President (University of Michigan) Records

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President (University of Michigan) Records

The materials in this Deep Blue collection form part of a larger record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index of content related to the Office of the President at the University of Michigan, please consult the following online finding aids:

Related materials may also be found in the President (University of Michigan) Web Archives.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Records of the University of Michigan President document the administration of the university and its component schools and colleges. This online collection currently includes archived websites from 2001-2009 that detail the mission, activities, policies, and individuals involved in the operation of the Office of the President. Content includes important news and announcements, publications, and information about committees, initiatives, and events.

During the early years of the University of Michigan, the office of the president was a relatively informal post: faculty members took one year turns as president. In 1850, however, a new constitution was enacted by the state legislature in response to a widely perceived need for a stronger administrative policy at the university. The Constitution of 1850 provided that university regents be elected rather than appointed by the governor, and that a formal Office of the President should be created. The first elected regents appointed a presidential search committee in 1852, and this committee chose Henry Tappan to be the first president of the University of Michigan.

The records of presidents prior to Robben Fleming (1968-1978 and 1988) are cataloged by the name of the individual. For a more thorough history of the Office of the President and other sources of information please refer to the President (University of Michigan) records online finding aid.

The materials in this online collection currently contain records dating back to 2001; as such, this introduction will only refer to related presidents.

Lee Bollinger (1997-2001)
Lee Bollinger was born on April 30, 1946, in Santa Rosa, California. He received a B.S. from the University of Oregon in 1968 and a J.D. from Columbia University in 1971. Bollinger joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School as an assistant professor in 1973. He rose to associate professor in 1976, full professor in 1979, and was appointed Dean of the Law School in 1987. Bollinger left Michigan for a brief time when he was named provost and professor of government at Dartmouth College in 1994. He returned to Michigan in February 1997 as the twelfth president of the University of Michigan. He stepped down in December 2001, after accepting the presidency of Columbia University.

Bollinger oversaw a period of tremendous growth and prosperity during which both admissions applications and fundraising contributions rose to record levels. He introduced new initiatives across disciplines at the university. In 1999 he launched the Life Sciences Initiative, a campus wide effort to coordinate and expand research in the life sciences, centered on the construction of a new Life Sciences Institute. His term also saw the construction of the Walgreen Drama Center and the Arthur Miller Theater. Bollinger and a three-week residency by the Royal Shakespeare Company in March 2001. Campus planning was also a major priority of Bollinger’s presidency. He commissioned Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates to develop a new campus master plan to inform construction decisions around the university campus in succeeding years.

B. Joseph White (January 2002-July 2002)
A native of Michigan, Professor White received his B.S. degree from Georgetown University in 1969, his M.B.A. degree from Harvard University in 1971, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1975. He joined the University of Michigan faculty of the Ross School of Business Administration as a lecturer in 1973 and was promoted to assistant professor in 1975 and associate professor in 1978. In 1981, he took a leave of absence to join Cummins Engine Company, Inc., where he served as vice president for management development and vice president for personnel and public affairs. He returned to the University in 1987 as professor and associate dean of the Ross School of Business Administration. He was appointed interim dean in 1990 and dean in 1991. He served as dean until 2001. Professor White was appointed the Wilbur K. Pierpont Collegiate Professor of Leadership in Management Education in 1999, and he served as interim president of the University of Michigan in 2002. In 2005 Professor White was named dean emeritus of the Ross School of Business Administration and professor emeritus of business administration.

As interim president Professor White dealt with several significant issues including the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of eighteen alumni, and the defense of the University’s use of affirmative action in admissions. Professor White also continued to advance the Life Sciences Initiative, which had begun during President Bollinger’s tenure.

Mary Sue Coleman
Dr. Mary Sue Coleman earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina. For 19 years she was a member of the biochemistry faculty at the University of Kentucky. As a biochemist, Dr. Coleman built a distinguished research career through her research on the immune system and malignancies. Her work in the sciences led to administrative appointments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of New Mexico, where she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs. From 1995-2002, Dr. Coleman was president of the University of Iowa. In August 2002 Dr. Coleman was appointed the thirteenth president of the University of Michigan; she also holds appointments of professor of biological chemistry in the Medical School and professor of chemistry in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Following her appointment as president in August 2002, Dr. Coleman unveiled several major initiatives designed to impact future generations of students, the intellectual life of the campus, and society at large. These initiatives included the interdisciplinary richness of the U-M, student residential life, the economic vitality of the state and nation, ethics in our society, and issues related to health care.

Under her leadership, the University launched “The Michigan Difference,” a campaign to raise $2.5 billion for the future of the institution. At its conclusion in December 2008, the campaign finale stood at $3,200,733,103 – the most ever by a public university. Dr. Coleman also announced a groundbreaking partnership between the University and Google, which enabled the public to search the text of the University’s 7-million-volume library and helped open the way to universal access and the preservation of recorded human knowledge.

Please note:

Copyright held by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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