The Magazine of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan s p r i n g 2010
From Our Corner to the Four Corners of the Globe
This magazine was printed on paper made entirely from your old policy memos and budget spreadsheets using electricity generated by methane from a landfill across the street from the paper plant. Really. Environmental research, green student innovation, and more. Find out what else the Ford School is doing in the interest of sustainability ď‚†ď‚†
from the dean
cross the nation, many colleges and universities are hosting events this spring to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The University of Michigan is no exception. In 1970 U-M hosted one of the largest Earth Day celebrations in the nation. Some 50,000 attendees participated in 125 student-organized seminars, speeches, and symposia on the Ann Arbor campus. In recognition of that paradigm-shifting event, the second edition of State & Hill touches on some of the compelling work today’s Ford School faculty and students are doing in the area of environmental policy. Research by the Ford School’s Carl Simon, for example, models the complex ways that our environment responds to human actions. Barry Rabe’s work explores innovative environmental policies and public opinions about climate change (p. 12). Both faculty members are actively involved with the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, a multidisciplinary organization of engineers, social scientists, and policy experts that seeks to position the University of Michigan as a national leader in the growing energy field. In addition to the work of these outstanding faculty members, many of the school’s current students are taking leadership roles in the sustainability arena. Inside this edition of State & Hill, you can read about the impressive work of Melissa Forbes (p. 18), Charlotte Mack and Elizabeth Stamberger (p. 17), and Matt Schaar (p. 16).
State & Hill Dean: Susan M. Collins Associate Dean: Alan V. Deardorff Director of Communications/Editor: Laura K. Lee (MPP ‘96) Lead Writer: Erin Spanier Contributors: Katie Talik, Amanda Grazioli, Dana Conroy, Miao Qing (MPP ‘09) Design: Savitski Design Printer: University Lithoprinters Printed on paper made from 100% postconsumer waste using biogas energy.
However, we couldn’t focus exclusively on our sustainability efforts when so many other worthwhile projects are taking place at home and abroad. On the international front, Bob Axelrod returned recently from a productive trip to Damascus where he interviewed Middle East leaders to better understand their perceptions of the ongoing conflict there (p. 2). The school also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the International Economic Development Program this year (p. 8). Closer to home, the Ford School is helping policymakers strengthen a struggling state. The MacArthur Foundation recently approved a $750,000 grant to extend the National Poverty Center’s long-term study of the effects of the economic downturn on Southeast Michigan, while CLOSUP’s Michigan Public Policy Survey is producing some very valuable research about how local governments manage hard times, and how policymakers can best support them (p. 6). So much of the Ford School’s news, however, couldn’t make its way into this publication’s 32-page spread at all. For example, I am thrilled to report that, for the first time any of us can remember, the Ford School has invited one of its own alumni to deliver the commencement address for our graduates. Michael Pan (MPP ’99), a senior policy advisor to United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice, has forged a distinguished career in international human rights work since graduating from the Ford School only eleven years ago. We are delighted to welcome him home. I hope that you enjoy hearing about the good work going on here at the Ford School and that you will continue to stay in touch and share news of your accomplishments.
Let us know what you think: email@example.com, or Editor, State & Hill, Ford School, University of Michigan, 735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor MI 48109-3091
Susan M. Collins
Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy
Regents of the University of Michigan Julia Donovan Darlow, Ann Arbor Laurence B. Deitch, Bingham Farms Denise Ilitch, Bingham Farms Olivia P. Maynard, Goodrich Andrea Fischer Newman, Ann Arbor Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park S. Martin Taylor, Grosse Pointe Farms Katherine E. White, Ann Arbor Mary Sue Coleman (ex officio)
The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or Vietnam-era veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity and Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 481091432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.
sp r i n g 2 0 1 0
& Middle East Conflict 2 Intractable, Not Hopeless
Recession Aftershocks 6 Predicted for Michigan Cities and Towns
Developing Economies 8 10 Years of Student Immersion
Cutting Waste, Saving Money 11 Small Changes Make a Big Difference
Climate Change Policy 12 Barry Rabe Gauges Public Belief, Concern
Sustaining Philanthropists 16 Jim Hackett and Steelcase Invest in the Future
In Addition MPPs Take the Prize for Sustainability Innovation 15 Student Sustainability Initiative 18 BAs: Where Do They Go from Here? 20 Class Gift Campaign Soars 21 Policy Seminar Tackles Real-World Challenges 22 Alum Doug Brook Pays it Forward 23 Festschrift for Deardorff 25
Departments JOHN WEISS (MPP â€˜94), RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER
Faculty News & Awards 24 Class Notes 26 The Last Word: Kristin Seefeldt 28 On the Horizon: Peace Corps @ 50 29
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CONF L ICT AND COO P ERATION
Middle East Conflict Intractable, Not Hopeless After his last “International Security Affairs” class of the fall semester, Bob Axelrod graded student papers, then hurried to the airport to catch a flight to Damascus, the capital city of Syria. His goal: to interview Middle East leaders to better understand how they perceive the ongoing conflict. This was Axelrod’s third trip to the Middle East as a scientific delegate for the World Federation of Science Permanent Monitoring Panel on the Motivations for Terrorism.
n 1962, during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Bob Axelrod was a secondyear math major at the University of Chicago, looking for worthwhile applications for his theoretical training. That October, as President Kennedy warned the country of dozens of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba aimed at the U.S., national anxiety reached new heights. The Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding, in his characteristic understated way, says he decided then that, “it sure would be useful to understand the apparent madness of nuclear deterrence.” “If the Cuban Missile Crisis exploded, or some other crisis exploded,” Axelrod explains, “100 million people would have died. We had thousands of big rockets—with hydrogen bombs instead of atom bombs. And there were a series of crises; it wasn’t just that one. People forget that, but there was the Korean War, the downing of a U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union, and the sudden construction of the Berlin Wall as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was a scary time.” Since that time, Bob Axelrod has spent his entire career—a long and distinguished one— employing rigorous formal and empirical methods to further our understanding of conflict and
cooperation. He’s looked at conflicts of interest, bureaucratic decision-making, negotiation, argumentation, deception, aggression, tit for tat strategies, and sacred barriers to conflict resolution—among other things. His book, The Evolution of Cooperation, which offers strategies for promoting cooperation, has been translated into ten different languages and has been cited thousands of times. Today, Axelrod is applying his considerable expertise in conflict and cooperation to the Middle East as part of a small group—appointed by the World Federation of Science after the 9/11 attacks—exploring the motivations for terrorism. Other group members include Scott Atran, visiting professor of psychology and public policy at the University of Michigan, and Lord John Alderdice, chair of the delegation and one of the main negotiators of the Good Friday Accord, which reconciled the parties involved in the Northern Ireland conflict. Together, this delegation has interviewed leading figures from Israel, Palestine, Pakistan, and Jordan. In Israel, for example, Axelrod and his colleagues have met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as leaders of the country’s National Security Council, legislature (Knesset), and Likud and Kadima parties. The
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delegation has spent equal amounts of time with Palestinian leaders including Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas; Ramadan Shallah, the leader of Islamist Jihad; and leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command. This December, on their trip to Syria, the group also interviewed the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem, and Minister of Irrigation, Nader al-Brunni. Why does this delegation focus on Middle East leaders when violence against civilians has been used as a tactic in many conflicts around the world? Because many view the Middle East clash to be the most pressing conflict in the world today, with repercussions that extend far beyond the boundaries of the countries involved. In addition, most of the major terrorist attacks over the last few decades can be linked back to factions in the Middle East. As a result, to understand the motivations for violent attacks on civilians, it’s important to understand the root of the Middle East conflict: the 10,000-square-mile slice of land the Jews call Israel, the Arabs call Palestine, and everyone seems to call the Promised Land. “It’s the too promised land,” says Axelrod. “It’s been promised to too many people.” Two different religious communities—the Jews and the Muslims—have historic and religious ties to the land: both regard it as sacred. But the dozens of different factions within these communities disagree over how to resolve the conflict.
Think about the Middle East clash as a ball of knotted yarn. You pull at a strand to try to unravel it, and another section tightens. You try to address that section, and three others become further entangled. And there aren’t just one or two knotted strands—there are dozens: each religion, each government, each faction, each leader, each follower. Each views the conflict differently; each condones different political and tactical strategies; and each is defensive about its position. But each is also—some to a greater and some to a lesser degree—willing to communicate; willing, perhaps, to negotiate. That space where communication and understanding may be possible is what interests Bob Axelrod and his peers. But they’re not negotiators or mediators, he cautions, “We’re not
“It’s the too promised land,” says Axelrod. “It’s been promised to too many people.” doing diplomacy here.” Rather, they are scientists—meeting with leaders to better understand an extremely complex conflict and share their understanding with others. What does each party hold sacred? How do they frame the conflict? Which historical analogies guide their thinking? Where might they be willing to compromise?
