From Our Corner to the Four Corners of the Globe
The Magazine of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
S P R I N G 2012
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
FEAT URE from the dean
pon receiving the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2001, Gerald Ford observed, “I have always believed that most people are mostly good, most of the time. I have never mistaken moderation for weakness, nor civility for surrender. As far as I’m concerned, there are no enemies in politics—just temporary opponents who might vote with you on the next Roll Call.” These words have particular resonance as we make our way through another election season in the United States. They have certainly prompted me to think more deeply about Gerald Ford’s legacy, which the Ford School will celebrate upon his centenary in 2013. He was president during extremely difficult times but throughout the challenges of that era he remained a humanitarian, dedicated to public service. This edition of State & Hill looks toward the American political landscape and finds that our faculty, students, and alumni are honoring this president’s legacy in rich, impactful ways. In March, Barry Rabe delivered a powerful and thoughtful speech at U-M’s 89th Honors Convocation. In the speech, he reminded 3,300 undergraduates of Ford’s commitment to maintaining open and civil relations with countries around the world and to listening to others with an open mind (p. 24). Master’s student Yohei Chiba exemplifies this spirit. Last year, he spent his internship expediting much-needed aid to earthquake survivors near his home town in Tohoku, Japan. In times that can sometimes seem cynical, such dedication is humbling (p. 18). Alums, you continue to make us proud with your profound commitments to civic involvement. For Anne Kaiser, Jim Townsend, and Jon Gauthier, this literally means representing their districts by running for public office (p. 9). For Brian Wanglin, it means putting in long days—and some nights!—working behind the scenes for political campaigns (p. 10).
State & Hill Dean: Susan M. Collins Associate Dean: Alan V. Deardorff Director of Communications/Editor: Laura K. Lee (MPP ’96) Publications Manager: Katie Talik Lead writers: Erin Spanier, Lillien Waller, and Ryan Pretzer (MPP ’12)
Still, electoral politics can sometimes seem to confound a process designed to serve and empower citizens, and this issue of the magazine delves into the histories and consequences of political funding (p. 4) and redistricting (p. 7). All in all, we’ve had an exciting, productive year and we look forward to continuing this work in the coming seasons. Ford’s centenary is fast approaching. How are you making an impact? How does the work you’re doing exemplify President Ford’s legacy? We’d love to hear from you. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your stories.
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Let us know what you think: email@example.com, or Editor, State & Hill, Ford School, University of Michigan, 735 S. State Street,
Susan M. Collins
Ann Arbor MI 48109-3091
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. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or 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/ADA 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.
The Magazine of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Battle of the Super PACs 4 Campaign financing impacts American electoral politics
Gerrymandering, Then and Now 7 The contours—and contortions—of redistricting
Sharing Ford School Lessons Across the Aisle 9 Alums run for office
Internships Shape Career in Campaigns 10 Former BA puts experience to work in politics
A Different Perspective 12 BA students intern with Michigan in Washington Program
Down to Earth 14 Marina Whitman talks life and work in The Martian’s Daughter
In addition IEDP 2012 in Bogotá, Colombia 17 Starting Over a Year after Tohoku Earthquake 18 Rowan Miranda Leads Detroit Policy Workshop 20 Unhealthy Split: Women Risk Losing Insurance Following Divorce 22 Barry Rabe on Gerald Ford: The Global President 24
Departments Faculty News & Awards 26 Class Notes 28 The Last Word 30
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
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Battle of the Super PACs How we got here and what it means for American electoral politics
uch of America is mesmerized by the recent and remarkable torrent of money flowing into the 2012 elections by organizations with buoyant names like Restore Our Future and Make Us Great Again. These contributions have dramatically overshadowed expenditures by the candidates and political parties that have traditionally run campaigns. It wasn’t always so, explains Ford School Professor Richard L. Hall , who has written extensively on the influence of money in politics and policy. Prior to the rise of Super PACs, Political Action Committees (PACs) “could contribute such small sums of money to candidates that it was hard to imagine these contributions had much of an impact at all,” says Hall. “The better hypothesis was not that PAC contributions were buying something from members, but that they were signaling something to them.” Indeed, Hall’s own research with former Ford School colleague Rob Van Houweling and political science alumnus Matt Beckmann (PhD ’04) upheld this notion. Just what would those contributions have signaled? That the PAC and political candidate shared similar objectives and that there might be an opportunity to work together on relevant legislation should he or she win. Super PACs, however, have changed the game entirely. The rise of independent spending
(MPP ’82), director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, demonstrated the extent of the phenomenon during his recent guest lecture in John J.H. “Joe” Schwarz ’s graduate-level course on the legislative branch. Standing behind the podium in the first-floor lecture room of Weill Hall, Robinson opened with a slide on independent spending in federal campaign communications. It looked something like the following chart: Rich Robinson
Wondering what happened in 2004? Twenty-five people gave multimillion gifts (from $2–$23 million) to 527 committees, tax-exempt groups that can accept unlimited “soft money” contributions. This helped fuel the explosive growth of brand new entities like America Coming Together, on the left, and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, on the right. After Swift Boat Veterans and the 527 boom, the next great change in the political financing landscape followed the 2007 Supreme Court decision Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, which ended the prohibition against corporate “electioneering communications” (advertisements featuring the name or image of a candidate in the weeks immediately before an election). Although corporations still couldn’t tell viewers how to vote, they were now free to support ads about the policy stance of candidates for public office. The birth of the Super PAC
The progress made by John McCain and Russ Feingold’s Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002 was quickly disintegrating. Independent ads sponsored by nonprofits and 527 committees attacked candidates for public office, but because they didn’t use the words “vote for” or “vote against,” the courts considered them legal. Today, independent “social welfare” nonprofits such as Americans for Prosperity and American Future Fund raise unlimited soft money for getout-the-vote campaigns and issue ads, but face
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“Now, to the extent that you have individuals or organizations that are funding three-quarters of some candidate’s campaign, which they could easily be doing in some of these Congressional elections, that’s got to meet the standard of ‘appearance of corruption.’” tighter limits—and risk losing their tax-exempt status—when they engage in “express advocacy” (ads that explicitly advocate for the election or defeat of a particular candidate). Many smart people have been left wondering, though, if the difference between “express advocacy” and “electioneering communications” isn’t at all discernible to the television-viewing voter, why should the distinction matter to the courts?
Illustration: Josh Peter
Fast forward to January 2010, when Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission blew another hole in the crumbling fortress of campaign finance regulation. When the Supreme Court sided with Citizens United, ruling that the Federal Elections Commission couldn’t prohibit corporations and unions from exercising their free speech rights
in the form of independent expenditures, the drawbridge was lowered. Then SpeechNow. org v. the Federal Elections Commission, just a few months later, allowed corporations and individuals to pool funds to amplify their messages. Super PACs were born. What it all means
“The consequences for our campaign finance system are huge,” says Hall, who is certainly not alone in thinking that these matters may Richard L. Hall need to be revisited by the courts. Beyond the fact that Super PACs have allowed a few wealthy donors to keep their favorite presidential candidates in the game long past the point when the Republican presidential candidate would normally have been selected, says Hall, they’ve
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
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spanned an important gap that once existed between wealthy donors and the political candidates they favored. A decade ago, large contributions from corporations and unions would need to go through the party, “so there was a separation between the money going to the party and whatever pressure or obligation the individual member [of Congress] might feel as a result of the gift,” says Hall. “Now, to the extent that you have individuals or organizations that are funding three-quarters of some candidate’s campaign, which they could easily be doing in some of these Congressional elections, that’s got to meet the standard of ‘appearance of corruption.’” Stephen Hoersting, vice president of the Center for Competitive Politics, holds a different viewpoint. “Before Citizens United and SpeechNow.org,” writes Hoersting in The Jurist, “mainly wealthy interests—large companies with PACs, national unions, and billionaires like George Soros and Mike Bloomberg—could speak
While the Federal Elections Commission can’t prohibit or limit contributions, it can require Super PACs to disclose the names of their donors. However, donors who contribute to a 501(c) tax-exempt group, which in turn contributes to a Super PAC, can still remain anonymous. The DISCLOSE Act, recently introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), would require timely disclosure of contributions. However, with no Republican support, it seems unlikely to pass. Stephen Colbert, host of the political comedy show The Colbert Report, continues to draw attention to campaign finance with his Super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow (ABTT), which has raised about $1.1 million to date and garnered tremendous public and media attention. While the vast majority of donors to ABTT have made small gifts, Colbert’s attorney, Trevor Potter, recently helped him launch a 501(c) corporation, Anonymous Shell Corporation, which would allow major donors to make unlimited contributions while maintaining their anonymity. Comedy aside, as of April 5, 2012, OpenSecrets.org indicates that the 408 registered Super PACs have reported raising $153 million—the vast majority of which is fueling invective and lining the pockets of media outlets and ad executives through a slew of negative campaign ads. According to The Washington Post, 72 percent of the ads funded by Super PACs are negative. As the presidential election approaches, and more Super PACs submit their quarterly reports, analysts expect those negative ads and the contributions fueling them to explode. . . .
