26% of all the student visas granted in 2005? Especially since our government reports that nearly 60% of those students will remain in the U.S. after graduating, despite U.S. law that requires student visa applicants to prove that they are unlikely to want to stay in the United States after the completion of their studies. U of M can therefore ashamedly claim their contribution of over 2,600 violators into our country from this year's freshman class after they all earn their degrees. (source - http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind06/c3/c3s4.htm)

When I graduated, I was asked about my studies, my degree, my GPA and my academic achievement. If a "diverse academic community" mattered, where was that captured in my transcript? How much did it matter, if it never came up in a job interview?

Has there ever been a non-diverse academic community at U of M to use as a control group? Without it, empirical evidence of the positive effects of (demographic) diversity on academic excellence would be difficult to accurately discern.

And if it matters at all, why should diversity be quantified by the color of one's skin, or the region of the world that you call home? Wasn't it the academic excellence of my classmates that inspired and challenged me to do better than I otherwise could have in a classroom of intellectual mediocrity?

If the University of Michigan loses its focus on preparing its students for qualitative excellence, its graduates will be sent ill-prepared into our citizenry with false expectations that their rewards should be based on their demographic, rather than their qualitative contributions to our national economic and geopolitical success.

If one day we should all like to be judged "not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character", and if the content of our character should include our academic prowess, then don't let demographics side-track academics at U of M. Tell us about the academic credentials of the freshmen class. Leave the demographics for the politicians.

Tim Green BGS '85

  • Tim Green
  • B.G.S.
  • 1985
  • LSA
  • Virginia Beach

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