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CONFLICT AND COOPERATION
As scientists, Axelrod and his colleagues have a distinct advantage during meetings like these. Because they aren’t expected to negotiate and don’t trigger memories of past offenses, it can be easier for them to communicate. One of the leaders they met said he can respond with threats when he feels threatened; but during his meeting with the delegation, he came across as avuncular and pleasant. Another leader they met with, who heads up an organization with a reputation for violence and recently survived a botched assassination attempt, seemed fair and reasonable during their discussions. These leaders may use forceful rhetoric in other situations, but in an academic conversation, they’re much more willing to talk. In talking with these men, Axelrod and his colleagues have learned some important lessons about the Middle East conflict and the potential for cooperation—findings that at times make their way to the diplomats and policy makers trying to resolve the conflict. The group took two important lessons away from their most recent conversations with the overall leader of Hamas and with the Foreign Minister of Syria. First, the group believes that policy makers concerned about fostering lasting peace in the Middle East should probably focus their energies on negotiations with Syria, a nation that seeks the return of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. To Syria, the Golan Heights is valuable because it affords access to the freshwater Lake Tiberius (in the arid Middle East, access to fresh water is crucial) and, in Axelrod’s words, “a
deal on the Golan Heights does not involve religious values. It doesn’t have biblical connotations because it’s on the far side of Jordan.” When it comes to conflict, explains Axelrod, it’s worth understanding your opponent’s sacred, or inviolable, values. In the case of the Middle East conflict, the city of Jerusalem is sacrosanct to Jews, Muslims, and Christians—making the conflict over rights to the capital city highly charged. Just as a devout Hindu wouldn’t accept any sum of money for a sacred cow, devout Muslims and Jews would be offended by offers to exchange money or concessions for a sacred piece of land. But other Israeli-occupied lands in the area—lands that are not sacred, per se— can be returned as symbolic gestures, thereby building trust and opening a path toward normalization of relations. Second, Axelrod highlights the group’s discovery that there is a huge divide between the antiSemitic rhetoric of the Hamas charter and the current rhetoric of the Hamas leadership. In their two-and-a-half hour discussion with the overall leader of Hamas, Ramadan Shallah, he mentioned eight historical analogies for the Middle East conflict, Axelrod recounted. Some, like the Oslo Accord, which Shallah felt wasn’t handled in a democratic way, he shared as negative lessons that could never be repeated. Others, like the international pressures that ended the Serbian occupation of Kosovo, were positive lessons that he hoped (but did not expect) could be repeated to end Israeli occupation.
“Other Israeli-occupied lands in the area—lands that are not sacred, per se—can be returned as symbolic gestures, thereby building trust and opening a path toward normalization of relations.” — Robert Axelrod
PHOTO BY: MAGNUS HALSNES
5 Why does Axelrod care about these historical analogies? Why should anyone? Because political leaders often use historical analogies to share the experiences that guide their thinking. They are, as Axelrod puts it, ways of ‘framing’ the Middle East conflict. The events of the conflict are the same for all parties, but each party’s view of them is different. The analogies Ramadan Shallah shared with Axelrod and his colleagues during their meeting clarified how the Hamas leader saw the world, including his frustration with the lack of active support from Arab governments, his take on the causes of the failure of the Oslo peace process, and Hamas’s sense that history is on its side. Some conflicts are quickly resolved, incurring limited damages. Others last longer and threaten the safety of more parties. Still others last for decades, even centuries, with one generation passing the legacy of fear and hostility on to the next. These conflicts—some of the most dangerous in the world—are often categorized as intractable. They’re obstinate, deadly conflicts that go on and on. The Middle East conflict falls into this category; as does the ongoing conflict in Kashmir. But the conflict in Northern Ireland—entering its twelfth year of peace since the historic Belfast Agreement that Lord John Alderdice helped broker— is over, as is the Cold War that inspired Axelrod to dedicate his career to the study of conflict and cooperation. ■
Find articles & papers by Axelrod Based on his work in the Middle East, Axelrod has published policy-oriented papers on how to deal with sacred values in seemingly intractable conflict. These papers have appeared in Science and in The Negotiation Journal, and are available on his personal web page at www-personal.umich.edu/~axe/.
ROBERT AXELROD • For the 2007 Ford School charity auction, Axelrod offered to play a game of Risk with the winning bidder. The students who won the lot—for a pooled contribution of $625—still tell stories about playing Risk with the master of game theory. • Axelrod has received numerous awards and distinctions during his academic career including a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1987, a National Academy of Sciences Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War in 1990, and the Wilber Cross Medal of the Yale Graduate School Alumni Association, for “extraordinary intellectual accomplishments,” in 2008. • At the University of Michigan, Axelrod regularly teaches courses on international security and framing and complexity theories in the social sciences. • Axelrod consults and lectures for a number of national and international organizations including the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense, the United Nations, and the World Bank.
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Recession Aftershocks Predicted for Michigan Cities and Towns Mounting evidence suggests that an economic recovery is in view. Unemployment isn’t rising as quickly as it once was. Consumer spending has increased for four consecutive months. Household net worth is growing.
hile the economy may be turning around for the general public, local government agencies are likely to feel the aftershocks for some time. “There’s a lag to the effect on local government,” explains Tom Ivacko (MPA ‘93), program officer at the Ford School’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP). “So, for many places, the worst is yet to come.” Because local governments depend on tax revenue and federal and state allocations, it takes longer for them to feel the effects of an economic downturn—and an economic recovery. That’s one reason why CLOSUP has partnered with the Michigan Association of Counties, the Michigan Municipal League, and the Michigan Townships Association to analyze the recession’s impact on local governments in the state with the worst unemployment rate in the nation for the fourth consecutive year: the Wolverine State. Launched in 2009 with funding from CLOSUP and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) collects data and opinions on economic and workforce development from the chief elected and appointed officials in every Michigan jurisdiction—from small villages with just over 100 citizens to sprawling cities with hundreds of thousands.
The first survey of its kind to assemble such a breadth of data on how local jurisdictions cope during an economic recession, MPPS results have been enlightening. Broken out by size, type, and region of jurisdiction, the survey findings—both quantitative and qualitative—have identified: • The most pressing problems facing local governments today; • The extent of revenue losses from property tax, income tax, and federal funding; • Barriers to economic development and the steps local governments are taking to overcome them; • Privatization and collaboration efforts that jurisdictions are undertaking to cut costs or improve services; and more. Among the more interesting findings of the MPPS is the high level of distrust local officials have for state government. Given that the state has been cutting revenue sharing to local governments and imposing unfunded mandates on them (estimated at $2 billion by the state’s Legislative Commission on Statutory Mandates) it may not be surprising that Michigan’s local jurisdictions aren’t very trusting of their state counterparts. However, there are no equivalent surveys in other states that would tell us if these findings are exclusive to Michigan or indicative of a
THE STATS • Nearly half of local officials—49 percent—say they “seldom” or “almost never” trust the state government to do what is right. • Nearly six in ten local officials report their communities suffer from brain drain as large numbers of high school graduates move away for college and do not return. • Among the top local economic development strategies are the use of tax abatements, economic development agencies, and partnerships with other local governments.
broader concern. Brian Jacob, who heads CLOSUP, explains that these findings are important because they “may raise concerns about the ability of state-level officials to produce policy solutions that depend on local implementation.” Other findings from the survey are equally instructive. Michigan jurisdictions report that brain drain is rampant throughout the state; the Federal Stimulus hasn’t had much of an impact to date (although increasing numbers think it will affect them positively in the future); Michigan’s term limits on state officials are losing public support; and officials from larger jurisdictions are interested in
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“If you’re a city administrator drafting your 2011 budget—which right now means deciding which positions or services to cut—this information will help you understand what actions your peers are taking to trim costs, raise revenue, or both.”
calling a Constitutional Convention. Such a convention would provide an opportunity to review a wide variety of state policies—from tax policy to the authority, structure and composition of local governments, and everything in between. The collected findings from the MPPS—many more than we’re able to share in this article—are available online and are being sent to policymakers and others who can help Michigan’s local governments overcome these and other obstacles, says Ivacko. They’re sent to Michigan-based foundations and non-profits; to the statewide associations that serve and support Michigan’s jurisdictions; and, equally important, explains Ivacko, back to the respondents themselves. “If you’re a city administrator drafting your 2011 budget—which right now means deciding which positions or services to cut—this information will help you understand what actions your peers are taking to trim costs, raise revenue, or both,” says Ivacko. ■ Of the 1,856 jurisdictions in Michigan, 1,204 (65 percent) responded to the first survey round in the spring of 2009 and 1,303 (70 percent) responded to the second survey round in the fall. In 2010, surveys will focus on the local government fiscal crisis and on intergovernmental or regional approaches to public service delivery. To review the MPPS key findings reports, visit www.closup.umich.edu. For more information, contact CLOSUP at 734-647-4091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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AT WORK IN THE WORLD
Developing Economies: IEDP Celebrates Ten Years of Student Immersion
n 2000, it was Costa Rica. In 2005: Ethiopia. This spring: the Philippines. Each of these developing countries has been the focus of the International Economic Development Program (IEDP), a three-credit Ford School course that allows University of Michigan students to learn about economic development issues relevant to developing nations. This year, the IEDP celebrates its first decade of exposing students to the pressing challenges faced by the world’s emerging and developing economies. Ford School alumnus Sean Jones (MPP ’00) wasn’t able to go on the first IEDP trip to Costa Rica in 2000 because he had already planned his own trip to Belize for spring break. Nonetheless, he proposed it, advocated for it, and, with support and encouragement from Ford School professor Katherine Terrell Svejnar, worked with a group of students to get it off the ground. Over a crackling, unstable phone line, Jones—now USAID director for Yemen—talked about the origins of the program. In 1999, “thirty-five of the Ford School’s seventy students had an interest in international studies; that’s where they wanted their careers to go,” says Jones. These students formed a committee focused on working with professors to ramp up the school’s international policy curriculum. Jones, the first head of that group, explains: “Just like the domestic students could get handson experience in Detroit and City Hall, we wanted students with an interest in international development to have the same opportunities.”