“It says everything about extreme political philosophies who have access to money being able to step in, and control, and ultimately determine the outcome of an election.” out about candidates and politics. SpeechNow. org means that now donors of all sizes can pool their resources to more effectively communicate a message about politics and candidates.” It’s true that donors of all sizes are contributing to Super PACs, but there’s no denying that the lion’s share of Super PAC money comes from a handful of extraordinarily wealthy individuals. John J.H. “Joe” Schwarz
Why should that matter? “People who put money in politics don’t do so for selfless reasons,” says Rich Robinson. “You have to make the assumption that they’re rational economic actors, and they’re seeking a return on their investment, on, and after, Election Day.” Often, those investments pay off—at least on Election Day. Campaign expenditures have an uncanny tendency to predict the outcomes of elections. Former U.S. Congressman Joe Schwarz (R-MI) agrees. “He who has the wealthiest political sugar daddies wins,” says Schwarz, though he doesn’t believe it should be that way. “It says utterly nothing about the positions a candidate might take on issues or the candidate’s experience in formulating public policy, which, I might add, is extremely important. It says everything about extreme political philosophies who have access to money being able to step in, and control, and ultimately determine the outcome of an election.”
Interestingly, Super PACs organized by those with liberal affiliations have either been late to the game, less successful, or less active, so far. The 189 Super PACs with conservative affiliations have raised $121 million, while the 86 liberal-affiliated Super PACs have raised $26 million. Because these numbers are still shifting, it’s hard to predict how they’ll evolve in the coming months. Still, many expect independent expenditures from 501(c)s, 527s, PACs, and Super PACs to top $1 billion in the 2012 campaign. “I’m old school enough to believe that’s not the way it should be,” says Joe Schwarz. “I know that it takes money to run a campaign. It’s foolish to think otherwise and I’m neither naïve, nor am I a purist. But money with no discernible element source is rolling into political campaigns seemingly endlessly. . . . That’s many things, but democracy it is not.” ■
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Gerrymandering, then and now The contours—and contortions— of remapping political districts
t was the summer of 1971 when the first mandated round of redistricting was taking place across the nation. A series of Supreme Court decisions in the ’60s had directed states to create new legislative districts every ten years to reflect population shifts revealed in decennial census counts. The goal was honorable enough: one person, one vote; but so little instruction was offered on how to accomplish the task that it practically invited abuse.
A group of faculty and graduate students led by Ford School instructor and U-M research professor Steve Pollock spent the summer experimenting. The challenge they addressed: could linear programming help craft districts with population equity and contiguity, as well as objective qualities like compactness or competitiveness? Ford School Professor John r. Chamberlin , a member of that operations research group, explains how they tested a number of mathematical models by writing computer codes and running them on the University of Michigan’s then-state-of-the-art mainframe, a six-foot tall IBM 360/67M. When they used up their own monthly computer allocations, they begged and borrowed leftover time from other faculty. By mid-summer, though, the group discovered that redistricting was more than an optimization problem: it was a power play. At a political fundraiser that summer, Chamberlin heard that the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party wanted a new district map for the state’s four-member Coahoma County Commission. A Houston consulting firm had drawn new districts in response to the Supreme Court mandate, but each had a white majority. The result would be simple enough to predict. No African American commissioners, in spite of the fact that blacks made up 40 percent of the county population. Chamberlin and his colleague, Bruce Bowen, were asked to design an alternative plan. Theirs put black majorities in two of the four districts. The case went to court, and, “the south being what it was in
those days, we lost,” says Chamberlin. “That was my first taste of the political power inherent in drawing districts.” Redistricting for political advantage isn’t really a new phenomenon, and wasn’t in the ’70s. Two hundred years ago, Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry drew some very creative state senatorial districts that would give his party a decided advantage in the 1812 elections. As a result of his new district maps, roughly equal numbers of votes for each party resulted in 29 Democratic-Republican seats compared to a paltry eleven seats for the Federalists. Gerry’s own district was so misshapen that it reminded the editor of the Boston Gazette of a dragon. An artist visiting his office suggested it was more like a salamander. The editor rebounded by naming it a Gerrymander. And the district, and term, earned national fame when its contours were embellished with the head, folded wings, and sharp talons of a fire-breathing dragon. Still, the 1970s saw lawsuits about redistricting exploding across the nation. These suits challenged newly contoured districts using the Fourteenth Amendment and the Voting Rights Act. Although the Voting Rights Act proved a potent weapon against racial gerrymandering, says Chamberlin, the Court showed no appetite for tackling gerrymandering for partisan advantage. “A decade later they would rule that partisan gerrymandering could be challenged in the courts, but they backed away from rejecting redistricting plans that most observers believed blatantly partisan—with district shapes that outdid the work of Elbridge Gerry.”
Two hundred years ago, Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry drew some very creative state senatorial districts to boost the prospects of his Democratic-Republican party in the 1812 elections. The Boston Gazette published Gerry’s district map—with a little embellishment— which they dubbed “the Gerrymander.”
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Fo c us: P ol i ti c s be designed to reduce the voting strength of minorities), many, Chamberlin avers, are likely political maneuvers. Packing political opponents into a limited number of districts allows the party in charge to maintain a small but comfortable majority in many more—maintaining and increasing their power in the legislature. Drawing lines that move an incumbent out of his home district, or that force two party colleagues to run against each other has a similar effect, says Chamberlin. “These redistricting techniques can tilt the playing field for a decade.”
John R. Chamberlin
John J.H. “Joe” Schwarz ,
With the 2010 census just behind us, district lines have been drawn again—all across the country. The most contorted districts are generally designed to maintain power for the leading party in one way or another. To do this, they make other sacrifices. “Many of the new Michigan Congressional districts do incredible violence to city, county, and township boundaries,” says Ford School alumnus Larry Horwitz , who drew the 1971 districts—neatly, compactly, and without dividing municipalities—for Detroit’s state house. “People live by these minor civil divisions, so an important value in redistricting is for people to know which district they’re in and who their candidates and eventual representatives are. District 14,” Horwitz explains, “splits West Bloomfield Township [population 64,690] into two different districts to establish a very narrow land link between Pontiac and the rest of the 13th Congressional district that runs all the way to southwest Detroit.” While some of these contorted districts may be attempts to ensure that minorities don’t lose legislative representation (a later U.S. Supreme Court case—the Court’s non-retrogression standard—insisted that new districts couldn’t
a visiting lecturer at the Ford School and former U.S. Congressman (R-MI), understands how district lines can impact incumbents. Schwarz’s district was redrawn to pit him against a candidate more to the taste of the far right wing, which then financed that candidate’s campaign to the tune of millions. Other moderate colleagues, he says, have been reapportioned out of their districts, too. “These are some very, very good representatives,” says Schwarz, “not bad or ineffective members.”
The gerrymander casualties Schwarz refers to are Democrats and Republicans—good guys on both sides of the aisle. Asked to talk a little about bipartisanship in Congress, Schwarz says, “Sure. Not much of it exists.” One of the effects of creating districts that aren’t competitive is that there’s little incentive for incumbents or challengers to pursue centrist agendas. Schwarz has seen it firsthand. In Congress, he dined with a Democratic colleague, comparing committee notes and catching up. A few days later in the Caucus Room, a fellow Republican confronted him about it. “Don’t you know she’s a Democrat?” Of course I did, says Schwarz. “The atmosphere in 2006 was virulently partisan.” The foreseeable forecast? More of the same. “The 2011 redistricting has turned gerrymandering into an art form,” says Schwarz. ■
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Sharing Ford School lessons across the aisle Alums run for office
hen Anne Kaiser (MPP/MA ’95) presents a bill on the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates, skeptical colleagues rarely catch her off-guard. She prides herself on knowing every question before she gets it—a practice she developed in Richard L. Hall ’s politics of policymaking class. “That is really something I learned directly at the Ford School,” she said. “You should know your issues so far inside and out that no one should be able to fluster you with a question.” Kaiser, a Democrat who was elected to represent Montgomery County in 2003, has found her analytical skills to be particularly helpful as an elected official. “I’ve always believed numbers should drive policy,” said Kaiser, who was a policy analyst for the IRS before running for office. “I am aware that politics and values play into it, obviously. But as a strong proponent of numbers, I try to make sure what we do has solid analysis behind it.” She’s not alone. Jim Townsend (MPP/MBA ’97), a Democrat elected for the first time to the Michigan Legislature in 2010, said he feels less hesitant than many of his colleagues about dissecting proposals. “When it comes to really peeling back what a tax policy might do for the economy, I feel very well equipped to go after those questions and challenge the analysts and advocacy groups to really explain the basis of their argument,” said Townsend, who represents the Royal Oakcentered 26th House District. (MPP ’86) hopes to join Kaiser and Townsend as officeholders from the other side of the aisle. Currently a wealth advisor for Ameriprise Financial, Gauthier is running in a crowded Republican field to succeed retiring U.S. Congresswoman Sue Myrick, who represents North Carolina’s Charlotte-area 9th District. Townsend Photo: Jim Townsend
Kaiser Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
“Part of what we’ve lost in Washington is a decorum and a civility,” Gauthier said, “and that comes with training and analysis, which the Ford School of Public Policy is in a unique position to provide.”
