The University Record, November 9, 1998

Brandon, White are victors in close race for Regent

By Rebecca A. Doyle

David A. Brandon and Katherine E. White will take seats on the Board of Regents in January, replacing Regent Shirley McFee, who did not run for re-election, and Philip Power, who placed fourth in the race behind Holland Republican Jessie Dalman.

Brandon, 46, a Republican from Plymouth, says he and his wife, Jan, are thrilled that he will have a chance to serve the University.

“This has been a dream of ours for years,” Brandon said. “I feel fortunate, honored and very, very pleased to be able to work for the University.”

Before the election, Brandon stressed the importance of limiting tuition increases to the rate of inflation and learning fiscal restraint. One of the most important issues facing the University, he said, is “to maintain our superiority and world-class status, while also dealing with the financial realities we must face. All universities will be forced to learn something that most businesses have been forced to learn over the past two decades—the concept of doing more with less. Tuition increases cannot continue at the rate and pace experienced in the past decade.”

Brandon is chair of the board at Valassis Communications and served as its CEO and president in 1989–98. In 1979–1989, he served Valassis as national sales manager, vice president of sales and marketing, executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 1974, he began his career with Proctor and Gamble following his senior year at the U-M, and served in sales and management for that company until 1979.

Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree from the U-M in communications and attended the University in 1971–74 on a full four-year football scholarship. He holds honorary degrees from both Cleary College and Schoolcraft College.

White, 32, a Democrat from Ann Arbor, is an assistant professor of law at Wayne State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University, a master’s degree from George Washington University and a doctorate in law from the University of Washington School of Law.

White was unavailable for comment by Record press time, but in a statement before the Nov. 3 election, White said that she was interested in finding alternatives to raising tuition that would allow the University to function at the same level of independence and excellence.

White said one of her goals is “to reduce costs and increase the accessibility of the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan is a world-class institution. To remain at that level, the University must have adequate funds. The tuition level helps to generate those adequate funds.

“On the other hand, the University has to find a way to make sure that it is accessible to those who are qualified to attend. I am interested in building a bridge between education, science and industry,” she said. White noted that the use of funds from royalties generated by technology licensing could help replace tuition increases.


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