IEDP PERU 2007
Jones worked with others to write up a proposal for a new international policy course that would allow students to get that hands-on experience. Students would select a developing country to study and visit, investigate the economic development issues that affected the country, invite speakers with expertise in those areas to visit the classroom, and plan the trip—arranging interviews with policymakers for the week-long spring break visit. “Kathy Terrell immediately volunteered,” says Jones of the first IEDP. “She said this is exactly what the Ford School should have, helped us get organized, and added to the intellectual discussion in the school as a whole about how to strengthen the international studies curriculum.” During the first IEDP, Terrell taught the class and put students in touch with her contacts in Costa Rica. Students met with the U.S. ambassador, the vice minister of work and social security, and the vice minister of tourism, Costa Rica’s second largest industry. They also visited non-governmental organizations including a sustainable agriculture training program, a Habitat for Humanity construction site, and a newly opened American manufacturing plant.
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IEDP PHILIPPINES 2010
Since the first trip to Costa Rica, roughly 250 students—many Ford School students, but also many from other University of Michigan units—have participated in the IEDP. Kathy Terrell taught the course five times, accompanying students on trips to the Czech Republic, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Peru. Other Ford School faculty members have led the course, as well, including Susan Waltz, Tony Chen, and Alan Deardorff in recent years. In addition to the IEDP, the Ford School is actively exploring new ways to provide international educational experiences for students. This spring, for example, Ford School students are coordinating a conference investigating policy similarities and differences between the United States and Canada. In 2011, the Ford School will supplement the IEDP with a new course on Chinese policy, with a twoweek trip to Renmin University in Beijing at the end of the term.
A MEMORIAL FUND has been established to honor Kathy Terrell, who passed away in December 2009. Contributions to the fund support the International Economic Development Program and other international education initiatives. To make a gift, visit www.giving.umich.edu/give/ford and select the Katherine Terrell Svejnar Endowment Fund for International Education.
IEDP JORDAN 2008
“Frankly, you can only develop a limited sense and perception of the world if you stay where you currently are,” says Jones about the sustaining value of the IEDP program. “Americans can take for granted the environment in which they live. But if they take the opportunity to open their eyes and ears to the rest of the world, it will enhance their ability to manage issues.” Jones has spent the last decade following that advice. He’s worked in more than three dozen countries to build public/private partnerships that foster economic development. As USAID technical director for Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab World, Jones now oversees a team of 200 who build schools and clinics, run economic growth programs, and mitigate conflicts. “Ford School students have been given special skills and training that allow them to help people who are less fortunate,” says Jones. “We should take those opportunities and share them with the rest of the world.” ■
As of press time, the 2010 IEDP class is just returning from a trip to the Philippines. To see photos from the trip, visit www.fordschool. umich.edu/news/iedp2010
SEAN JONES (MPP ‘00) AT HIS LAST POST IN COLUMBIA
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1969 saw a series of environmental catastrophes. An off-shore drilling accident near Santa Barbara spread 200,000 gallons of oil over an 800-square-mile slick in the Pacific, leaving tar along 35 miles of coastline. A five-story column of fire blazed on the Cuyahoga River, which was subsequently immortalized in Time magazine as one of the most polluted rivers in the nation. Perhaps it was this rapid-fire series of events that inspired a group of University of Michigan natural science students to organize a teach-in on the environment in the spring of 1970. But whatever the impetus, and whoever initiated the idea, the small-scale teach-in became a large-scale happening— one of the first and largest Earth Day events in the nation. Fifteen thousand attended the kickoff rally alone. During the five-day celebration, 50,000 participated in demonstrations, workshops, field trips, clean-ups, movies, concerts, and debates. This spring, the University of Michigan community celebrates that historic event by revisiting its commitment to the environment. The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy is doing the same. What are some of the ways that the Ford School community supports sustainability? How do our faculty, students, alumni, and friends make a difference? Read on to find out…
Maize and Blue make Green
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Ford School Sustainability Steps Cut Waste, Save Money It’s hard to change habits—even when we know small changes can make a big difference. Last summer, though, the Ford School learned the value of change.
ummers in Michigan are notoriously sticky, occasionally miserable, and are almost always more pleasant with the gentle hum of an air conditioner. Which is why the Ford School was dreading the month of August 2009. A new law school building, going up next to Weill Hall, would interrupt the HVAC system at the Ford School, leaving the building without properly functioning air conditioning for the dog days of summer. With some creative tweaking of Weill Hall’s air handling system, the weeks passed with minimal complaints from the building’s occupants. But the steam bill of just fourteen dollars—$6,700 less than the previous August—underscored the possibilities. With electricity, steam, water, and natural gas accounting for $313,000 of the annual budget, this event prompted the school to think more about the many benefits of sustainability—both financial and environmental. A new Ford School sustainability committee of students, staff, and faculty—originally proposed at the annual staff retreat—was formed to take a closer look at other sustainability initiatives. One widely accepted definition of sustainability dates to a 1983 United Nations commission charged with investigating the environmental impact of economic and social development. The Brundtland Commission, as it’s popularly known, described sustainability as meeting present needs without compromising the ability to meet future needs. The new Ford School committee would attempt to balance the economic,
environmental, and social needs of today with those of the future. By working with a University of Michigan energy conservation program called Planet Blue, the committee identified fairly simple changes that could translate into thousands of dollars saved. First, the school accepted Planet Blue’s offer to outfit the building with free motion-sensing power strips. Imagine never having to worry about turning off your lights and still saving money. These devices are predicted to shave $4,000 off annual utility costs for the Ford School and save 41,000 kilowatt-hours each year—that’s equivalent to 3,700 gallons of gasoline. The Planet Blue program also encourages waste reduction and recycling best practices. The Ford School was already pretty good at recycling; in 2009, the school recycled 76 percent of its waste stream, compared to the overall university’s 28 percent. How was this possible? Upon accepting a job offer at the Ford School, employees are offered fine U-M benefits, an office and computer, and a 5½” x 9¾” trash bin that is only 10” deep. This tiny trash can sits neatly inside a spacious recycling bin nearly double its size, encouraging conscious thought about what gets thrown away and, hopefully, changing behavior. It seems to be working at the Ford School. The sustainability committee also joined the U’s Climate Savers Computing Initiative, which explores energy reduction options within the realm of IT. The Ford School signed their pledge over the summer and by
November, the school was recognized with a Silver Level Green IT Award for specific steps taken to adopt energy-saving behavior and purchase energy-efficient equipment. The school has created a green IT best practices checklist for use during new employee orientations and is implementing power management software that will ensure consistent energy-saving settings on building desktops (like power-downs during extended periods of inactivity). It is working now to consolidate printers within the building.
CHILLER CONDENSER, ON THE ROOF OF WEILL HALL
These seemingly small steps—like powering down a computer at night —will have significant effects on the Ford School’s budget. According to recent estimates, the school expects to save $11,000 on utilities during the 2010 fiscal year. This money goes directly back to the Ford School, not the university. Just imagine what an extra $11,000 could do to support the work of the school instead of wasting precious energy resources taming another Michigan summer. ■
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fac ult y pro fi le
“The Climate of Belief” A conversation with Professor Barry G. Rabe, the first social scientist ever awarded the prestigious Annual Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
tates and regions have quietly emerged as hotbeds of innovation and experimentation for policies designed to reduce greenhouse gases. Much of Professor Barry Rabe’s recent research has chronicled that phenomenon, exploring how and why state efforts have outstripped those of the national government. But for the past several years Rabe, a professor of public policy at the Ford School and a professor of the environment in LSA, has become increasingly interested in what the American public thinks—and in what elected officials can do with (and about) public opinion. In 2006, Rabe struck up a collaboration with another political scientist, Christopher Borick, who directs the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. With funding support from the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, they launched a national poll to gauge American public opinion on climate change.
and in identification of it as a serious problem. The decline in belief was pronounced among self-identified independents, where the percentage of believers fell from 74% to 61%. And even among believers, the percentage deeming global warming a “serious” problem fell from 60% to 51%. Why the decline, after decades of steady increase in belief about the hazards posed by global climate change? Rabe cites several factors that might be pushing the needle. First, he mentions two recent controversies: the serious errors found in a seminal report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and ‘Climate-gate,’ the leaked emails among prominent scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. The emails reveal the scientists’ efforts to stall publication of work by climate change detractors. It’s not entirely clear that data was destroyed or findings manipulated, but the scandals opened a door for skeptics.
“People to a large degree come to view this issue through what they see around them. So after events like droughts, or hurricanes, for example, we see a spike in concern about climate change.” Dubbed the “Muhlenberg-Michigan Survey,” the annual poll joins a host of other national surveys on belief in climate change. But unlike other efforts, Rabe and Borick also query respondents about their support for specific policy options and about which levels of government should be held responsible for actions on climate change. Their latest findings, issued in January from the Brookings Institution, indicate a downward shift over the past year in both belief about whether global climate change is occurring
Second, Rabe points out that the active policy debates over the past year— Copenhagen, wrangling in Congress over federal legislation, the EPA designation of carbon dioxide as an air pollutant, and more—took place against a backdrop of deep economic crisis and uncertainty. “We know that when unemployment goes up, support for environmental initiatives goes down.” Finally, Rabe cites a challenge intrinsic to climate change—that it “represents a truly intergenerational problem, where we are asked to make decisions
now for the benefit of future generations.” The longest of long views is required, and yet many people still draw conclusions based on their own immediate personal experiences. Rabe points outside his office window, where a late-February snowstorm has blanketed Ann Arbor and exasperated residents. “All jokes aside, the snow is not a trivial factor!” he laughs. “People to a large degree come to view this issue through what they see around them. So after events like droughts, or hurricanes, for example, we see a spike in concern about climate change.” The last few years have been more temperate in much of the United States, and that may have impacted belief. So if the public’s view on climate change can be influenced by what’s in the news or just outside their windows, what can serious, well-intentioned elected officials do to lead? Rabe, who has consulted with public officials at the state, federal, and international levels, encourages policymakers to think big. To the extent possible, leaders should try to weave environmental policy into the conversation about longer term issues and challenges—taxation systems, funding for entitlement programs, energy mix, and job creation—to package those factors together “rather than getting into a political food fight over whether a lot of snow signifies that climate change is or is not happening.” That issue of framing is one where Rabe believes political scientists can usefully contribute to climate change policy, a field so far mostly informed by the natural and physical sciences and by economics. Political scientists can help think about how elected leaders can frame difficult climate issues for the public, how they might make a viable political case for good environmental policy.