Gauthier is now discovering what Kaiser and Townsend already know: nothing quite prepares you for being the candidate. “Asking people to contribute to your campaign, asking for money, these are things you don’t learn to do in public policy school,” said Townsend, who was an executive with Ford Motor Company before starting his own jobgrowth consulting firm. Townsend and Gauthier both credit the late Ned Gramlich for strengthening their skills as fiscal analysts, demonstrating that appreciation for a good professor crosses party lines. Gauthier, who first utilized his MPP as a budget examiner in the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, is running to advocate for greater fiscal restraint and for paying down the national debt. “It is tremendously refreshing to be the person who is stating his own opinion of current affairs and what needs to be done,” he said. “Ultimately, what the Ford School of Public Policy creates are leaders, whether they are policy analysts making recommendations or they are elected officials.” ■
Left: Maryland State Rep. Anne Kaiser (MPP/MA ’95) (D-14) and two colleagues, all openly gay members of the Maryland General Assembly, at the signing of the Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act in March 2012. Top: Michigan State Rep. Jim Townsend (MPP/MBA ’97) (D-26) Bottom: Jon Gauthier (MPP ’86), a Republican candidate running for U.S. Congress from North Carolina’s 9th District
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
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Internships shape recent BA student’s career in campaigns
p by 6 a.m. scanning newspapers and listening to TV news anchors, Brian Wanglin ’s mornings haven’t changed much from his days as an intern. And he couldn’t be happier.
“I knew that after college I wanted to work on campaigns,” said Wanglin (BA ’11), now working for a Washington, DC consulting firm that specializes in campaigns. His responsibilities include media monitoring and rapid response, i.e., addressing critical media stories and opponents’ attacks. Perhaps the only downside to the 2012 campaign season for Wanglin is that it will end on Election Day. “For me campaigns are very thrilling,” said Wanglin, who served as a key media and advertising researcher for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. “There’s always something happening. Things can change really quickly.” Having interned for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee, and a Member of Parliament in the
“For me, campaigns are very thrilling. There's always something happening. Things can change really quickly.” United Kingdom before graduating last year, you would think Wanglin had been eyeing a career in politics all along. Think again. “I spent two weeks doing computer engineering at Michigan and it was just long hours by yourself,” recalled Wanglin, who had intended to make that his major. “It just wasn’t for me.” Wanglin discovered his interest in politics after his freshman year when a friend suggested he join him on the McCain campaign. The fact that Michigan’s winter semester ended in April—well
before other schools—gave him a leg up in joining the campaign. “The McCain campaign had very little free help so they were basically looking for anyone who could come right away,” he said. “They were like, ‘If you come as soon as you finish, we’ll take you.’ And so I said ‘absolutely’ and never looked back.” “War room intern” sounds fairly intriguing for a summer internship, but it was far from glamorous. Wanglin described the experience as “arduous,” memorable for the occasional 17-hour day that would begin at 5 a.m. “Basically the whole premise behind the war room is that you want to respond immediately to any criticism,” he said. “You want someone always watching the news and seeing what’s going to happen, and alerting senior staff to form a response.” Wanglin returned to Ann Arbor hooked on politics and still searching for a new major. His roommate, Will Rich (MPP ’09), recommended he look at the Ford School. “I think the biggest appeal was how the Ford School education applies to real-world problems,” Wanglin said. “How you’re actually dealing with real-life situations, unlike political science, which is more theory-based.” Former U.S. House Representative John and Rusty Hills , former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, were among Wanglin’s favorite lecturers at the Ford School. J.H. “Joe” Schwarz
“Joe’s definitely one of my favorite teachers of all-time,” he said. “I would go to his office hours and we’d just talk a lot. I was really hoping Joe was going to run for governor (of Michigan in 2008). That campaign I would have loved to work on.” Wanglin spent the following summer as a strategy intern for the Republican National Committee, analyzing voter preferences
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Brian Wanglin (BA ’11) pictured with his parents at the Ford School’s 95th Anniversary Tailgate
and how to allocate campaign resources for gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia. “It was very different from the communications side but I wanted to try to get a different perspective,” he said. Wanglin’s political outlook was broadened further in the summer of 2010, when he went to the United Kingdom as part of an overseas learning program. He spent most of each week handling constituent services for a Member of Parliament—“helping people get visas or just listening to angry people,” he said—while taking classes on Fridays. “That was probably one of the coolest experiences I’ve had politically,” he said. “There were only three or four people on staff, so it’s much different than Congress where you have these huge staff offices.” Even before leaving for London, Wanglin’s budding career received recognition from the U-M, which named him a Presidential Fellow to the prestigious Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC). CSPC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank dedicated to improving American federal governance. Only 75 undergraduate and graduate students nationwide are invited to take part in the Presidential Fellows Program, a unique type of leadership seminar. Wanglin attended a pair of three-day conferences in Washington, DC, where some of the nation’s most prominent public policy and governance figures shared their experiences and philosophies, including Adm. Michael Mullen, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “You get to hear from a bunch of people who have been really involved in the process,” Wanglin said. “You get to know their thoughts on how to fix Washington and how to fix the problems of today.”
Sharing outstanding research and scholarship is another key component of the program. Wanglin’s contribution was a research paper that applied President William McKinley’s campaign strategy to the digital era. “It was the longest thing I’d ever written in college,” Wanglin said of the 30-page thesis. Understanding how valuable Brian’s internships were to his selection as a Presidential Fellow, his parents, Ron and Marianne Wanglin, are endowing a Ford School undergraduate internship beginning next year. “The Ford School really gave Brian a perfect combination of classroom education and real-world experience. His selection to attend the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress was the culmination of this educational/experiential dynamic,” Ron said. “We wanted to provide financial support to the Ford School undergraduate internship program that would give students their own unique opportunity.” Wanglin credited his internships and time at the Ford School for cultivating his passion for politics. “They played an important role in my life and enabled me to experience opportunities that I never could have imagined.” ■
Below, L–R: Parliament staffer Nick Varley, Michael Freer, a member of the British Parliament, and Brian Wanglin
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
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A different perspective In the Michigan in Washington Program, Ford School BAs learn firsthand about working in the capitol
(BA ’12) wants to help you find a job. Not you, specifically, unless you’ve just graduated and have an interest in federal service. An intern in the U-M’s Michigan in Washington Program (MIW) in fall 2011, D’Hondt’s research paper examined the role economic forces may play in whether recent college graduates decide to enter the workforce or pursue graduate education. atharine D’Hondt
“I was with the Partnership for Public Service (PPS), which is an NGO dealing with federal government hiring reform,” D’Hondt explains. “I just love that I was able to help people my age understand what the federal government is doing and understand that there’s a role for them there.” D’Hondt wrote the organization’s newsletter, which goes out to more than 6,000 federal human resources professionals and campus job representatives on PPS’s “Call to Serve” network. The Ford School encourages undergraduates to pursue off-campus programs related to their interests, including Michigan in Washington. In 2011, three BAs participated in MIW: D’Hondt, along with Matthew Woelfel and Andrew Beilein . All three were also nominated for participation in the Ford School’s annual Gramlich Showcase of Student Work on the strength of research papers they wrote as part of MIW.
“The MIW candidates have gotten stronger and stronger,” says Ford School public policy professor and director of Michigan in Washington, Edie Goldenberg . MIW now sends 45–50 students to DC every year, including two Ford School BAs this past semester, to do internships for federal agencies, NGOs, and a spectrum of arts and cultural institutions. MIW helps identify the internships, but students secure their own opportunities. “I wanted the students to develop job-seeking skills,” Goldenberg explains. “I wanted them to have a personal investment in the place they went.” That’s certainly true of Matthew Woelfel (BA ’12), who completed the MIW program during the winter 2011 term. His interests focus on environmental policy and the move toward clean energy. Woelfel’s research explored solutions to the U.S. military’s dependence on petroleum. “Weaning ourselves off oil is something I’ve always been interested in,” says Woelfel. “It has a lot of implications as far as the healthcare industry, industrial manufacturing industries, national security interests, and the economy.” While in DC, Woelfel worked for the Center for American Progress (CAP) on the organization’s energy and environment team, where he wrote a daily news round-up of anything energy- and environment-related, such as new policies introduced in the U.S. House or the recent spikes in oil prices.
Above: Edie Goldenberg Left: L–R: Andrew Beilein (BA ’12), Katharine D’Hondt (BA ’12), and Matthew Woelfel (BA ’12) at the 2012 Gramlich Showcase of Student Work
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U-M’s Michigan In Washington Program sends 45–50 students to DC every year to do internships for federal agencies, NGOs, and a spectrum of arts and cultural institutions.
Woelfel recalls, “The second facet of the job was working beneath a senior fellow, and so I was paired with Michigan graduate Dan Weiss (MPP ’80). He would write an article and would need facts to support it or would need links to different reports that were made, and so the interns had to go through and find those things. On top of that, I had the opportunity to write an article about nuclear policy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.” It’s no coincidence that Woelfel was able to find an internship working with Weiss, who is senior fellow and director of climate strategy at CAP. U-M alums continue to champion MIW, mentoring and providing internship opportunities, and that energy is part of what helped the program get off the ground. The match between MIW and Ford School BAs works, in part, because the BA program emphasizes experiential learning and MIW provides it. Goldenberg explains, “They become expert networkers, many have found employment,” including D’Hondt, who will begin working for PPS soon after graduation as a program associate for the education and outreach team. “They get exposed to public service, culture, and big city life in a dynamic national capital.”
