From the moment the University of Michigan was established in 1817, our institution was designed to be a resource whose sole purpose was enhancing the public good. Since then, public impact within our state has always been a hallmark of our university. It’s part of our founding DNA and is a central component of our values and our mission.
The basis for scientific inquiry at U-M was created in tandem with the 1837 formation of the State of Michigan, when legislative action called for the creation of a “Cabinet of Natural History” for the campus. Early exploration of the state produced geological, mineralogical, botanical, and zoological specimens that became the first seeds of research at our great public university.
As we celebrate U-M’s Bicentennial during the course of 2017, we are very proud that the beneficial impact of our research touches every county in Michigan.
- We educate more than 60,000 students at our Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, with leading academic programs that combine experiential learning, service to the community, and some of the world’s top researchers.
- Michigan Medicine, which began as the nation’s first university owned and operated hospital, is a world-class health system with 2.1 million patient visits a year, which recently expanded through an agreement with Metro Health in Wyoming, Michigan.
- Michigan’s University Research Corridor, an alliance of U-M, Michigan State University and Wayne State University, was responsible for $2.15 billion in research and development spending in fiscal year 2015. The alliance’s 10th Annual Economic Impact & Benchmark Report also found that the URC contributed $16.5 billion to Michigan’s economy in 2016, an increase of $3.7 billion since 2007, the year it was formed and began benchmarking its impact on the state.
We are eager to heighten our impact on people’s lives in Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder has recommended increases in state support in next year’s budget for all three of our campuses. The increases are 2.4 percent for Ann Arbor, 3.1 percent for Dearborn, and 2.8 percent for Flint.
The budget recommendation continues the recent progress of re-investing in public higher education in our state, and we will be working with elected leaders in Lansing in the coming months to explore opportunities for additional support.
Our Bicentennial celebration also provides an opportunity to examine how we can better serve the people of our great state. I invite you to enjoy the many events we have planned for the year. Together, we will honor our shared legacy as one of the oldest – and the best – American public universities.
Thank you for your support of the University of Michigan, our students and our public mission.
Mark S. Schlissel