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down in the Senate. In March 2009, the Obama administration proposed a national carbon cap-and-trade system, with 100% auctioning of carbon permits. The Office of Management and Budget touted a windfall of projected revenues. But when the pushback began from a number of opposition groups, talk of revenues receded. “And that’s when the sausage-making began,” Rabe notes, “The proposals became incredibly complicated very quickly as legislators tried to determine what elements were needed to secure votes from specific politicians from specific districts.”
For example, many experts on the economics of climate change doubt whether any real improvement is possible if we don’t price the carbon content of fuels. “But that’s a very tough issue for the public,” notes Rabe, because whether the policy is a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade scheme that auctions allowances, the price of energy will rise. “Our survey, like others, indicates that by an overwhelming margin, Americans prefer regulatory policies where they can’t directly see the costs.” (Consider the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, for example: we pay more for cars but the cost is out of plain sight.) So if you ask the public, “do you support higher taxes on gasoline?” the answer is mostly, “no.” But when policymakers broaden the conversation to encompass what might be done with revenues from gas taxes, the picture shifts. Alaska, for example, instituted an aggressive tax program on energy—a controversial move for a state dependent on the oil industry. That tax netted an estimated $6 billion dollars the first year alone. It may have increased fuel prices, but every citizen receives a hefty share of the revenue at year’s end and the policy remains very popular. Rabe sees little hope that any significant, sound climate change legislation will emerge from the current U.S. Congress, where progress has bogged
The stalled federal efforts highlight an advantage states or even regions have: smaller jurisdictions can tailor policies to their own economies, strengths, and politics. They can keep environmental initiatives relatively simple, set more modest targets, and craft governance structures that work in their particular contexts. So who is doing things well? Are there places where sound science is being heard, politicians are framing the issues well, and citizens are particularly well-informed? Barry’s answer is an enthusiastic “yes.” Here in the U.S., fully twenty-nine states have adopted renewable electricity mandates and twenty-three have made progress toward implementation of carbon cap-and-trade programs. He edited a forthcoming book from Brookings Press, Greenhouse Governance: Addressing Climate Change in America, that examines some of those successes:
• Ten Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a mandatory carbon cap-and-trade regime with a market-based auctioning mechanism. Launched in 2005, RGGI completed its seventh auction in March, netting $88 million dollars—revenue that the states have pledged toward renewable energy initiatives. • In 2008, British Columbia introduced a consumer-based carbon tax, the first such attempt in North America. How was the legislation made politically palatable? The revenue flows back to consumers as payroll tax cuts. A centrist government put the initiative forward, took tremendous opposition from the left as a result, but won re-election. • Texas remains the gold standard for enactment of renewable electricity mandates. Lawmakers there designed “a clean, transparent, straightforward policy,” notes Rabe. As a result, the state has achieved a fourfold increase in energy derived from wind power over the past ten years. “There are lots of positive lessons not just in North America, but also Europe, Australia, and a number of other places,” Rabe says. “This offers a real-world policy laboratory, filled with potential best practices as well as lessons on what does not work.” Indeed, state and regional experiments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions offer cautionary tales as well. Where things have worked
Energy and the social sciences Carl Simon leads effort to grow U’s faculty expertise The Ford School’s Carl Simon led a successful proposal for University funding to enable an interdisciplinary “cluster hire”—three new junior faculty with appointments in economics, political science, and public policy. The U-M is committed to becoming a world leader in energy research; this set of hires was designed to strengthen and enrich the social science and public policy aspects of that work on campus. All three faculty searches were successful, including one here at the Ford School —we are pleased to announce the hire of economist Ashley Langer. Look for more about Professor Langer in the next edition of State & Hill.
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fac ult y pro fi le
poorly, the policy design or implementation is often to blame, Rabe notes. In California, for example, lawmakers set extremely ambitious goals, pledging to make the state a global leader in carbon reduction. But in the rush to finish the legislation before the 2006 election, a very ambitious bill was enacted. Without adequate planning, funding, or staffing, the program has struggled and faces possible repeal.
all federal climate change data collection and analysis under a single, new agency within NOAA; Rabe and his colleagues will make recommendations for the design of that new agency. That experience and others will serve the school’s MPP curriculum review efforts over the next year as Rabe will play an active role in the group examining the public management component.
Here at the Ford School, Rabe teaches an undergraduate capstone seminar, a core course on public management, and a graduate class on the politics of environmental regulation that draws students from up to eight schools across campus. He is a vocal booster of the University’s interdisciplinarity. With primary appointments at the Ford School and LSA, Rabe maintains close connections with faculty and students at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, the School of Public Health, and others, as well as with natural and physical scientists working on energy and climate issues.
Asked to speculate about prospects for a major international accord on climate change, Rabe answers, “I think we’re a long way from that.” What’s likely to continue emerging instead, he says, are bits and pieces of strategy and initiatives that different regions and nations patch together. But he’s cautiously optimistic about the results of those efforts. And he believes that governmental revenue challenges may contain an important silver lining for the environment. “Governments may begin to look seriously at pricing energy not just or even primarily to reduce carbon emissions but as a revenue source,” he says. “For a bunch of reasons, it might be more desirable to generate revenue from pollution rather than from labor or property.” ■
With team members from business
Read the latest findings from the Muhlenberg-Michigan Survey: www.fordschool.umich.edu/news/ climateofbelief. Barry Rabe’s edited volume, Greenhouse Governance: Addressing Climate Change in America, will be published by Brookings Institution Press in August 2010.
residence hall housing nearly 900
Already a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, just this month Rabe was also named a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). NAPA fellows —experts from the public, academic, and private sectors—work to solve complex management problems for the federal government. His first assignment will be on a group commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The government plans to consolidate
Yazier Henry brought guests
Linda Biehl and Ntobeko Peni to his undergraduate seminar, ‘Apology, Reconciliation, Reparations and Public Policy.’ The two are international symbols for peacemaking, forgiveness, and social justice.
Students, alums, and
faculty celebrated our 95th Anniversary in September.
MPP Students Top Net Impact Sustainability Contest and natural resources, two Ford School MPP students—Charlotte Mack (Hackett Award) and Elizabeth Stamberger (Simon Fellowship)— won the 2009 University of Michigan Net Impact Sustainability Case Competition. This two-round competition, sponsored by Accenture, invited teams to showcase their strategy, marketing, and operations skills by addressing a real-life business challenge: how to help a U-M building reduce waste and increase recycling. Mack and Stamberger’s team offered recommendations for East Quad, a students. Their suggestions included the creation of an EcoLeaders Task Force and a Trash on the Quad event to increase community engagement.
MPP student Matt Schaar, team win Clean Energy Prize competition
ith teammates from across the University of Michigan, Matt Schaar, a dual MPP and MBA student, finished third in the 2009-2010 Clean Energy Prize competition, winning $10,000 to commercialize a new, environmentally friendly device for manufacturing silane gas—projected to be a $5.8 billion market in 2010. This entrepreneurship competition, presented by DTE Energy and U-M, challenged collegiate teams from across Michigan to create multidisciplinary business plans to promote clean-energy technologies. Schaar’s team, Green Silane, created a business plan to commercialize technology developed by an Ann Arbor research firm for creating silane gas— used in semi-conductors, flat-screen TVs, and solar panels. “The demand for silane has nearly quadrupled since 2006, says Schaar, “but right now, there’s only a handful of large manufacturing plants in the U.S. that make silane and it’s a very capital- and energy-intensive process.”
Beyond the expense, the current silane gas production technique is also dangerous—for people and the environment. To begin, silane is pyrophoric: it spontaneously combusts when exposed to air and has caused a number of fatal industrial accidents. It’s also toxic—continuous exposure to low level concentrations can be lethal. Further, synthesizing silane with the current technique only increases the safety risks because it involves boiling hydrochloric acid, a hazardous raw material, at very high temperatures. Many reported spills over the past few years have caused both environmental and personal harm, says Schaar. The device Schaar and his team are commercializing is not only more cost-effective, it’s also safer and smaller than the existing production equipment and more environmentally-friendly. With this device, users and distributors can make silane on site without hazardous raw materials and expensive, large facilities. While the gas itself is still dangerous, clarifies Schaar, the new product eliminates the need to transport it over long distances and mitigates the potential risks involved with handling it.