Andrew Beilein (BA ’12) was inspired by his internship to research whether democratic governance in sub-Saharan Africa leads to better economic outcomes. Beilein’s interests are foreign policy and national security, so his internship at the National Defense University (NDU), also in winter 2011, was a natural progression. “NDU is a program that trains ranking civilian officials and ranking military officers,” he explains. “NDU offers a crash course in leadership, regional security studies, and policy objectives around the world.” Beilein chuckles as he explains that he worked for two instructors at the university. “I had to serve as liaison between the instructors and students, which was cool because the students are colonels and captains in the military.” About participating in MIW, Beilein observes, “Going from, say, one professor telling you about politics while you have your own ideas in mind is different than, say, interacting with a ton of people every day who have been involved in the process for so many years and all have their own unique stories to tell.” ■
Ford School Spotlight
CLOSUP hosted a Policy Talks @ the Ford School panel on Michigan’s controversial emergency manager law, featuring leaders from all sides of the issue: Roger Fraser, deputy state treasurer; Brandon Jessup, chairman and CEO of Michigan Forward; Joseph Harris, emergency manager for the city of Benton Harbor, MI; and the Honorable Dayne Walling, mayor of the city of Flint, MI. Brian A. Jacob moderated.
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Di sti n g ui she d Fac ulty
Down to earth In The Martian’s Daughter: A Memoir, economist Marina Whitman talks candidly about her life, her work, and stepping outside of her famous father’s shadow
n the fall of 1970, Marina von Neumann Whitman , unnerved by a tight deadline, burst into the office of Paul McCracken, then chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). McCracken had invited the rising young economist to join his staff for a year—in a position that would set the stage for a series of increasingly prominent government appointments. Faced with a routine finance report and a conflicting personal obligation (her brother’s wedding), Whitman sought reassurance from her mentor that she was up to the job—an unfounded insecurity that belied her professional achievement.
She was the daughter of renowned mathematician and “Martian” John von Neumann, one of the five Hungarian Jewish scientists who immigrated to the United States
from Budapest in the early 1930s and made seminal contributions in the fields of math and physics. Four of them, including von Neumann, were key members of the Manhattan Project and would alter the course of World War II. By the time she became a senior staff economist at the CEA, Whitman, on leave from her tenured professorship at the University of Pittsburgh, had already begun to create a professional reputation distinct from her father’s. But she had never worked alongside the country’s foremost economic thinkers on matters of international policy that would go straight to the president’s desk— all while maintaining a marriage and raising two small children. No woman had. In The Martian’s Daughter: A Memoir (forthcoming September 2012 from University of Michigan Press) Whitman recounts what it was like growing up as von Neumann’s daughter in an intellectual and often glamorous milieu, and the process of carving a path for herself—even when that meant defying her dying father’s expectations by marrying young and defying society’s expectations by building a career while raising a family. “How do you define yourself in the face of larger-than-life parents—particularly my father—and very dominant and, to some extent, contradictory expectations, including my own but also my father’s, my mother’s, and society’s?” She had come of age mid-century as a female economist specializing in international trade. “I think it’s important to show people who are younger than I am, which is most of the world, how recent the changes they take for granted have been.” (continued) Far left: “My father and I, age 11, walking down a street in Santa Fe.”
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Excerpt, from Chapter 6 “He’s Going to Drop a Bomb”
got a call from someone in the personnel office of the White House, asking me if I would be willing to be nominated as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers.”
Wow! Here I was being offered a chance to leap from the Price Commission’s increasingly tedious wrangling over arcane details into a role that was focused on the big issues affecting the U.S. and even the global economies. Yet that call from the White House threw me into the most painful emotional turmoil of my adult life. Never before had professional opportunity collided so sharply and painfully with my commitment to my family. For someone as personally ambitious and eager to make a difference in the world of policy as I was, being a presidentially appointed member of the Council charged with advising the President and reporting to the Congress on economic policy was literally my dream job. And its pull was even stronger because decisions on the wage-price control program and negotiations on the reform of the international monetary system, the two areas where I had the greatest interest and expertise, were sure to be front and center during 1972. I returned to earth with a thud as I thought about the practical obstacles to my taking the job. Bob and I had just returned to the University of Pittsburgh from sabbatical leaves—normally granted once every seven years—and Malcolm and Laura had just returned to the schools and the lives we had disrupted by taking them to Washington the year before. Although I would probably be granted another year off, because of the prominence of the position I would fill, Bob was Chairman of the English Department, not a job from which he could take a leave of uncertain duration. After having expressed so
volubly my anxieties about the progress of his career during the early years of our marriage, how could I now ask him to relinquish the chairmanship of a large department for an unpaid leave of absence? And, with children aged twelve and eight, the idea of being a commuting mother away from them most of the time was unthinkable. No amount of agonizing came up with a solution to my dilemma. So after crying into my pillow for several nights, beset by the fear that my father’s dire predictions about the penalties I would pay for early marriage might be coming true, I told Bob one Friday that I would call the White House personnel office on Monday morning to express my regret at being unable to let my name go forward. He was as torn as I was; he shared fully my delight at this tailormade opportunity, and he knew how much I would be sacrificing if I turned it down. I would be giving up not only a year or two of full involvement in issues of national policy I cared deeply about, but also a stepping-stone to who knew what future career opportunities. Years later, Bob told me that he had already decided in his own mind that my career should take precedence over his in family decision-making, and I’m still touched to the core by the depth of unselfishness this courageous decision had entailed. But his efforts to find a workable compromise had so far come up as empty-handed as mine, and our discussion was cut short when he had to go off to chair the monthly Fridayafternoon meeting of the English Department.
“I’m caught anything but smiling as I describe the state of the economy to the press in 1973.”
The resolution of our dilemma came from an unexpected source. Bob came home from the lengthy department meeting spluttering with anger and frustration. There was one particular professor in the English department, an Australian with greasy hair, bad teeth, and a strong body odor, who took pride in matching his behavior to his appearance, being as contrarian and unpleasant as possible in every situation. Apparently his talents had been in full swing that afternoon, turning the meeting into a shambles. After muttering imprecations against the said Jim Simmons for several minutes, Bob said “To hell with the chairmanship! Let’s go to Washington.” Filled with gratitude and relief, I accepted the offer.”
Excerpt from: The Martian’s Daughter: A Memoir by Marina von Neumann Whitman, copyright © by the University of Michigan Press 2012. The book will be available in September 2012 from local booksellers or from University of Michigan Press: www.press.umich.edu.
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
“I became the first woman ever on the council, which caused the journalistic world to go into an eruption of talk about what I looked like and that my eye shadow matched my dress.”
As host of a PBS program, Economically Speaking, in 1978–79.
As a result, the book is neither personal memoir nor intellectual biography, but both, as well as an insightful commentary on an experience Whitman has had multiple times: being first.
On that day in 1970, Whitman’s nervousness quickly subsided as she recalled the expertise that had gotten her the job. During that whirlwind year of accomplishment as a CEA staffer, she joined a working group led by Paul Volcker drafting policy recommendations that eventually would help reshape international monetary and financial systems. She also advocated for liberalized trade agreements and presciently warned of America’s myopia regarding global competition and the country’s weakening economic dominance. This early work would lead her to become a member of the National Price Commission and, in 1972, the first woman appointed as a member of the threeperson Council of Economic Advisers. In his official announcement—which included a press conference, a photo op, and mentions of other high-level women in his administration—Richard Nixon seized the opportunity to make hay both of Whitman’s accomplishments as an economist and the fact that she is a woman. “I became the first woman ever on the council, which caused the journalistic world to go into an eruption of talk about what I looked like and that my eye shadow matched my dress. Some woman from the Pittsburgh Press wanted to know how my daughter’s gerbil survived the trip to Washington.” “But I joined the CEA, and I loved it,” she continues. “I was the spokesperson on price controls which is awkward in a way because a) I didn’t believe in them and b) eventually it was clear that they were going to fail. At the same time, we were trying to put the international exchange rate system back together again after Nixon blew it to smithereens.” Whitman later worked for General Motors in different capacities—first as the company’s vice president and chief economist—and became the highest-ranking female executive in the auto industry. Her role, as she saw it, was “windows in and windows out trying to explain GM to the world and the world to GM.”
Explaining GM to the world was hard enough, but it was easier than convincing the automaker of the harsh realities of a global economy. In the early 1980s, GM was still the largest corporation in the world and most of its sales were domestic. So Whitman’s argument—that focusing on U.S. sales while turning a blind eye to foreign markets would backfire—wasn’t entirely persuasive. “To some extent I persuaded the chairman, to some extent,” Whitman remembers, “that as a multinational company, however attractive limits on imports might be in the short term, from the point of view of a company that wanted to operate in a whole lot of countries, this was not a good idea.” When considering which of her contributions might be the most significant, however, Whitman does not cite trailblazing at General Motors—nor her own research or policymaking at the CEA. She sees her role as having been front and center in a transitional generation. This cohort either coaxed social change from inside the places where policy decisions are made or demanded it from outside—a generation that demarcated before this and after this. “I literally transitioned from the world in which women were secretaries and were not allowed to matriculate at the Harvard Business School to a world in which we have women who are CEOs of corporations. Not a lot, but some. And I’m the in-between.” ■ “In Budapest, age 3, I'm trying to follow in mother's equestrian footsteps.”
IEDP 2012 S T A T E & HILL
Policy, development, and culture in Colombia
The International Economic Development Program highlights economics, trade, the environment, security, and human rights
IEDP students and John Ciorciari (front row, second from left) in front of the president of Colombia’s house in Bogotá.
IEDP cohort—students and professors—at the Universidad Technológica de Bolivar in Cartagena.
