Regent candidates to discuss issues at Oct. 25 forum
The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA), Senate Assembly and the Michigan Student Assembly will sponsor the forum. The Senate Assembly will meet prior to the forum at 3:15 p.m.
The candidates will give an overview of their platforms and answer two questions from SACUA: 1) Accepting the premise that U-M has grown to be an internationally visible institution, what do you see as the most important challenges to the University during the coming years? and, 2) How should the University respond to the seemingly prolonged and continuing decline in government funding support?
They also will field questions from the audience.
The candidates are: incumbents Olivia Maynard, D-Goodrich, and S. Martin Taylor, D-Grosse Pointe Farms; Karen Adams, U.S. Taxpayers Party-Lake Odessa; Patrick Anderson, R-East Lansing; Michael Corliss, Libertarian Party-Westland; Nathaniel Damren, Green Party-Ann Arbor; Mary Debusschere, Natural Law Party-Brighton; James Lewis Hudler, Libertarian Party-Chelsea; Carl Meyers, R-Dearborn; and Joe Sanger, U.S. Taxpayers Party-Lansing.
The Record contacted the candidates, requesting biographical information, a photo and platform statement. Seven candidates responded; their information follows.
Anderson, a Republican from East Lansing, is a dual graduate of U-M who earned a bachelor of political science degree in 1981 and master of public policy degree in 1983.
He is founder of the business-consulting firm Anderson Economic Group LLC, and author of more than 90 published articles in such periodicals as The Wall Street Journal and Detroit News, as well as the book "Business Economics and Finance."
Before founding the firm, Anderson served as a deputy budget director for the State of Michigan when the state passed and implemented the property tax limitation and school finance reform Proposal A in 1994, and authored the Term Limit Amendment to the Michigan Constitution, passed by voters in 1992.
Anderson and his wife, Madhu Rustagi Andersona 1984 graduate of the Public Policy School (now the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy)recently served on the Class Giving committee for the new Ford School building.
"If elected, I would focus on three critical areas: "CurriculumThe ACTA [American Council of Trustees and Alumni] recently rated U-M's core curriculum a 'D,' citing its lack of required rigorous courses in literature, history, math and science. I believe the faculty can help us create a more rigorous curriculum.
"AdmissionsThe board has recently presided over at least four different undergraduate admissions policies, three of which were found to violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The newest policy has resulted in a 20 percent drop in applications, with minority applications being most hard hit. The University must move beyond this debacle, and adopt a new policy with a public vote.
"FinancesUniversity tuition and fees are growing rapidly, while the state has cut back higher education funding. The board should publicly stand up to the governor's 'squeeze play' policy of threatening even larger cuts during the upcoming year, and insist on maintaining excellence."
A fourth-year undergraduate student at U-M, Damren is pursuing a degree in history and French, as well as secondary education certification. He currently is employed as a dishwasher at the Alice Lloyd Hall cafeteria on campus.
Damren, a Green Party candidate from Ann Arbor, is co-chair of the Huron Valley Green Party and a steering committee member on the Independent Progressive Politics Network.
"As a regent, I will work to ensure that U-M respects and recognizes all workers who seek to organize, whether they be non-tenure-track faculty, graduate student instructors, clerical workers, nurses, janitors or young women working in maquiladoras in El Salvador that produce clothing ultimately bearing the U-M insignia.
"I will work to increase the voice of non-tenure-track faculty in the process of faculty governance, and I will not allow the precedent set in the recent ruling of the National Labor Relations Board against the unionization of teaching assistants at Brown to undermine the legitimate gains made by the Graduate Employees Organization.
"As a regent, and as a Green, my goal is to defend and extend the opportunity for representative, democratic participation in the governance of the University, and to limit the corporate influence that delegates decision-making power to an exclusive, elite few."
James Lewis Hudler
Hudler, a Libertarian Party candidate from Chelsea, earned an associate of science degree from Jackson Community College in 1972 and a bachelor of science degree from U-M in 1979. He also did graduate work at U-M and Eastern Michigan University from 1975-79.
Hudler is a clinical laboratory scientist at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. He is a member of several
"U-M used to be a bastion of free speech in the 1970s when I was an undergraduate and graduate student. Now it is like North Korea. Students are afraid to voice their views, especially conservative and libertarian students. End speech codes now!
"The University needs to ensure that the civil liberties of students and applicants are not infringed upon. Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, political ideology and sexual orientation must end now. Only merit and achievement should count.