Schaar says he used ideas gained in an “Innovation Policy” class last semester to position the venture as a beneficial clean-tech innovation for the state of Michigan. “That’s why we’ve included in our proposal a goal to keep our manufacturing within the state, and I think having some of those considerations in mind will make us more attractive to the investment and manufacturing communities here in Michigan.” Schaar’s team, which includes dualdegree MBA and MS students Russell Baruffi and Brian Katzman, plans to reinvest the $10,000 in prize money back into the business and will be presenting at other competitions across the U.S. and Canada in the coming months. Schaar says the prize isn’t the most important benefit of winning the competition, though. “In all honesty, the biggest reward from these competitions is getting exposure to the people that can provide even more detailed advice and faster paths to potential funding sources. Based on the positive feedback we’ve received so far, we have a lot of momentum to bring Green Silane to market.” ■
“We can provide our customers huge cost savings, environmental benefits, and also save them a lot of space over the traditional method.” —Matt Schaar
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Jim Hackett and Steelcase: Sustaining Philanthropy When students, staff, and faculty members at the Ford School take a seat, it’s Jim Hackett (BGS ’77) they should thank.
general studies major who played center on the football team under Bo Schembechler, Hackett never took a class on public policy. However, his philanthropy to the Ford School—both personally and through his employer, the Grand Rapids-based office furniture manufacturer Steelcase—has been indelible. When U-M began planning a new home for the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in 2002, Jim Hackett, who had become good friends with the Fords after their return to private life, personally took up the torch. As CEO of Steelcase, Hackett arranged to help outfit the Ford School’s new building, Joan and Sanford Weill Hall, in style. Just about every desk, chair, file cabinet, and lamp throughout the building is manufactured by Steelcase. In addition to Steelcase’s generous assistance, Jim has served on the Ford School Committee since 2006 and, with his wife Kathy, has supported Ford School students through two sustaining endowments—the Lee C. Bollinger Award for second-year students and the James and Kathy Hackett Family Fellowship Fund.
Supreme Court case arguing to allow diversity to continue to play a role in college recruitment. I helped enlist over 100 companies who employed U-M graduates to put together one of the two defining amicus briefs in the case because I wanted to see that the diversity of ideals always has a place at U-M. President Ford felt strongly enough about the case to write an op-ed piece for the New York Times titled “Inclusive America, Under Attack.” The Ford School honors President Ford’s faith in democracy while paying homage to diverse world ideals. This defines what college is for me. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in the 70s, you played football for Bo Schembechler. What did you learn from Bo?
Bo taught me that you didn’t have to be a star player to be valuable. I didn’t play much, but he made me feel the importance of my contribution to the team. His love for his players was unconditional and lifelong—most of his purpose in life was to care for others. As Steelcase CEO, I’ve come to realize that I can use the bully pulpit to help others. What kinds of office furniture does Steelcase make?
Why do you contribute to the Ford School, both personally and through Steelcase?
Jim Hackett in the 1976 team photo.
My wife, Kathy, and I want to make sure others have a chance to go to school here. In 2000, I got to have a front row seat in the University’s
In 1912, when Steelcase was founded, it manufactured metal wastebaskets to reduce the risk of fires started by smoldering cigars. Today, Steelcase creates tools that solve problems for contemporary workers in smoke-
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free environments, whether they’re in traditional offices, healthcare settings, classrooms, coffee shops, or hotels. Our fastest growing product right now is a porcelain white board for displaying web images. A cool Bluetooth-enabled pen allows presenters to make notes directly on the display. Many businesses are beginning to talk about sustainability, but this is something that Steelcase has been investing in for a long time. Why?
Steelcase was fortunate enough to have a number of founding family members who believed that the environment should be left the way humans found it. Today, the company believes that the only way to provide the best products in the world is to ensure that they’re the best products for the world.
MICHIGAN FOOTBALL PHOTOS: 1976, BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
How does Steelcase support sustainability?
Through design, manufacture, delivery, and product lifecycle we consider the impact of our work on people and on the environment to uncover opportunities to make things better. We do this by focusing our efforts in three specific areas: materials chemistry, product lifecycle, and recycling/ recyclability. In materials chemistry, for example, we examine the chemical makeup of our products, production, and packaging—down to the molecular level—against 19 human and environmental health criteria. When we find materials or chemicals that cause problems, we work to eliminate them. Has Steelcase been successful in reducing its environmental impact?
We try to be as transparent as possible about where we are on our journey. To date, Steelcase has reduced company-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 49 percent, Volatile Organic Compound
(VOC) emissions by 95 percent, water consumption by 64 percent, and waste by 71 percent. More recently, we purchased enough Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to name a Texas wind farm that can generate 35 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year—enough to power 2,925 homes. We’ve got a live feed on our website that shows real-time wind farm data. Already this year, the farm has generated more than 22 million kilowatt hours of electricity. We hope that we’re part of a trend. We don’t see a downside to the growth of clean energy. In purchasing power from the wind farm, Steelcase was given an opportunity to name it. You named it the Wege Wind Farm instead of capitalizing on the corporate branding potential you’d get from the Steelcase name. Why?
Frankly, we never considered naming it anything else. We didn’t do it to market the company, we did it because we believed in it and we wanted to honor Peter Wege whose father was one of three founders of the company in 1912. Peter’s commitment to the environment inspired much of Steelcase’s early interest in sustainability and continues to permeate the organization today. He just hit 90 years old this year and is still actively supporting sustainable projects. Why should corporations and policymakers care about sustainability?
It wasn’t the practice when I went to school to give this much of a thought. Those who did, like Mr. Wege, were considered on the fringe. Today leaders have to be aware of their responsibility to the environment because customers and voters are so much smarter about what it means. Thankfully, they’re holding us all accountable. ■
Above: Jim Hackett then, as member of the Michigan football team in the mid-1970s, and now, as the CEO and President of Steelcase. Below: The Wege Wind Farm in Texas.
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Melissa Forbes Uses Passion, Research to Influence U-M Sustainability Interested in promoting the greening of the health care industry? U-M students have a group for that. Looking for a carbon-neutral adventure abroad? They’ve got a group for that, too.
ozens of U-M student organizations focus on sustainability issues—but rarely did they work together before Ford School student Melissa Forbes got involved. A joint PhD student in public policy and sociology, Forbes worked with Darshan Karwat, an aerospace engineering and environmental policy student, to form an umbrella organization for all of these groups—the Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI)—in the summer of 2008. Sponsored by the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, SSI is a collaborative organization for leaders of U-M’s student organizations focused on sustainability—from BLUElab, an organization that develops environmentally, culturally, and economically sustainable technologies, to Zimride, a campus rideshare system, integrated with Facebook, that allows U-M students to post and search for rides. “SSI serves to bridge the gap between these student-run organizations and University administrators in communicating about campus sustainability issues,” says Forbes.
The idea for SSI originated from a group of undergraduate and graduate students, including Forbes, Karwat, and leaders on the Michigan Student Assembly’s Environmental Issues Commission (EIC). “We all believed that while there was a great deal of energy and activity among student sustainability and environmental groups on campus, there was no coordinating mechanism to help them collaborate,” says Forbes. Forbes and Karwat thought a student initiative would be most effective if it were associated with an established campus sustainability organization. The University’s Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, which has a cross-campus mission and commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability issues, seemed like a natural fit. Together, Forbes and Karwat worked with the Graham Institute to create a proposal for SSI’s organizational structure and were charged with recruiting the inaugural SSI leadership team of two graduate and two undergraduate students. In meetings with student sustainability organizations, SSI identified two pressing goals for its first year of operations—first, to establish a U-M sustainability office that students could work with on issues of shared interest and second, to enhance existing University-wide green building standards that would guide future construction projects. The first goal, establishing a U-M sustainability office, has been achieved. On October 5, 2009 University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman established a new Office of Campus Sustainability as part of a multifaceted initiative to promote sustainability. This office, led by Terry Alexander, develops new programs that promote sustainable practices while working to increase existing U-M programs such as Planet Blue or campus recycling, which engage the U-M community to conserve energy and decrease waste streams.
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“My professional goal is to identify obstacles in these processes and find ways to solve them.” — Melissa Forbes
Efforts to reach the second goal, to enhance campus green building standards, are now underway. A Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment (IA), launched by the Graham Institute and the Office of Campus Sustainability, will lay the groundwork for sustainability goals in building construction and six other strategic focus areas. Today SSI is embarking on new ventures. It hosts monthly roundtables that allow student leaders to discuss and collaborate on sustainability goals, and it awards small scale grants that encourage and support innovative sustainability projects. The Zero Waste Tailgate at Homecoming 2009, a partnership between SSI, the Alumni Association, and Campus Waste Management Services, was one such innovation. The tailgate diverted more than 500 pounds of waste from landfills while raising awareness about recycling and composting opportunities.
Rachel White (BA ‘10) left, a
Women’s Cross Country runner, was one of forty-one U-M student athletes named to the fall 2009 Academic All-Big Ten team.
MPP students led a 1-day
event introducing high school students to the field of public policy.