L-R: Jessica Presley (MPP ‘12), Stephanie Swierczek (MPP ‘12), Allie Goldstein (SNRE student), Lindsay Minnema (MPP ‘12), and Emad Ansari (MPP/JD ‘15) visit the Archbishopric Cathedral of Bogotá.
A day at the park: IEDP students spent the morning playing soccer with kids from Pintando Caminos, a community center in one of Bogotá’s poorest neighborhoods.
Stephanie Swierczek (MPP ‘12), IEDP finance chair, cuts paper for craft time at Pintando Caminos.
IEDP students talk with Ford School alum Hector Hernandez (MPP ‘95) at a U-M alumni dinner in Bogotá.
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Starting over A year after the Tohoku earthquake, as a community struggles to its feet, ‘recovery’ remains a long-term challenge
Yohei Chiba (MPP ’12) surveys the damage in Rikuzentakata, the coastal town where he was born, during his 2011 internship with Direct Relief International.
Japan has known earthquakes—the Great Kanto quake of 1923, the Great Hanshin quake of 1995, the Fukui quake of 1948, and hundreds of others— but Japan had never known an earthquake like the 9.0 Tohoku quake that struck just off the northeast coast last March. It was the fifth largest earthquake in recorded history, and the largest ever to hit the Land of the Rising Sun. The damage it left behind—mostly triggered by the massive tsunami that followed—was catastrophic.
he tremors shook southeastern Russia and the Northern Mariana Islands. Houses and buildings crumbled in Jayapura, Indonesia; Kailua Kona, Hawaii; and Pisco, Peru. A hemisphere away, vast portions of the Sulzberger Ice Shelf—two times the size of Manhattan—sheared into the sea. At the headquarters of the nonprofit Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) in Tokyo—230 miles from the epicenter— computers toppled and pictures crashed to the floor. But for Ford School master’s of public policy student Yohei Chiba (MPP ’12), the Tohoku earthquake hit home. Warning sirens blared as coastal communities in the Iwate Prefecture where Chiba spent his childhood were struck by a 75-foot tsunami thirty minutes after the initial quake. Powerful seawater surges swept fishing boats over flood walls, tossed cars and busses through the streets, and tumbled buildings and homes, claiming the lives of 20,000 people, and leaving behind mounds of sodden debris— the remnants of a town. Only two buildings in coastal Rikuzentakata, the city where Chiba was born, remained standing. One was the hospital where Chiba’s mother, director of nursing, spent the minutes following the earthquake rushing patients to higher floors to escape the rising waters. (Chiba’s mother and her patients survived: staff who remained on the first floor did not.)
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Far left: A team of workers from the International Volunteer Center of Yamagata (IVY), one of the Japanese non-profits supported by Direct Relief International, clears the roadside in the Miyagi Prefecture. Left: Of the 70,000 fir trees in Rikuzentakata, only a few survived. This 30-meter fir, near the hospital where Yohei Chiba was born, has been dubbed the “tree of hope.” While the tree itself has suffered extensive damage from salt water exposure, it remains a national symbol of survival.
As reports of the disaster spread throughout the world, hundreds of millions of dollars in aid were quickly collected for those affected; however, Japan wasn’t prepared to accept it. The government of Japan, and the nongovernmental organizations that operate there, were accustomed to providing support—not receiving it, explains Chiba, so the national infrastructure and policies weren’t in place to admit international aid organizations. Provincial and city government officials were unprepared, too. The size of the disaster, the number of victims, the severity of the damage—all were unanticipated, and managing multiple offers of assistance without clear federal support was tricky. When early offers of support were declined, nonprofits everywhere recognized the extent of the challenge. For one of those nonprofits, Direct Relief International (DRI), Yohei Chiba provided an answer.
Right Photo: AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun
Left Photo: Direct Relief International
Chiba wanted to go home anyway. As soon as the quake struck, he wanted to go. But his uncle and younger brother in Tokyo had already tried to get there, and cautioned that the roads to Iwate were closed to all but emergency vehicles and government employees. If he wanted to help, Chiba would have to wait. As he waited, he began to plan for his return—looking for a way to spend his required summer internship in Japan. The need was so great that Chiba (a former financial and accounting professional with PricewaterhouseCoopers) would have accepted a position handing out water bottles. Tom Phillips , associate director of the Ford School’s Graduate Career Services, knew Chiba could have a bigger impact by making use of his policy training. Phillips put him in touch with Ford School alumnus Andrew Schroeder (MPP ’07), director of research and analysis for Direct Relief International, and just six weeks after the earthquake—the day after finals ended—Chiba boarded a plane. On arrival, Chiba helped Direct Relief identify Japanese nonprofits working in the devastated areas, contact staff to learn about their programs and challenges, and find critical relief projects in need of additional support. With Chiba’s language skills, cultural understanding, local connections, and program analysis experience, Direct Relief channeled $4 million in donations to eight NGOs engaged in vital Tohoku relief efforts.
The International Volunteer Center of Yamagata (IVY) was one of those organizations. IVY’s Cash-for-Work program offered unemployed survivors jobs clearing mud and debris from homes and businesses that remained standing. Their efforts allowed shops to reopen and elderly residents to return to their homes while giving people meaningful work in the wake of tragedy. The Association for Aid Relief—AAR Japan—organized a mobile clinic to visit victims wherever they were, administer first aid treatment, and take them to the hospital as needed. Early relief efforts like these focused on removing the debris that littered communities all along the coast and providing immediate relief to those who survived, but a year after the disaster, many large policy challenges remain. In a region where businesses have been devastated, unemployment is a huge issue. However, creating new jobs isn’t enough. Those jobs need to foster long-term economic development so Tohoku’s young adults have a good reason to stay put as they graduate. In addition, Tohoku’s people will need support and caring as they deal with post-traumatic stress and depression in the wake of inconceivable loss. The larger nation may also need to address issues brought to light by the tsunami. Many of Japan’s citizens have lost faith in the safety of nuclear power, and are calling upon leaders to find more secure energy alternatives. And nonprofits, which were so instrumental in helping the Tohoku region deal with the disaster, have historically been neglected. Chiba believes the nation could benefit from a large and healthy nonprofit sector that plays a more prominent role in society. When Yohei Chiba entered the Ford School, he hoped to find a career that would allow him to utilize his accounting and finance skills. The experience in Tohoku, however, has changed him. International development, nonprofit management, disaster risk assessment, and economic development now hold much more appeal. ■
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Staging a comeback Rowan Miranda challenges students to find solutions to Detroit’s woes
believe Detroit is too big to fail. We must bail out Main Street, and so we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to help us turn the city around,” said an impassioned community activist at a Detroit Financial Review Board meeting in March. The governor-appointed review board had just declared a financial state of emergency, while city and state officials played tug-o-war over a consent agreement that might—or might not— keep Detroit from bankruptcy.
Rowan Miranda (fourth from right) and his “Detroit Policy Workshop” students visit Pittsburgh to speak with business and policy leaders about the city’s comeback.
Modeled after the Ford School’s International Economic Development Program (IEDP), the workshop covered such topics as mayoral leadership, service delivery, government reform, regionalism, and the role of the media.
Graduate students then went into the “field” and met with city, county, and state decisionmakers in Detroit and on campus, including: general manager of the City of Detroit General Services Department, Janet Anderson, who oversees the city’s business operations; editor and columnist Few would disagree that, even in economic Nolan Finley of The Detroit News; Compuware distress, the city is worth saving. The question is founder, Peter Karmanos, Jr.; Charity Hicks how. If Detroit is to change its fate from casualty of the Detroit Black Community Food Security to comeback, what are some of the long-term Network, which operates D-Town Farm; Dan policy solutions that might bolster revitalization? Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans; and Dave Blaszkiewicz, head of the Downtown Detroit In winter 2012, Rowan Miranda , Ford School Partnership and Invest Detroit. “I wanted them faculty member and associate vice president to apply skills to real problems,” Miranda says, for finance at the U-M, led the first “Detroit “to interact with policy practitioners, as well as Policy Workshop,” an eight-week graduate-level study solutions from elsewhere and think about course. The class examined the city’s problems how to tailor them to Detroit.” and what caused them, and then explored the solutions that Detroiters, the business “This course was about making an effort to community, policymakers, and public managers engage with the community,” says Alexandra are proposing to help the city recover and thrive. Citrin (MSW/MPP ’12), a workshop participant. “My personal experience with Detroit has been Miranda often poses problems as questions— with the southwest youth community. The a habit that bridges his multiple roles as teacher course taught me that issues are broader, more and policymaker. “What policy solutions are complex, and that we need a unifying vision.” being offered? What are the efforts to re-imagine Miranda also wanted students to tap into a Detroit? Some people are proponents of growing current of excitement in Detroit that ‘rightsizing’—so how do you get to a city that in recent years has ushered in commercial is both vibrant and much smaller?” development projects, an expanded tech
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Fall Harvest Festival at D-Town Farm, operated by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. Co-founder Charity Hicks (not pictured) spoke with workshop participants and other members of the U-M community during the panel, “After 8 Mile: Race, Class, and Regional Transformation in Metro Detroit.”
corridor, and urban agriculture. “Cities coping with financial and economic challenges have found a way to bring disparate elements of government, business, labor, and community interests into a coalition—maybe an uneasy one—but one that still improves the ability to make tough decisions.” Pittsburgh: A Post-Industrial Case Study
A workable solution in one locale, however, may or may not translate into workable solutions elsewhere. Miranda encouraged students to see Detroit within the wider context of urban policy and the future of cities. He chose as the workshop’s case study and counterpoint Pittsburgh—a city he served as budget director from 1994–96—which is currently being hailed as an honest-to-goodness post-industrial comeback. The course was structured to allow students to take an optional spring break trip to Pittsburgh. About ten students made the trip with Miranda and met with business and policy leaders such as former Mayor Tom Murphy; Yarone Zober, who chairs the Urban Redevelopment Authority; and current County Controller Chelsa Wagner. “Why not choose a city,” Miranda asks, “that more and more is viewed as a post-industrial economy that is emerging from the ashes?”
