I am often asked, “Why should I send my child or grandchild to U-M? What’s special about a research university?”
My answer to questions about U-M’s value has three parts.
- We prepare many of the most talented students to succeed and fully participate in a global society, through a staggering array of top academic programs and opportunities unique to a public university of our breadth and scale.
- As a research university, we make the state, nation, and communities we serve more prosperous, through discoveries and innovations that drive economic growth and create jobs.
- We make the quality of life better – not just for our graduates, but for everyone, and not just through research and education, but also through our galleries and artistic performances,
the cutting-edge health care provided by Michigan Medicine, and our outstanding athletics teams.
As an example, consider the job prospects of our graduates. Our Ross School of Business reports that more than 190 companies hired the school’s graduates in 2017. The report shows that 97 percent of full-time MBA graduates and 98 percent of BBA graduates from the class of 2017 had received at least one job offer within three months of graduation.
Graduates of our College of Literature, Science and the Arts, do just as well. Ninety-six percent of graduates are either employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation in fields such as education, research, nonprofits, health care, consulting, law, and banking.
In every sector of the economy, employers are looking for workers who have broad skill sets and can tackle complex problems, work in groups, communicate clearly, think critically and collaborate across cultural differences. In other words, they want U-M graduates! We are an important contributor to what the Governor and other leaders point to as a high priority – the talent pool of our great state.
Another strength of Michigan’s impact comes from our School of Education. Our elementary and secondary teacher education programs are ranked 2nd in the nation by U.S. News and World Reports. And the school is ranked first in the world in education research by the World College and Universities Rankings.
We are ranked so highly in part because we have longtime partnerships with a range of communities and schools to produce great teachers and school leaders. For instance, our TeachingWorks initiative supports skillful mathematics teaching in partnership with the Jandernoa Foundation, schools in Grand Rapids, and Grand Valley State University.
Our partnerships across the state in many diverse activities create opportunities for our students and faculty to make an impact. Some of these initiatives are featured in the stories you’ll read in this Impact edition.
As we work to enhance our impact in U-M’s third century, we remain grateful for the support of the people in our state. Gov. Rick Snyder has recommended increases in state support in next year’s budget for all three of our campuses. The increases are 2 percent for Ann Arbor, 2.6 percent for Dearborn, and 2.3 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.
I thank you for your support of the University of Michigan’s three campuses.
Mark S. Schlissel