SSI is now in its second year, led by its third generation of student leaders, and Forbes is thrilled to see the energy and new ideas brought to the organization by the SSI team and participating student organization leaders. As an organizational scholar, her goal in developing the initiative was to give future leaders enough freedom and flexibility to grow and adapt the organization to meet new challenges and opportunities as they arose. The biggest barriers to implementing sustainability policies are often social and governance-related rather than technological, Forbes explains, “and my professional goal is to identify obstacles in these processes and find ways to solve them.” ■
For more information visit
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B A Pro fi le s
“So What Does Somebody Do with a Bachelor’s in Public Policy?”
n the fall of 2007, the Ford School launched a bachelor’s degree program in public policy. “One of the questions that has come up consistently—from the first time that we went public with this—is, ‘So what does somebody do with a bachelor’s in public policy?’” says John Chamberlin, director of the program. Now that we have our inaugural group of 55 BA alums, we can provide more than a hypothetical answer to that question. Many of the school’s bachelor’s alumni, roughly 25 percent of those who have kept in touch, are in graduate school, pursuing advanced degrees in law, medicine, or public health. Fifteen percent have positions with Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, or the Fulbright program. And the rest are all over the board— working as legislative assistants, research analysts, teachers, and writers. Here’s a quick snapshot. Lizzy Brouwer , a legislative aide for Michigan State Representative Rebekah Warren and a representative on the Ford School Alumni Board, splits her weeks between offices in Lansing and Ann Arbor. Because Rep. Warren is chair of the House Great Lakes and Environment Committee, Brouwer has learned about Great Lakes conservation concerns like the potential spread of Asian carp and the sale of Great Lakes water. But she also researches health bills, corresponds with constituents, and works with the state lobbying community—most closely with Clean Water Action, the League of Conservation Voters, the ACLU of Michigan, and Planned Parenthood. This summer, she’ll get some campaign experience, too, as Rep. Warren’s campaign for State Senate shifts into high gear.
Sejal Patel ,
now at Rush Medical College in Chicago, spends much of her time with cadavers—trying to learn every artery, nerve, and muscle in the human body. As president of the Rush Chapter of the New Life Volunteering Society, Patel also helps coordinate a free health clinic for low-income and homeless patients in a South Asian neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. “Volunteering with this clinic has really made me realize the need for health care reform since many of our patients would not receive primary care if not for this free health clinic,” she says. As the only public policy major at Rush, Patel credits the Ford School for giving her a “valuable perspective on medicine and health care.” Kelly Sampson ,
one of the many Ford School alumni pursuing a law degree, was a Big Ten Champion distance runner at U-M. Now she’s running the Central Park circuit while studying law at Columbia University. This summer, she’ll have an opportunity to go to Australia to work with a legal aid group for Aboriginals, the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. “At Columbia, we learn a lot of policy with the law,” says Sampson. “So the Ford School has prepared me well.” an AmeriCorps teacher, is in southwestern Boston on a one-year urban education fellowship. He’s working at Match Middle School, a public charter school where students work nine hours a day and Saturdays, too. “We serve mainly low-income students, many of whom enter our school two grade levels behind,” says Simon, who tutors students, teaches math and filmmaking, and coaches basketball. “Our goal last year was for every
student to make a two-grade level jump in reading,” says Simon. “We met that goal, and this year we strive to do the same.” has nothing but praise for the undergrads he describes as “incredibly bright students who rip up every class they take.” Is he surprised at where they’ve wound up as alums? Not really. “The biggest group wanted to go to graduate school, particularly law school, and I think a lot of them arranged that,” he says. “The rest of the class is sort of spread out the way I’d hoped they would be….They’re getting engaged with public life in ways that people with a liberal arts degree can get engaged—starting some place and seeing where it goes. We’re thrilled that they’ve found so many ways to enrich the nation’s public life.”
So cheers to you, undergraduate alumni. We look forward to your continued involvement in the extended Ford School community and hope you’ll keep us posted. ■
For more information visit
Ben Simon ,
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2010 Class Gift Campaign Soars One hundred paper airplanes ascend the grand staircase at Weill Hall. What do they mean? They mean that “Don’t Let the Ford School Fly Solo,” a $20,000 campaign organized by the school’s 2010 Class Gift Committee, has been soaring—literally.
ach paper airplane bears the name of a student who made a pledge or a gift to support future Ford School students,” explains Amanda Grazioli, the Ford School development and alumni relations officer who advises the eleven-member committee. The Ford School bachelor’s class sought to raise funding for undergraduate internships through the Undergraduate Annual Fund while the master’s class planned to raise money for internships and fellowships through the Graduate Annual Fund. Within a few short weeks, the classes surpassed their ambitious goal. “This is the largest total sum raised to date from a class gift,” says Grazioli of the campaign.
“Some students are able to secure paid internships,” says Jennifer Niggemeier, director of Graduate Career Services. “But a significant percentage of our students pursue an unpaid internship that would be a fantastic learning opportunity. Because of the Annual Fund, the Ford School can make those experiences possible.” Last year, for example, the Ford School supported seven master’s internships through the Graduate Annual Fund—four in Washington, DC, and others in New Orleans, South Africa, and India. Recipients worked to support children’s rights, analyzed the impact of the Civil Society Index program, conducted research on the effectiveness of international aid programs, and more. The Undergraduate Annual Fund, which provides support for supplemental educational pursuits, will help sponsor internships undertaken by Ford School bachelor’s candidates.
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Re al wo rld i mpac t
Expanded Applied Policy Seminar to Launch in Fall 2010
n winter 2008, five Ford School MPP students assessed alternative scenarios for consolidating emergency dispatch efforts within Washtenaw County. The students constructed a sophisticated economic model, interviewed multiple actors to produce estimates for their model inputs, and produced shortterm and long-term cost estimates for various scenarios. Their findings? That consolidating services would provide nearly $6.4 million in cost savings over ten years, after accounting for the costs to build a new dispatch center. Their twenty year projection estimated a cost savings of $27.3 million. County and local official have since taken significant steps toward implementing the students’ recommendations. Two years earlier, a team of ten students worked with the Wayne County, Michigan Economic Development Department to investigate governance options for a proposed major multijurisdictional economic development project. The final report and recommendations formed the basis for ongoing work by the Aerotropolis Taskforce, and in June 2009, a new economic development corporation modeled largely on the students’
recommendations was adopted by the participating local governments. For years, the Ford School’s Applied Policy Seminar (APS) has enabled MPP students to tackle those sorts of significant problems in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. This fall, the school will launch an expanded version of the course—more students, more applied learning, and more real-world impact on public policy. The restructured APS is the first finished element of the major MPP curriculum review the school began last year. While other teams are reviewing the core curriculum, the school’s international offerings, electives, and more, Professor Elisabeth Gerber led the committee of faculty, staff, and students charged with evaluating the school’s “practical engagement” offerings—activities that involve direct and sustained interactions with real-world policy organizations or individuals, and/or result in the development of professional non-academic skills. The committee conducted interviews, document reviews, and student and employer focus groups, and their work was particularly informed by
As of press time, three consulting projects have been confirmed for the Fall 2010 APS, including one for Amnesty International USA in which students will undertake a stakeholder analysis to support Amnesty’s efforts to promote human rights in India and South Africa.
the results of the 2009 alumni survey. The group’s recommendations— adopted by the school in October 2009—focus on restructuring the Applied Policy Seminar as a way to expand the school’s practical engagement offerings. The Applied Policy Seminar was a familiar and flexible base. “We looked to build on an existing strength of our MPP program,” notes Gerber. “It was important as well that the new initiatives would have minimal impact on the budget. We’re leveraging our faculty connections and the school’s existing employer outreach efforts to widen the educational impact of the course.” The revamped Applied Policy Seminar will differ from past years in two ways. First, the course will be available to more students, providing them with more consulting projects from which to choose. The school will consistently offer two seminars each year, each including 3 or 4 different projects drawn from a range of local, national, and international policy arenas and requiring a variety of methodological approaches. Second, students who take the seminar are required to take a new 1-credit professional skills component along with it (open to other students as well). This course will be led in part by outside experts and will cover topics such as project management, presentation skills, and report/ technical writing—skills that are essential to the APS and are among those most strongly recommended by students and alumni in the curriculum surveys. ■
Policy professionals – interested in partnering with the Ford School on a project for your organization? Please contact Tom Phillips, assistant director of Graduate Career Services, at 734-615-6454 or email@example.com.
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Leading Budget Expert, Alum Finds Creative Ways to ‘Pay it Forward’
oug Brook is the first to say the University of Michigan changed his life. “I am the Michigan story,” he says. The University may have changed his life, but he credits the Ford School for having shaped his career. After completing a bachelor’s in political science as an undergrad, Brook went on to earn a master’s from the Institute of Public Administration, a predecessor of the
Ford School students jumped at the opportunity to take his course. Instead of focusing on the mechanical budget-building process, which he knows students can learn on the job, Brook aimed to give Ford School students an understanding of budget theory, the purpose and types of budgets, and the role of the executive branch and legislature in developing and implementing them. “You haven’t made policy until you’ve made a budget,” says Brook. “Up until that point, all you’ve talked about is policy preferences. When you make a budgetary decision, you make a policy decision.”
Ford School, in 1967. Forty-three years later—after a distinguished career including a few presidential appointments—Brook attributes much of his success to the opportunities the Ford School gave him and he looks for creative ways to return the favor.
Brook should know. He has spent a good portion of his career making budgetary— and thus policy— decisions as chief financial officer for a number of federal entities including the Army, Navy, and Department of Defense. As someone who oversees complex, multi-million dollar budgets, though, Brook knows that money isn’t the only way to invest in something you believe in; time and talent are equally important.
Last fall, Brook served as the school’s Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence, teaching a class on public budgeting.