Photo: © Nora Mandray/detroitjetaime.com
Once the center of America’s steel industry, Pittsburgh—like Detroit—saw its manufacturing base evaporate by the 1980s, and the city that boasted a population of nearly 700,000 two generations ago steadily lost residents and spiraled into economic crisis. That Pittsburgh bears little resemblance to the city today, however. It’s much smaller at just over 300,000 residents—and not entirely out of the woods— but Pittsburgh’s post-industrial economy has shifted to healthcare, education, finance, and technology, and is steadily growing. Indeed, Pittsburgh fared the recent recession better than most American cities, maintaining a stable housing market and adding jobs. “There isn’t a blueprint. Detroit can’t do exactly Pittsburgh,” observes workshop participant Perry Zielak (MPP ’12). “There are lessons,
though.” Workshop participants were charged with analyzing a key policy issue and making actionable policy recommendations. Zielak and his partners focused on regional cooperation. “Were there specific areas,” they asked, “that could cooperate or consolidate?” They focused on the Detroit public health department, which is currently at the center of an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of state and federal grants. Zielak’s recommendation entails seeking out ways for the city’s public health department to leverage the assets of the Wayne County health department. “We wanted to see how they could potentially merge together and share resources, with the county bearing the lion’s share of the financial responsibility,” he said.
“What policy solutions are being offered? What are the efforts to re-imagine Detroit? Some people are proponents of ‘rightsizing’— so how do you get to a city that is both vibrant and much smaller?” Citrin also travelled to Pittsburgh and agrees that the cities have significant differences. “Can the strategies used in Pittsburgh be scaled to work in Detroit?” she asks. Pittsburgh has multiple world-class universities, while Detroit has experienced a so-called brain drain. Citrin’s solution would pair resource-rich institutions, such as U-M, with city partners in education, healthcare, business, and the community to leverage existing relationships, attract companies to the area, and, ultimately, improve the local labor force. “Studying Detroit is a great opportunity for Michigan faculty and students,” Miranda says, thinking about the big picture. “If we can craft policy solutions to Detroit’s challenges, there’s definitely hope for cities.” ■
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
P hD Researc h
An unhealthy split Women at risk of losing health insurance following divorce
he stress of a divorce can be tough on anyone, but a recent study by Ford School doctoral student Bridget Lavelle suggests the split presents a specific health challenge to women: staying insured.
Lavelle reviewed 11 years of U.S. Census Bureau data and discovered that women face a substantial risk of becoming uninsured following a divorce. Middle-class women previously covered through their ex-spouse’s employer are most at risk.
Lavelle found that many divorcing women lose coverage for at least some period of time. Seventeen percent of women insured while married lacked coverage six months after divorce. Many of these women remained uninsured for nearly two years after the divorce. Data for each Bridget Lavelle
subject covered only four years, so it’s possible that some women remain uninsured for an even longer duration. “The most surprising finding is that it’s not a short-term shock to health insurance,” Lavelle said. “It appears to be a longer-term problem.” Despite nearly 850,000 divorces in the United States annually, the impact of divorce on health care coverage has been remarkably absent from the national conversation on topics like the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Lavelle’s work is starting to change that, garnering attention from National Public Radio and other media. “People are interested because it hasn’t been talked about,” Lavelle said. “This is a topic that’s been totally silent during the past several years of discussion about how the health care system is set up and the type of changes we need to see.”
Middle class = most vulnerable
Lavelle looked at data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation between 1996 and 2007, which allowed her to follow three representative groups of women age 26 to 64 over a four-year period. “We basically have a monthly calendar of health insurance and marital status and we can look at how they change in parallel to one another,” she said. The Census data also included employment status, which plays a key role as well. Women who work full-time, and who have been employed in the same job for longer than six months, are largely protected. The same holds true for college-educated women.
“When I mention my research topic, many women I meet say that maintaining health insurance coverage after divorce was difficult or impossible for themselves or a sister or friend.”
Paradoxically, women with low levels of education attainment also show minimal signs of losing coverage.
“Part of that is because fewer had coverage to begin with,” Lavelle said, “but they’re also more likely to transition onto Medicaid,” the government’s health insurance provider for low-income families. The percentage of women covered by public insurance increased from six percent before divorce to 10 percent after.
The most vulnerable women are those insured as dependents on their husband’s employer-provided insurance policy. Although these women frequently work, their employers may not provide insurance or their income is not sufficient, absent the ex-spouse’s income, to afford their portion of premiums for employer-based coverage or to purchase private insurance. Lavelle found that one in four women dependent on their ex-spouse’s policy will become uninsured within six months of divorce. The remedies currently available to these middle-class women are sparse. Even the federal COBRA law—which allows individuals to maintain the coverage they had under an employer for up to 18 months after a job loss or 36 months following a divorce—is rarely feasible. Employers no longer subsidize the coverage, leaving the individual to pay the entire premium. Lavelle found that women who
S T A T E & HILL
are employed but not insured through their employer can struggle to pay these premiums. “COBRA is more than $400 (a month) for individual coverage so after you’ve just taken a major hit to your finances, that’s not very affordable,” she said.
Ford School Spotlight
States, PPACA offer some solutions
Lavelle said some states—Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire—have passed laws to help people maintain health insurance following a divorce. The laws require many employers to continue subsidizing dependent coverage for ex-spouses even after the divorce, which keeps premium rates affordable. Lavelle is not aware of studies that have examined the effectiveness of these laws, but following her interview on NPR she received an email from a divorce lawyer in Boston who strongly endorsed the Massachusetts law. “It sounds like it is helping a lot of people, but I can’t say for sure from the data,” Lavelle said. On the national level, some provisions of PPACA, signed by President Obama in March 2010, would broaden coverage options for women. Medicaid eligibility would be expanded to cover more low-income individuals above the poverty line, as well as more women who are not mothers. “Most women without children can’t get (Medicaid) right now, regardless of their income level, so that’s going to be a big change,” Lavelle said. PPACA would also prohibit private insurers from denying women coverage for preexisting conditions, as they could before the law. The Supreme Court was deliberating the law’s constitutionality at press time. If upheld, many key provisions would not go into effect until 2014. While Lavelle is optimistic that the Affordable Care Act would address many current shortcomings, she remains discouraged that the connection between divorce and health coverage continues to be overlooked. “I think it’s something people sort of connect with,” she said. “When I mention my research topic, many women I meet say that maintaining health insurance coverage after divorce was difficult or impossible for themselves or a sister or friend.” Nothing illustrates this oversight like the White House’s own document promoting how PPACA would benefit women. It states women would remain insured through exchanges even if “they lose their jobs, switch jobs, move, or become sick.” “To me, the omission of divorce is striking,” Lavelle said. “I guess word hasn’t gotten out yet that this is a problem.” Consider the word out. ■
U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI), the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives, sat down for a frank conversation with the Ford School, “What’s gone so wrong with Congress?”
In her lecture “Kids v. Adults” the Honorable Margaret Spellings—former U.S. Secretary of Education and White House Domestic Policy Advisor—talked about the seminal education law, No Child Left Behind.
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Barry Rabe on Gerald Ford: The global president The University of Michigan invited Pr o f e sso r B a rry R a b e to address the 89th Honors Convocation of the University, an event that celebrates and recognizes outstanding academic achievement by undergraduates. • The theme of this year’s Convocation: “Making a Difference in the World: Do We Need to Travel to Understand Global Affairs?” • Rabe was named a Thurnau Professor in 2011 in recognition of his teaching excellence and commitment to enhancing undergraduate academic opportunities. Here is the speech he delivered to a crowd of 3,300 at Hill Auditorium on March 18, 2012.
