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Old 03-26-2010, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,359 posts, read 8,100,066 times
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Hey, Michiganders, maybe you can help me answer this question:

I know what the University of Michigan is. But I don't know why it is what it has become.

It is a breed of cat different from the other Big Ten publics and just can't be grouped with them in so many ways.

How did this happen.

The question is: why is the University of Michigan so much more like a private school than any of the other B10 publics?

I do know that U-M has more autonomy than most public universities as Michigan is a state with a weak hierarchy over its state schools, giving them far more freedom than the norm. Indeed, it is a pretty well known fact that U-M has some of the greatest amount of clout of any public university in the United States;it is power laden.

I do know that financially strapped Michigan doesn't contribute all that much to U-M, but Michigan has not always been financially strapped. I do know that U-M's endowment is huge and private school like. But why? Why Michigan rather than the others?

I know that U-M is a source of great pride for Michigan, but in some respects seems more "in" Michigan than "of" Michigan. The pride is there, but there is less a sense of U-M being "our university", the product of our state as a state that you might see in another stellar school, UW-Madison. I realize that Wisconsin is a one flagship state and Michigan has two, but I don't expect that is the reason. IU and Purdue both seem very "Indiana" and MSU comes across more like the true "state" university than U-M does.

And I know that U-M has some of the lowest in-state enrollments in the nation, a sign of an academic powerhouse that attracts so many out of state students with tuitions that match those of the most expensive privates? Why the draw for out-of-staters to Ann Arbor to a school that is both difficult to get into and expensive for those on the outside to try?

Sorry if I've gone a little overboard on this question. You may know I've asked others about your state's schools; I'm interested in colleges and Michigan is unquestionably one of the most interesting states in the whole nation in this regard.

So why is U-M different?
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
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Its a lot of things....many which I cant answer, but one thing I did see or hear last week on the Jim Rome show, is that U of M has the best "campus life" in the country.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:36 AM
 
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Also, Northwestern might give U of M a run for it's money in terms of academic quality in the Big Ten, if not surpass it.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Also, Northwestern might give U of M a run for it's money in terms of academic quality in the Big Ten, if not surpass it.
that's why I referred to "the Big Ten publics" (just to eliminate NU from the discussion).
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
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UofM is consider one of the original public ivy league schools.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:45 PM
 
78,147 posts, read 106,095,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
that's why I referred to "the Big Ten publics" (just to eliminate NU from the discussion).
Got ya......I think the other public Big 10 schools are good, but I would think that U of M is the best of the bunch.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Winnetka, IL & Rolling Hills, CA
1,273 posts, read 4,237,313 times
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There has been considerable debate as to whether to privatize University of Michigan. In a sense it already semi-privatized, as much more of its funding comes from tuition and private donations.

In regards to quality it is ranked 2nd best in the Big 10 in regards to academics behind Northwestern University.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:01 PM
 
2,459 posts, read 3,281,397 times
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The only person who could conceivably come up with this topic on CD is good ol' edsg.

A couple of points...

> U of Michigan is actually in a wonderful financial condition. They're increasing staff and offering (continuing to) top-notch professors while other Universities (MSU in particular) are facing incredibly difficult financial troubles. If I can find the article I'll post it but there was WSJ article today on the pitiful state of M sports but they did reference the financial boon. Their endowment is growing nicely as well.

> Going private would be an extremely difficult, delicate, yet not, impossible proposition. Out of state tuition for M is already high enough to compare with many of the top private universities. The issue is what do you tell to Michigan residents? State tuition would likely triple without the state funding support. Do you say screw it and just bite the bullet and open up admission equally across states, telling Michigan high school students they're on their own? I doubt it. Can you have grants-in-aid or state loans for citizens on a Michigan track? Possibly. What about the spin-off research for the state, and while we're at it, the funding for research? Does a private paradigm diminish both? It likely would.

> Michigan has been toying (rumor, innuendo, smoke, but there have been some real considerations) with the premise of going Private, at least since the early 80s. There was even a petition to drop major sports and approach the Ivy League for admittance. Not as crazy as it sounds. If Michigan were to go Private, I suspect that would probably align with the Ivy League-- and the Ivy League would likely welcome them.

> Michigan is a treasure for the Midwest and the United States. It's often viewed like the Evil Empire or the Yankees, but without Michigan, our lives would be tangibly different. Here in Chicago, UofM is trashed, or at least minimized, at every occurrence by the Tribune and others. There is a palpable resentment. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is held on a pedestal. There is something fundamentally wrong with this picture.

> Are there still the occassional court jesters, jousters and knights-a-fencing in the Diag? If so, then there is no option but for Michigan to go private.

> Michigan sports are a laughing stock.

> BTW-- Go Blue!

Last edited by BigLake; 03-26-2010 at 04:30 PM..
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:13 PM
 
115 posts, read 288,923 times
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U-M 25-plus years ago was pretty much ranked in most everyone's "Top 10" universities (not that such ranking are necessarily valid), but has since fallen a ways down the ladder. This descent began when U.S. News & Word Report began doing their "in depth" evaluations. Year after year the school kept falling but has pretty much stabilized in recent years at around number 27 in their rankings.

I think that if someone were able to actually see behind the scenes, one would find a whole lot of shenanigans going on with manipulating data, as people who conduct such surveys have egos like the rest of us and, I think, would move heaven and earth to see their favorite school(s) shine brighter than others. It's just the way it is with egos and prestige.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,359 posts, read 8,100,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
The only person who could conceivably come up with this topic on CD is good ol' edsg.
good grief! is ol' edsg still alive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post


> Michigan has been toying (rumor, innuendo, smoke, but there have been some real considerations) with the premise of going Private, at least since the early 80s.
Does "privatization" have to go whole hog or come in parts. You mentioned the Ivy League. Could Michigan, if it wanted to, become a mix of public and private parts like Cornell? Even in-state, MSU is a public university with a private law school (although that came by acquisition, not restructuring).

Didn't know that talk about Ivy membership being discussed by the university. Obviously that one would never have gotten off the ground. And wouldn't Michigan have been insane instate to leave the Big Ten to MSU?
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