Brook’s engagement with the Ford School provides a vivid example. In addition to his financial contributions to the school, Brook has been
recognized with the Neil Staebler Award for alumni service. He served on the Ford School’s advisory committee for two terms in the 1990s. He has offered career guidance to countless Ford School students over the years. And he has provided MPP students with substantive paid internship experiences at his organizations. Eight Ford School students have interned for Brook to date—four at the Center for Defense Management Research and four at the LTV Corporation where Brook served as vice president of government relations for nine years. Brook applauds their discipline, maturity, pleasant dispositions, and writing and analytic skills. He also cheerfully acknowledges the benefit his organizations received from these internships. “Each intern added value to the projects they were working on,” he says. Like many graduates, when Brook left the Ford School he concentrated on his professional career, losing touch with the school and university. He recalls being contacted at some point by the school’s alumni relations staff and making a choice to reconnect because he wanted to “pay it forward,” a phrase he uses when talking about his engagement as an alumnus. “Somebody did this for us. Somebody raised the money, built the school, and had the vision,” Brook says. “You can’t pay them back, but you can help make something better for the future.” ■
“Somebody did this for us. Somebody raised the money, built the school, and had the vision,” Brook says. “You can’t pay them back, but you can help make something better for the future.” Support the Ford School
Ford School Annual Fund
To find out more about the Annual Fund and other giving opportunities, please contact the Alumni Relations & Development Office. 734-615-3892 or visit www.fordschool.umich.edu/giving
fac ult y Atran
Faculty News & Awards SCOTT ATRAN testified before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities in March. His testimony was titled “Pathways To and From Violent Extremism: The Case for Science-Based Field Research.”
MARY CORCORAN is a recipient of the 2010 Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award. The award honors and encourages “the considerable efforts and accomplishments of faculty who consistently serve as effective mentors of doctoral students.”
JOHN CHAMBERLIN participated in a
PAUL COURANT testified in federal court in February at the fairness hearing for a proposed settlement of a 2005 lawsuit over Google’s digitization initiative. Paul also served on the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee’s Roundtable on Scholarly Publishing. The Roundtable was charged with examining the current state of scholarly publishing and developing recommendations for public access to journal articles generated from federally funded research.
workshop for directors of ethics centers at the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Applied Ethics. In March, John gave the keynote address at the induction ceremony for new U-M members of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi. SUSAN M. COLLINS spoke at the Political Economy Research Conference in Kingston, Jamaica in February. The event was hosted by the Stanford Center for Global Business and the Economy, the University of the West Indies, and the Caribbean Policy Research Institute. Susan was invited to attend the early December presidential forum on jobs and economic growth in Washington D.C. Susan participated in the breakout session called “Expanding Job Opportunities for American Workers through Exports.”
Over 3,000 turned out as we hosted Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, 2009 Citigroup Foundation Lecturer.
In May, SHELDON DANZIGER will be inducted as the 2010 J. K. Galbraith Fellow of the American Academy of Political & Social Science. The Academy’s fellows program recognizes and honors individuals for their contributions to the use of social science, evidence, and informed judgment in the public policy process. Sheldon becomes one of just over 70 fellows—distinguished scholars in sociology, political science, economics, psychology, communications, education and other disciplines, as well as outstanding leaders in government, public policy, and nonprofit organizations.
SUSAN DYNARSKI and BRIAN JACOB are among the co-PIs awarded a $5.9 million federal grant to assess Michigan education reforms designed to promote college attendance and workplace success. ELISABETH GERBER and two colleagues received a National Science Foundation grant to study the impacts of a World Bank “eco-development” program in the northern Indian state of Himachel Pradesh. Liz will travel to India in May to meet with World Bank, state government, and village officials and to supervise additional data collection.
While teaching at the Ford School this year, JAMIE GILLIES is also serving as a 2010 University of Michigan Faculty Fellow at Telluride House, a prestigious livinglearning community for U-M students. NEEL HAJRA was recognized as one of
twelve inaugural “American Express NGen Fellows.” Independent Sector developed the fellowship program to honor young nonprofit leaders around the country for their accomplishments and potential. In April, YAZIER HENRY delivered Michigan State University’s annual Peace and Justice Studies Specialization Lecture. This lecture series explores issues of human rights, social justice, peace, violence, and conflict. JAMES HOUSE was invited to spend the 2010-2011 academic year in New York City as a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, “the principal American Foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences.”
In November, MEL LEVITSKY met with high-level Israeli and Palestinian officials on behalf of the International Narcotics Control Board to discuss aspects of the drug control program in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Ramallah. Subjects discussed included drug abuse problems, trafficking, and prevention and treatment programs. Research by SHOBITA PARTHASARATHY played a major role in a recent landmark case invalidating gene patents. A coalition of plaintiffs, led by the ACLU, sued biotechnology company Myriad Genetics, arguing that its patents on genes linked to inherited susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer are “products of nature” and therefore invalid. A NY District Court judge agreed with the plaintiffs, and extensively cited Parthasarathy’s work in his opinion. While the case will be appealed, this ruling has inspired a national conversation about the patentability of genes and other similar life forms (e.g., stem cells). ROBERT M. STERN has a number of works published or in process this year, including “Alternatives to the Doha Round,” with Alan V. Deardorff, Journal of Policy Modeling, forthcoming; “The Multilateral Trading System,” in Arvid Lukauskas (ed.), Trade Policy for Development. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming; and “The Making of the WTO,” in Alokesh Barua and Robert M. Stern (eds.), The WTO and India: Issues and Negotiating Strategies,” The Orient Longman, New Delhi, forthcoming.
U-M celebrates Alan Deardorff milestone In October, the Ford School and the Department of Economics hosted an academic conference, or ‘Festschrift,’ honoring the career contributions of Associate Dean ALAN V. DEARDORFF . The conference, which brought Paul Krugman and many of the world’s leading trade economists to Ann Arbor, was co-organized by BOB STERN and two of Deardorff’s former students. A ‘Festschrift’ is typically a volume of scholarly papers produced in honor of a distinguished academic. A Festschrift book contains original contributions by the scholar’s close colleagues and former students and is usually published on the occasion of the honoree’s retirement or a milestone birthday (Alan turned 65 on June 6, 2009). Alan is not resting on his laurels, though. Before the year was out, his trips to Bangkok, Geneva, and Delhi were more than enough to qualify him for the new Diamond Medallion status on Delta Airlines.
(L-R) ALAN DEARDORFF, PAUL KRUGMAN, SUSAN COLLINS
The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded DEAN C. YANG a $950,000 grant to test innovative savings products in rural Mozambique. Dean is also running a World Bank-funded field experiment in the Philippines on international labor migration.
ALAN, WITH TONY CHEN, LED THE 2010 IEDP TRIP TO THE PHILIPPINES
S TAT E & H I L L
Class Notes Yoo
An article by PETER LYDENS , MPA ’58, “The Marines Who Never Went to Boot Camp,” was selected as the January 2010 cover article for the Marine Corps Gazette. In late 2009, Peter completed a 10-month, pro-bono research project identifying over 1,500 businesses in the 11,000-person city of Mount Airy. JONG-HAE YOO , MPA ’65, PhD ’68, is Board Director of the Korean American Association and Vice President of the Seoul National University Alumni Association. Proud of his U-M degree, Jong-Hae wears his special Michigan neckties on important occasions. DEAN MARC HOLZER , MPA ’67, PhD
’71, received a Distinguished Research Award from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration/American Society for Public Administration (NASPAA/ASPA). The award recognizes the research of an individual whose published work has made a substantial impact on the field. JAMES C. BRYLINSKI , JD ’77, MPP ’78, donned a faded U-M shirt when he and his daughter recently climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,394 ft.). They also went tent camping in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro parks in Tanzania, traveled the length of the Nile in Egypt, made a short stop in Nairobi, and finished with three nights in Zanzibar. DANIEL WEISS , MPP ’80, a Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress, was featured in a February 17 New York Times article for his opinions on energy and climate change policy in the Obama administration.
Class of 20?? Pictured from left to right are: Lars Thomas Kearney, Jillian Katherine Jepson, Maureen Killian
JACQUIE LEWIS-KEMP , MPP ’85, recently
LAURA EVANS , MPP ’96, and MARK
published a book, Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds, and was a contributing author for Victorious Living for Women.
LONG , MPP ’96, welcomed a new family
ERIC NORENBERG , MPP ’85, is City
Manager of Oberlin, Ohio, the 18th city in the world to join the Climate Positive Development Program, a joint initiative of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the U.S. Green Building Council. ANNE COLLIER , MPP ’88, JD ’91, started
her own coaching and training business. She supports government relations experts, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and executives who are working to enhance their professional and personal lives. FRANCISCO SANCHEZ , MPP ’88, is a
Business Management Analyst with the Fusion/Milan/MKZ product development team at Ford Motor Company. The Fusion, one of Ford’s midsize hybrid sedans, recently won the coveted 2010 Motor Trend Car of the Year award. GARY BROWN , MPA ’95, returned
to U-M this past fall to train as a psychotherapist at the School of Social Work. He hopes to work overseas with expatriates through organizations like USAID, the State Department, and the United Nations. COREY LEON , MPP ’95, Director of Development Incentives at AKT Peerless Environmental Services, was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business in “40 under 40.”
member, Vivian Eleanor Evans Long, on July 27, 2009. Mark was recently promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and is serving as Managing Editor and Co-Editor for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Laura has just returned to her position as Assistant Professor at the Evans School after a Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Fellowship at Harvard. MELLIE TORRES , MPP ’97, is a doctoral
candidate in the Department of Teaching and Learning at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Her essay, “From the Bricks to the Hall,” was recently published in a special issue of the Harvard Educational Review. HARDY VIEUX , MPP ’97, JD ’97,
of Counsel at Blank Rome LLP in Washington, DC, recently returned from a 10-day relief mission to Haiti. Fluent in Haitian Kreyol, Hardy was raised in Haiti and lost five family members in the earthquake. In triage, Hardy helped with patient screening and used his language skills to translate for medical service providers. Hardy serves on Duke University’s Board of Trustees and the American Bar Association Task Force on Treatment of Enemy Combatants. OLGA SAVIC STELLA , MPP ’99, married Dante Stella, JD ’99, in August 2008. They just welcomed their first child, Daniel Stella, born February 22, 2010. The family is enjoying life in downtown Detroit, where Dante practices law and Olga works at a nonprofit economic development agency.
