Thursday, April 30, 2009

Should Michigan become a Private University? has a newspaper article about flagship public universities, with special reference to U-M. The emerging question is should these state universities should become private under this struggling economy. After all, most operate as quasi-public institutions as funding from their state governments continues to diminishes each year.
Michigan's long-serving 19th-century president James Angell used to say that the school provided "an uncommon education for the common man." But many are starting to wonder if that mission is still possible. And Michigan is not the only public university in crisis. As states across the country face budget shortfalls, leading schools like the universities of Wisconsin, North Carolina and Virginia increasingly depend on support from outside their home states, either in the form of philanthropy or in top tuition rates paid by a growing number of wealthy out-of-state students. The result has already been a quasi-privatization of some of the nation's top research institutions and the economic stratification of their student bodies.

And the U-M President, Mary Sue Coleman, commented below that most admissions applications come from outside the state of Michigan.
As schools like Michigan struggle to make up falling state contributions, however, fewer students like Stadt are getting slots in entering classes. Out-of-state students pay $33,000 in tuition at Michigan — nearly three times the amount that residents bring in — and those extra dollars are needed more than ever. Non-residents now make up 37% of undergraduates at the university; add graduate students and nearly half the university's students comes from out-of-state. A leading public university like University of California at Berkeley, by contrast, only pulls 8% of its undergraduates from outside California.

You can also read more about this in the U-M President's address, "Why U-M Must Stay a Public Institution."

Do you think University of Michigan should become private?

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