Barry Rabe speaks at the University of Michigan Honor’s Convocation
ome 12 years ago, this marvelous auditorium was similarly packed. There was another celebration—and a bit of tension. Standing where I am today was Dr. Henry Kissinger. Then, as now, a controversial figure. One of the most influential 20th century Secretaries of State. As he began, so did heckling. A rather unflattering banner was unfurled from the balcony. (I can only hope that history does not repeat itself today.) But Kissinger kept going and gave what I still consider to be the best speech I have ever heard him deliver. He spoke about the challenges of American foreign policy between 1974 and ’76. And he spoke with deep emotion about the president he served during that period: The Accidental President. And yet a president who, borrowing from today’s theme, devoted six decades of public service to “making a difference in the world.” That president, Gerald R. Ford, was seated right behind Kissinger, about where Provost Hanlon sits now. The occasion was the transformation of the U-M School of Public Policy into the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. It was a grand day in every possible way. But as I sat there in the second row, I realized I knew very little about Gerald Ford. I finished high school and began college during his presidency. I had some aspiration to “make a difference in the world.” And as the first member of my family to attend college, I surely was not giving thought to “traveling to understand global affairs.” The farthest I got from my college campus in Wisconsin was Stratford, Ontario to see Hamlet. It is, I think, quite safe to say that in the years he spent at this university in the 1930s—and have we
ever had a president who so loved his alma mater as Gerald Ford??—the very idea of studying global affairs, much less traveling to understand them would have seemed absurd. Jerry Ford was a very busy guy in Ann Arbor. Four years of varsity football, in an era with no scholarships. A full academic load, with one of the strongest academic records of any 20th century American president. (Angell Scholar material except for his French language classes.) He worked two jobs, including waiting tables at the University hospital. He donated blood every second month in exchange for $25 that helped ends meet. Travel to understand global affairs? The farthest he travelled from this campus involved two trips to Minnesota to secure possession of the Little Brown Jug. Then an all-star game in San Francisco. In his memoirs, he readily admits he had little or no interest in global affairs and thought America’s role in the world should be minimal. He wanted to practice law in Grand Rapids. But then Gerald Ford got to experience global affairs, via the Navy in World War II. Lieutenant Gerald Ford saw heavy action in the Pacific, returned to Grand Rapids and was appalled to see that his Congressman was championing the cause of (literally) “No, no, no.” No to any America postwar engagement in global affairs; “not a penny for the Marshall Plan.” With that, Ford abandoned his law practice. He embraced the positions of Michigan Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg (class of 1901) on these issues, defeated the five-term incumbent from his own party, and won that seat. The near-exclusive focus of the Ford campaign was active and constructive American engagement in global affairs.
100 S T A T E & HILL
Coming Up: The Gerald Ford Centenary
An important milestone is just around the corner: July 14, 2013 will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gerald R. Ford. President Ford’s legacy is very much alive here at his namesake school as example and inspiration—his love for the University of Michigan, his lifelong commitment to public service, his courage and decency, and so much more. Throughout 2013, the Ford School will celebrate that legacy with a series of events and activities that will engage our entire community of students, alumni, friends, faculty, and staff. More details to come.
From there, Gerald Ford never looked back. He travelled—relentlessly—as a member of Congress and as president. These were not junkets. From all that we know from historians, these were designed to gain an understanding of global affairs. To talk, but also to listen. And also to give people a little different view of America. This was, after all, the president who banished the playing of “Hail to the Chief” in favor of “The Victors.” So Gerald Ford spent more days out of the U.S. during his relatively short presidency than any of his predecessors. Went everywhere, talked to everyone, listened to anyone with ideas from direct experience outside U.S. boundaries. Two quick stories. First, Ford presided over the last days of American involvement in the Vietnam War. A truly agonizing final set of weeks. The Economist asked on its cover: “Is America Fading?” Surveys showed that the only country Americans would agree to defend if attacked was Canada.
Side Photos: Gerald R. Ford Library
Upper Photo: Library of Congress
Twelve days after the evacuation of the last American solider, an American merchant vessel (the Mayaguez) was seized off the coast of Cambodia. Details were sketchy but how to respond? Most of President Ford’s advisors proposed massive mainland bombing strikes, with B-52s. What better way to project American power? As the meeting went forward, 28-year old White House photographer, David Kennerly, piped up. President Ford had allowed—encouraged—him to make one of the last trips into Vietnam and Cambodia. Kennerly was only at this meeting to take pictures. But could not contain himself. He noted that, from his recent observations, Cambodia had no functioning government. We had no idea where the hostages were. He said a massive bombing
campaign was absurd. In his memoirs, Gerald Ford said, “I thought what Kennerly had said made a lot of sense.” Ford took the first-hand observation, reversed his top aides (including Kissinger), and pursued a more nuanced approach. The hostages were released within days. Jerry Ford played both defense and offense at Michigan. But he preferred playing center on offense. So true with the rest of his presidency. He believed, relentlessly, that as president he could establish strong links with national leaders and find common cause. His presidency was a flurry of international engagements, even though this hurt him in both securing the Republican nomination against Ronald Reagan and in the general election against Jimmy Carter. Perhaps his role in Europe was his finest hour. Ford actively worked with every European leader he could find and built an understanding of the humanitarian provisions of the proposed Helsinki Accords. This was relentless personal diplomacy— and not on his home field. Ford then sealed the deal and followed with visits to places no president had ever been before, including Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Historians today acknowledge that these controversial accords helped open up Eastern Europe. Even in an era of instant communication and social media, I believe that Gerald Ford would answer this question of the need for travel to understand global affairs in the affirmative. That said, he might also offer the following advice: you must travel. But prepare in advance and do not be afraid to listen. And, perhaps, show them a little different side of your American experience. What better way to do that than always have ready on your iPod a sterling rendition of “The Victors.” ■
Top: President Ford dons a Russian wool cap upon his arrival in the Soviet Union in 1974, shown here with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev at Vozdvizhenka Airport, Vladivostok. Bottom: Gerald Ford on the football field at the University of Michigan in 1933. Ford was a varsity player for four years in an era with no football scholarships. He held two part-time jobs to make ends meet—all while maintaining one of the strongest academic records of any 20th century U.S. President.
Faculty News & Awards
Michael D. Cohen had a three-year
Susan M. Dynarski and Brian A.
award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to improve the research basis for training nurses and physicians in “handing off.” Handoffs, the conversations among nurses or doctors during shift changes or when a patient moves between departments, are implicated in many thousands of preventable accidental injuries and deaths. Cohen published a series of research papers, and a workshop he organized has produced new guidelines for training hospital residents in how to hand off patients more effectively.
Jacob , as part of a National Bureau of
In March, Sheldon H. Danziger was the keynote speaker at the CEO Forum: “Innovation, Evidence, Impact” at Gracie Mansion in New York City. The forum convenes government, nonprofit, and philanthropic partners to discuss the impacts of the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity. Alan V. Deardorff gave the keynote address at an ITC Seminar on Trade and Development, “Non-Tariff Measures: New Challenges and the Road Ahead,” at the International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland in February.
Economic Research team, received a three-year, $1.6 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to examine why some charter schools are more effective than others, using empirical evidence from Massachusetts, Michigan, and Texas. Dynarski was also the third Ford School faculty member to be elected to the Policy Council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. She joins Sandra K. Danziger and Brian Jacob, and her term expires in 2015. Richard L. Hall has co-authored an
article with Public Policy and Political Science doctoral candidate Molly Reynolds in the Journal of Politics, “Issue Advertising and Legislative Strategy: The Inside Ends of Outside Lobbying.” It is the first study of its kind on the use of issue advertising by interest groups to influence Congress. Hall also presented a paper in January, “The Revolving Door and Lobbying on the Affordable Care Act,” to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars at the U-M Medical School.
Ford School Spotlight C-SPAN covered journalist Noam Scheiber’s Ford School lecture and book signing. Scheiber’s book, The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery, was published in February by Simon & Schuster.
In January, Brian A. Jacob was named, along with Ford faculty Susan M. Dynarski and David K. Cohen , to Education Week’s 2012 rankings of education scholars. The 2012 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings recognize the top academic contributors to public discussion about schools and schooling. WDET talk show host Craig Fahle also interviewed Jacob in February about the implications of recent Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) results. In February, Melvyn Levitsky spoke to a University-wide audience on the international drug control system and introduced the movie “Traffic” as part of the LSA theme semester, “Hooked: Addiction, Society, and Culture.” Levitsky is a member of the Operating Committee of the U-M Substance Abuse Research Center, which is leading the theme semester. He also attended the week-long February session of the International Narcotics Control Board, a group of thirteen experts elected by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Helen G. Levy spoke with Michigan
Public Radio in January about health insurance exchanges—how they work and what options they may provide for individuals. Health insurance exchanges, part of the Affordable Care Act, would extend coverage to the uninsured by making it easier for people without employer-sponsored coverage to obtain non-group health insurance. Shobita Parthasarathy ’s book, Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care, was released in paperback by The MIT Press in January. First published in 2007, the book focuses on how national context can influence the development and deployment of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer in the United States and Great Britain.
S T A T E & HILL
This summer, Barry G. Rabe will succeed Brian A. Jacob as director of the Ford School’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP). In February, Rabe co-authored a Brookings Institution paper on the latest findings from the three-year National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change. Also in February, Rabe co-wrote an op-ed for The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Gas drillers’ new wild west,” responding to new Pennsylvania legislation concerning natural gas extraction. John J.H. “Joe” Schwarz wrote an op-ed in February for The Detroit Free Press, “MSU’s insurance mandate makes healthy sense,” in support of the university’s efforts to provide all students with health coverage. Kevin M. Stange published two articles.
“An Empirical Examination of the Option Value of College Enrollment” appeared in the January issue of American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and “Ability Sorting and the Importance of College Quality to Student Achievement: Evidence from Community Colleges” was published in the winter issue of Education Finance and Policy.
Cello Photo: © The Gazette / John Kenney
In February, Susan E. Waltz attended the Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. She represented Amnesty International in a panel of Nobel Peace Laureates discussing provisions to be included in the treaty, which is intended to regulate transfers of conventional weapons. In March, Waltz released Human Rights: From Practice to Policy, Proceedings of a Research Workshop, co-edited by Carrie Booth Walling.
Breaking news: As State & Hill went to press, the U-M Rackham Graduate School named Carl S. Simon one of just five recipients of the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. More to come on this prestigious award.
n January, the New York Times and National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed Elena Delbanco about the process of finding a new home for the 300-year-old Stradivarius cello that belonged to her late father, cellist Bernard Greenhouse, a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio. Delbanco described her hope that the auction would find the rare instrument a caring custodian. “What would matter to me most,” she told NPR, “would be that it would be somebody who made magnificent music on it, and who revered it as my father did, and kept it in this impeccable shape that it’s in now.”