S TAT E & H I L L
SHARON PRICE , MPP ’00, MSW ’00,
SARAH JEPSON , MPP ‘04 and JEREMY
was invited to join the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness in January 2010. As Deputy Director, Price will work with 19 federal agencies, Congress, and national advocates to help coordinate the federal response to homelessness. Under Secretary of Commerce and Former Ford School Dean Rebecca Blank represents her department on the Council.
JEPSON , MPP ‘04, had their first child, Jillian Katherine Jepson, on September 23, 2009. Jeremy and Sarah currently reside in Pasadena, California, where Jeremy is Manager of External Affairs for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Sarah works for the Los Angeles Department of Environmental Affairs.
JEFF FALCUSAN , MPP ’01, was
recently named the Director of Policy and Program Development for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials in Washington, DC where he has worked since 2004. Jeff previously served as Policy Advisor for Housing and Community Development. OWEN KEARNEY , MPP ’01, and KELLY DUNHAM , MPP ’01, welcomed their
son Lars Thomas Kearney on August 26, 2009. Owen is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Michigan and Kelly is a research associate in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the University of Michigan. BRODIE KILLIAN , MPP ’03, recently left Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. to join the Global Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. In February 2010, he was re-appointed Vice Chairman of the City of Dearborn Pension Board of Trustees. Brodie and his wife Ellen have a one year old daughter, Maureen, and currently reside in Dearborn, Michigan.
DC TRIP Muscle memory kicked in as Carl Simon led a round of Calculus Calisthenics before he and Barry Rabe spoke at the annual DC Trip Student-Alumni Networking event.
DIMITRI SHANIN , MPP ’06, MS ’06 is a
Principal at AEA Technologies, a leading commercial advisory practice for energy, climate and environmental solutions. The UK-based AEA is one of the largest sustainability consulting companies, with public and private sector clients in over 30 countries. CHRISTINA TALLEY STICK , MPP ’07, and her husband Dan are expecting their first child, a little boy, in June. Christina works as a Policy Analyst with the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department. BRIANA KLEIDON , MPP ’08, accepted a job as Research Specialist with Learning Point Associates in Chicago, IL, after spending the past two years as a legislative analyst for the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau. BRENDAN MORIARTY , MPP ’09, MUP ’09, moved to San Francisco to begin work as a Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land after nearly a year of land conservation work in Southwest Montana. He is managing real estate transactions that result in the permanent protection of open space along and near the state’s central coast and would love to be in touch with fellow alumni in the area.
In MemoriAm GEORGE G. CLUCAS, MPA ’49, passed away July 11, 2009. George served as Dean of Finance and Development at California Polytechnic (Cal Poly), later serving as Chief of Budget Planning and Administration for the newly formed Chancellor’s Office of the California State University System. After four years in that role, he earned his PhD in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, then returned to Cal Poly as Director of Research and Development. George was the first Acting Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences and served as a faculty member of the Political Science Department. George is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jan, and his three children. DAVID LAIDLAW, MPA ’48, passed away February 13, 2009. As Director of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA) from 1969 until his retirement in 1985, David oversaw the doubling of HCMA park acreage and the addition of four new parks. David earned his bachelor’s in parks and municipal forestry at Michigan State University in 1941. He served in the US Air Force during World War II, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, then earned his MPA from U-M in 1948. David worked with the HCMA for his entire professional career, interning at the organization for six months as part of his MPA studies in 1947.
S TAT E & H I L L
The Last Wo rd
Moving On Kristin Seefeldt (MPP ’96, PhD ’10) Shares Memories, Plans
ristin Seefeldt arrived in Ann Arbor in 1994 to enroll in the MPP program. Since then, she has conducted influential policy research, taught and mentored MPP students, served as assistant director of the National Poverty Center (NPC), and been part of the Alumni Board. Now, sixteen years later, she leaves the Ford School as a newly-minted PhD for an assistant professor position at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. S&H: Why did you select IPPS and why did you choose Sociology for your joint PhD? KS: I chose IPPS to get the best education in quantitative analysis. Those quant skills continue to inform my research even as I’ve been drawn to qualitative approaches. As for why Sociology? We design social welfare programs as if they play a major role in the lives of poor people; they don’t. Sociology as a discipline does a good job of helping understand what other factors are at play in the lives of poor people, and I think that leads to better policy. S&H: You’re interviewing former welfare recipients in and near Detroit, where much of your own work has centered. Why Detroit? KS: Like many, I care about what’s gone wrong in Detroit, the big stuff like corruption, white flight, racial discrimination, deindustrialization. But I love a lot about the people who live there. They’re survivors. In the face of all those challenges, they’re getting by. It’s great to see our students and graduates get involved professionally in the city. I’ll be back next summer to continue my work there. S&H: A new MacArthur Foundation grant will extend a current NPC study of the economic downturn’s impact on southeast Michigan. Early findings? KS: A lot is predictably grim: low earnings, high unemployment, and fairly significant health and substance abuse issues
tangled in with the economic struggles. We think the results of this survey will provide valuable insight into the long-term effects of a sustained and terrible economic downturn. Also, the study could demonstrate the success or failure of some high profile policy initiatives—health care reform and the stimulus funding, for example. S&H: Any new projects in the works? KS: With some researchers at Harvard, I’m starting a qualitative survey of people who have gone through foreclosure or who are at risk for it. There are new policies out there to try and keep people in their homes, but so far, they haven’t been widely used. Sometimes, banks aren’t willing to modify loans, but in other cases, homeowners don’t respond to attempts to get their loans adjusted. This study will gather information about what options people see as available to them and why they do or do not seek help. S&H: Favorite memory? KS: There are so many! But I love the memory from the day in 1995 when we were approved to transition from an institute (IPPS) to a school. Ned (Gramlich) was so excited. He started a flurry of email traffic asking the community for naming ideas. He wanted the “Michigan” link, so he pushed for “MIPPS,” which sounded too much like a Seinfeld reference for many! But the storm of replies and ideas created so much excitement, culminating in Ned serving champagne to everyone in the hallway that evening. S&H: You’ve worn a lot of hats here … KS: It’s a testament to this place that I’ve been able to grow and get involved in so many ways. The smart, engaged students, the supportive culture, and the amazing mentors I’ve found—Sheldon Danziger of course, but also Becky Blank, Mary Corcoran, many other faculty members, and generations of MPP students. This school is special. ■
Congratulations to our newest batch of PhDs on their success on the job market: Menna Demessie (Policy and Political Science), Congressional Fellow, American Political Science Association Lloyd Grieger (Policy and Sociology), Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs Kristin Seefeldt (Policy and Sociology), Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Bloomington Zoe McLaren (Policy and Economics), Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
S TAT E & H I L L
U - M C e l ebr a tes 5 0 Y e a rs o f P e a ce C o rps
At 2:00 a.m.
on October 14, 2010, U-M will broadcast the historic JFK
speech that launched the Peace Corps on the Michigan Union steps. The speech will be followed by remembrances from those who were among the 5,000-plus U-M students who stayed up to hear it live, fifty years ago. This is just one event in a lineup of a dozen U-M activities designed to celebrate the Peace Corps semicentennial October 13-16, 2010.
U-M Legacy: U-M students were instrumental in forming the Peace Corps and remain committed to international service to this day. Immediately after Kennedy’s speech, hundreds of U-M students signed a petition pledging to serve as volunteers in developing nations abroad. Their passionate response inspired Kennedy to form the Peace Corps after he was elected the following year. Some 2,331 U-M alumni have served with the Peace Corps since it was founded in 1961. Right now, 73 are serving in nations around the world.
The Future of International Service: Among the Peace Corps 50 commemorative events, Ford School Dean Susan M. Collins will co-chair the “National Symposium on the Future of International Service.” The day-long symposium, which is sponsored by U-M, the Brookings Institution, and the National Peace Corps Association, will explore research relating to international volunteerism, share best practices among international volunteer programs, and discuss new programmatic and policy initiatives.
@ the Ford School: Today, through the Fellows/USA program, returning Peace Corps volunteers can also become Ford School alumni. Qualified Peace Corps volunteers who enroll in the school’s MPP program receive a generous tuition stipend. This program, which is only offered at forty schools in the U.S., is a win-win. The Ford School gets top-notch students with a demonstrated interest in international affairs. Returning fellows get the training and credentials they need to embark on careers in policy.
Join Us: If you are among the many Ford School alumni who have volunteered with the Peace Corps, we encourage you to submit your remembrances to http://peacecorps.umich.edu/ share.html and consider returning to campus for the 50th anniversary celebration. Peace Corps volunteers are welcome to attend all events, but will receive special invitations to recognition events for volunteers. Learn more at www. peacecorps.umich.edu/. Photo: (L-R) Rich Robinson (MPP ‘82) Philippines 1977–1980, George Siasoco (MPP ‘05) Namibia 1992-1994, Maggie Koziol (MPP ‘07) Ukraine 2003-2005, Jeremy (MPP ‘04) and Sarah Jepson (MPP ‘04) St. Vincent and the Grenadines 1999-2001
Joan and Sanford Weill Hall 735 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
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Published on Apr 22, 2010
State & Hill, spring 2010 edition: "Sustainability." State & Hill is the official magazine of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Mo...