"U-M should be privatized. Taxpayer and state support of the University should end."
Maynard, a Democratic incumbent from Goodrich, received a bachelor of arts degree from George Washington University in 1959 and a master of social work degree from U-M in 1971.
She currently is president of The Michigan Prospect in Flint and president of Planned Parenthood of Michigan. The former director of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, Maynard is a member of the Federal Council on Aging and was a delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging.
She was elected to the Board of Regents in 1996.
"We must maintain U-M's first-class status among universities, public or private. We can do this by: continuing to strengthen undergraduate education, making sure our students are both supported and challenged; supporting our cutting edge research, some of which can be transferred to the private sector; developing a new tuition model so that higher education is accessible to Michigan residents, while maximizing resources and working with the governor and the Legislature to develop a stable state tax structure; and working to create an atmosphere which supports campus diversity.
"Some particular issues for me are the capital campaign, the Life Sciences Institute, student residence halls, the Ginsberg Center, and, of course, the School of Social Work."
Meyers, a Republican from Dearborn, graduated from U-M in 1979 and majored in business administration.
He has worked in the field of finance for more than 22 years and presently is a senior vice president of investments for Raymond James and Associates.
In the community, Meyers is vice chairman of the city of Dearborn Local Officials Compensation Commission, on the Dearborn Centurions board and a member of the Dearborn Goodfellows.
"The greatest challenge facing U-M is maintaining academic excellence in a constrained budgetary environment. Tuition costs, the largest contributor to revenue, have increased over 40 percent on the watch of the Democratic incumbents.
"In some years we have seen tuition rise at twice the national rate of inflation. At the same time the budget has continued to grow at an accelerated pace while the State of Michigan's contribution to the general fund, as a percentage, has declined. The board and president must work with the governor and Legislature to ensure a commitment to higher education in Michigan.
"The University must commit to fiscal discipline, eliminate waste and develop alternative ways to fund the academic mission. In addition, the University should continue to grow new sources of revenue with an emphasis on philanthropy.
"As a public university there is an obligation to provide access to students from all walks of life. U-M must not limit financial access to the school for minorities and the economically challenged in the form of unmanageable tuition costs.
"I am committed to upholding academic excellence in a fiscally sound environment."
Sanger, a U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate from Lansing, earned two degrees from
A self-employed certified public accountant, he serves as treasurer of the U.S. Taxpayers Party State Central Committee, the Constitution Party National Committee and Pro-Life Michigan.
"When I was a freshman at U-M in the autumn of 1955, the full time (12-18) credit hours resident undergraduate tuition was $100 per semester. Today, the comparable charge is $4,007 per semester, an increase of 3,907 percent. At the same time, the general price level, as measured by the price of a one-ounce first-class mail postage stamp (as good a measure of inflation as any) has increased from three cents to 37 cents, an increase of only 1,133 percent. The cost of tuition over a 49-year period has escalated at 3.5 times the rate of inflationan astounding increase.
"In addition to the tuition increase, due to required course scheduling problems, many parents and students are now often required to pay for a fifth year."
S. Martin Taylor
Taylor, a Democratic incumbent from Grosse Pointe Farms, received a bachelor of science degree from Western Michigan University in 1964 and a law degree from the Detroit College of Law in 1967. He is an executive vice president of DTE Energy Co.
Taylor serves as chair of the Council of Michigan Foundations, chair of the Arts League of Michigan, president of the Detroit Zoological Institute Commission, and board trustee and executive committee member of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
He previously served as chair of the Citizens Research Council, president of New Detroit Inc., director of the State of Michigan Department of Labor and director of the Michigan Employment Security Commission.
He was elected to the Board of Regents in 1996.
"I seek re-election and support of the U-M community. During my first term, I believe I earned that support by making a positive contribution to maintaining and enhancing the excellence of our university.
"If re-elected, I pledge to pursue the fight against cuts to higher education. The regents must become active in Lansingadvocating the critical need to maintain Michigan's higher education system. Not just for Michigan, but for all universities, since each plays a critical role.
"Regents must do all that they can to keep tuition as low as possible. It is our duty as custodians of this great public university to make it as accessible as possible. Through federal and state grants, private donations and investment income, we must strive to match tuition increases with financial aid increases.
"Finally, I pledge to continue to ensure that the University operates with the highest degree of integrity and transparency, hallmarks of a great public institution."