Elena Delbanco (above) and cellist Stéphane Tétreault with the Countess of Stainlein
The cello, Countess of Stainlein, ex-Paganini of 1707, was purchased at auction in late January and will be lent by the anonymous buyer to Stéphane Tétreault, an 18-year-old rising cellist from Montreal.
Class Notes Das
David Fauri (MPA ’64, BA ’62) serves as the president of the Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Senate. Jennifer Stucker (MPP ’77) and John Eck (MPP ’77, BGS ’75) will soon celebrate
their 35th wedding anniversary. At graduation, the engaged couple were honored by their classmates with the 1977 IPPS Student Award, “Best Attempt by Two Short People to Add Up to a Full Human Being.” They took their accolade seriously and in 1987, their daughter, Emily was born. In May, John and Emily will publish their first father-daughter paper in Criminology and Public Policy. Jon Gauthier (MPP ’86, BA ’85)
recently announced his candidacy for the North Carolina 9th Congressional District Republican primary. Eric Norenberg (MPP ’87) was recently
elected Vice President of the Ohio City/ County Management Association (OCMA). He has served as Oberlin City Manager since 2007. In recent months, Oberlin has been named the 2012 Best Hometown in Northeast Ohio by Ohio Magazine.
Class of 20?? Left to right: Jaye (Bond) Clement with Heru Clement, Myles Ebron, and Averie Michele Faulk
Sheela Das (MPP ’88) was promoted
to Associate Director of Roots of American Music (ROAM). After working in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Detroit, Sheela settled in Cleveland and studied music at Cleveland State University Department of Music. In her career as a professional musician and teaching artist, she has designed programs and evaluation plans for scores of programs serving inner-city, underserved communities in Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland. John Reinemann (MPP ’90) has been
appointed head of the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. HEAB is a state agency responsible for the administration and oversight of Wisconsin’s programs of student financial aid, including grant, scholarship, and loan programs; tuition reciprocity agreements; and tuition capitation contracts. Craig Diamond (MPP ’93) currently serves as the Executive Director of the Clean Energy Finance Center. David Iannelli (MPP ’93) was recently named President, Global of Research+Data Insights. RDI resides within Hill+Knowlton Strategies, where David continues as Senior Vice President of Global Research. He resides in Austin, Texas, but travels extensively servicing the firm’s global offices and client base.
Eugenio Cano (MPP ’97) was a guest speaker at the San Juan Asset Management 2012 Forecast Dinner at Club Nautico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He will be expanding the operations of his company, Global Bearings LLC, to Miami in mid-2012. Laura Bishop (MPA ’99) was promoted to vice president for government relations at Best Buy. Bishop has been with Best Buy for eight years and in her expanded role, leads a team focused on a range of regulatory and policy issues affecting Best Buy’s competitive position and driving future growth for the company. Stacy Ebron (MPP ’99) and her hus-
band David Thomas welcomed their son, Myles, on February 5, 2012 at 8:46 a.m. at the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital. Myles weighed 8 lbs. and 4 oz. and measured 21 inches long. The exhausted, healthy family thanks their Ford School friends for the well wishes (and apologizes to the hospital staff for setting off theft alarms by forgetting to remove security wrist bands as they left). Jonathan Womer (MSI ’00, MPP ’97) was recently named Chief Information Officer for the state of North Carolina.
Monica Tijerina (MPP ’02, BS ’98) recently took a new position with McDonald’s Corporation, working in stakeholder engagement around issues of child health and wellbeing. Jaye (Bond) Clement (MPP/MPH ’05, BS ’00) recently accepted the position of Director of Community Health Programs and Strategies with Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan. She and her husband welcomed their first child, Heru Clement, on August 26, 2011. Lisa Nuszkowski (MPP ’03) started a
new job as Senior Project Administrator for Economic Development at Wayne State University in January 2012. She works on a variety of economic development projects and initiatives both on campus and in Midtown Detroit. Bobby Byrd (MPP ’05) will graduate with his MBA from MIT’s Sloan School in June and will move, with his wife, Vivian Byrd (MPP ’06) and two sons, Micah (6) and Avery (2) to Washington, DC. He will begin a position with Microsoft Corporation as a Business Manager. Vivian will continue her work as a health research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research. Stephanie Steinert (MPA ’08, MSW
’07) and her husband, Ken Faulk, welcomed a daughter, Averie Michele Faulk, into the world on September 10, 2011.
Nick Bartine (MPP/MSINF ’09) married
fellow Ford School graduate, Amanda Jones (MPP ’10) on October 15, 2011 in
Union, KY. (By happy coincidence, Ford School graduates Skye Stewart (MPP ’10) and Alex Nosnik (MPP ’09) were married the same day.) In February 2012, Nick began work as a policy analyst with the UnitedHealth Group in Washington, DC. Erik Fonseca (MPP ’09) completed
his first half marathon (13.1 miles) on February 19: he ran the Rock n’ Roll Pasadena Half Marathon in 2 hours and 47 minutes. Nathan Triplett (MPP ’09) was elected Mayor Pro Tem of the city of East Lansing, Michigan in November 2012, and was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Municipal League in January 2012. Daniel Martin Katz (PhD ’11, MPP/JD ’05) recently began a tenure-track position at the Michigan State University College of Law, where he teaches criminal procedure, quantitative methods for lawyers, legal information engineering, and sports law. Joseph Sutkowi (BA ’11) began work
as a development associate in foundation relations at the University of Michigan in November 2011.
At the 5th Annual Gramlich Showcase of Student Work, Brian Gutman (BA ’12) presented his research on how to improve teacher quality through pay-for-performance systems. Brian was nominated by Professor Sheldon Danziger.
Eighty-five people across 30 teams with names like “Ladies of the Corn” and “My Favorite Professor and the Other Guy” competed in the Ford School’s first bean bag toss lunch-time league.
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
THE LAST WORD
Core workout Last summer, the Ford School wrapped up work on its first major MPP curriculum review since the mid-1990s. Here, Associate Dean Alan Deardorff reflects on the process and the outcomes. S&H:
What’s a big curriculum review process like for faculty?
AD: Of course it’s incredibly time-consuming. And it can be kind of painful in a way, because it involves questioning things we’ve been doing for years—opening ourselves up to critique and change. But we teach students to think critically about policies and programs! In this case we’re the subject of the policy in question, but we know it’s important to do. The process involved lots of research and committee work, lots of consensus-building.
The faculty led the review, but alumni played a key role as well. How?
AD: Results from a number of faculty, student, and alumni surveys informed the review. Alumni are employers as well as former students, so we listened carefully. They noted specific courses in need of revision. And they recommended more emphasis on leadership and on applied opportunities. The expanded Applied Policy Seminar (APS) was supported by alumni input, so now many more students can do real consulting work for credit. Alumni feedback also helped marshal the decision to supplement the APS with modules on project management, presentation, and other professional skills. S&H:
AD: We added a second quantitative methods requirement to the core, which for most students will be fulfilled with “Quantitative Methods of Program Evaluation.” Also: a redesigned Integrated Policy Exercise that gives more students an active role; additional staffing for the Writing Center; collaboration between sections of the core politics and public management classes; and new international learning
opportunities such as study trips to China and Toronto. There’s much more to say, but those are the highlights. S&H:
Why require “Program Evaluation”?
AD: We’ve taken pride in our reputation as one of the more quantitative policy schools. During the review, we realized that we had to some degree lost that distinction over time. We like to think that’s partly because the Ford School led other schools to add requirements…. But that was one of our hallmarks, and we wanted to keep it. We found that around two-thirds of the students were taking the course anyway. We saw just one downside: it’s an extra three credits in the core, leaving students with three fewer for electives.
We had lots of concern and discussion about whether this change would deter top students with non-quantitative career interests and alter the nature of our MPP cohorts. But the course, though certainly quantitative, is not actually as technical as the name might suggest. It involves STATA and regression analysis, but much less so than “Econometrics.” It’s about causal inference more than anything. The ability to sort out causality versus correlation is incredibly important and terribly misunderstood out there in the policy world. Also, we like that the course is very hands on: students actually put their quant skills to use on real-world policy questions and issues. S&H:
Who teaches the course?
AD: Kevin Stange and Justin Thomas. And of course Sue Dynarski, who, as I know from the teaching evaluations, is not an easy teacher but sure is loved. ■
Put the skills of
Ford School student consulting teams
to work solving your Organization’s public policy Challenges. The students did an absolutely fantastic job with some extremely challenging subject matter. The group went the extra distance to identify areas of inquiry and future research that were beyond the scope of the original project proposal.” David Lehrer, Assistant Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues; Government Accountability Office
We are currently accepting project proposals for our Fall 2012 Applied Policy Seminar (APS). The APS enables our MPP students to serve as consultants to real-world policy organizations, developing key professional skills as they tackle significant policy challenges in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. More at www.fordschool.umich.edu/applied-policy-seminar or Tom Phillips, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services, 734-615-6454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
S T A T E & HILL
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Joan and Sanford Weill Hall 735 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
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Published on Apr 25, 2012
State & Hill, spring 2012 edition: "American Electoral Politics." State & Hill is the official magazine of the Gerald R. Ford School of Publ...