State & Hill Fall 2013: Catalysts for Change

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From Our Corner to the Four Corners of the Globe


Fa ll 2013

The Magazine of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Catalysts for Change From analysis to insight— and from insight to action.


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy


FEAT URE from the dean

aybe you’re an IPA grad, like Ben Williams (p. 25), who earned one of the University of Michigan’s first Master of Public Administration degrees in 1948. Or you might be an IPPSter, like Jim Hudak (p. 30), one of the University’s first public policy graduates. Or perhaps you’re an SPP grad, like Jason Weller (p. 12), who is now leading public-private collaborations to advance conservation across the United States. Whenever you graduated, whatever name you use to refer to your alma mater, I hope you know that today’s school—the Ford School—is your school. I say all this because 2014 will be an exciting year, indeed a historic year, for your school. We will host the final events in our centennial celebration of President Ford’s birth, and will launch a centennial celebration of the school itself, which first began to offer advanced studies for municipal government leaders in 1914. Throughout our centennial, we’ll celebrate the impact our faculty and alumni have had on the world, but we’ll also continue to prepare in earnest for the century ahead. On p. 30, our good friends Jim Hudak (MPP ’71) and Jim Hackett (BGS ’77), the CEO of Steelcase, will share news about the Ford School’s ‘next century’ campaign, designed to inspire future policy leaders, fuel game-changing research, and catalyze real and lasting change in the world. And throughout the magazine, you’ll read stories that illustrate the importance of that third pillar of our ‘next century’ campaign: policy engagement and real-world impact. » You’ll read about Professor Paul Courant (p. 6), who has launched the world’s largest digital library, the HathiTrust; and Dr. Matt Davis (p. 14), who (when he’s not teaching or practicing) is combating socioeconomic health disparities as Michigan’s chief medical executive.

State & Hill Dean: Susan M. Collins Associate Dean: Alan V. Deardorff Director of Communications/Editor: Laura K. Lee (MPP ’96) Publications Manager: Katie Trevathan Lead writer: Erin Spanier Writer: Lillien Waller. Contributors: Erin Flores, Elisabeth Johnston, Cliff Martin, Stephen Paparo (MPP ’15), Erin Sullivan (MPP ’14) Design: Savitski Design Photographers: Peter Smith, Darrel Ellis, Michigan Photography

» You’ll read about a recent bachelor’s alum, Madelynne Wager (p. 9), who is tackling poverty and inequality issues in Africa; and an early MPP alum, Eunice Burns (p. 18), who has served her community for decades, and whose family recently established an endowed fund for water policy education at the Ford School. » You’ll read about Latesha Love (p. 10), who has improved the ability of first responders to communicate in the wake of a disaster; and Marisol Ramos (p. 16), who has advocated extensively, and successfully, for the rights of undocumented students at U-M. We’re so proud of what the Ford School community is doing, and has done, to make a lasting difference in the world. I look forward to sharing many more stories about the extended reach and impact of Ford School faculty and alumni throughout our centennial year.

Printer: University Lithoprinters, Inc. Let us know what you think:

Sincerely,, or Editor, State & Hill, Ford School, University of Michigan, 735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091

Susan M. Collins

Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy

Regents of the University of Michigan Mark J. Bernstein, Ann Arbor Julia Donovan Darlow, Ann Arbor Laurence B. Deitch, Bloomfield Hills Shauna Ryder Diggs, Grosse Pointe Denise Ilitch, Bingham Farms Andrea Fischer Newman, Ann Arbor Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park 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.

F ALL 2 0 1 3


The Magazine of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

A powerful public service 6 Paul Courant’s HathiTrust Digital Library in three acts

BA alum among ‘Top 35 under 35’ foreigners 9 Making an impact in Africa

Rare and powerful analysis 10 Love enhances emergency communications post-9/11

Matching and mobilizing 12 Jason Weller heads Natural Resources Conservation Service

Not your typical physician 14 Dr. Matt Davis tackles health disparities

From dreaming to doing 16 Tuition equality now

Yes, you! 18 Photo: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

The unlikely and absolutely inspiring career of Eunice Burns

In addition High honors: Faculty awards 20 The People’s House: Gerald Ford’s congressional legacy 21 Student-led auction wins Forever Go Blue award 24 Ford School 100: Centennial stories 25

Departments Faculty news 16 Class notes 28 The Last Word: our next century 30


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy


n critically important policy issues, Ford

Along the way, these faculty members have

School faculty members have catalyzed

trained and inspired a cadre of alumni who follow

real and lasting change—enriching

in their footsteps.

understanding, building consensus, and

Ford School alumni have led crisis management

mobilizing action. They’ve increased the number

deliberations at the Federal Reserve Bank. They’ve

of low-income students who attend college by

fueled cross-sector partnerships to catalyze new

simplifying a complex financial aid form. They’ve

breakthroughs in affordable housing. They’ve

helped communities balance the economic and

diminished poverty through holistic approaches to

environmental issues raised by fracking—arming

grantmaking. They’ve managed child protection

state and local government leaders with trustworthy

programs in one of the poorest regions of India.

information on policy options. They’ve saved lives

by working to regulate the trade of weapons to

a few examples of how our faculty and alumni are

countries with poor human rights records.

tackling tough policy challenges and improving lives.

For this issue of State & Hill, we’ve collected just

Issue Focus

Catalysts for

Share A Century of Stories Throughout 2014—as we celebrate the centennial of the school’s founding—we’ll share many more stories about the influential work of Ford School faculty and alumni. We need your help: our self-effacing alums may be unlikely to share their own stories, but we hope they’ll talk up their classmates at




Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

A powerful public service Paul Courant’s HathiTrust Digital Library in three acts | By Erin Spanier


cholarly CVs are long, there’s no denying it, so it’s not surprising that Paul N. Courant’s CV stretches a good twelve feet from end to end. What is surprising is that what is likely to be Courant’s single greatest contribution to scholarship isn’t mentioned in his CV at all: development of the largest digital library in the world, the HathiTrust.

Focus: Catalysts


‘Hathi,’ the Hindi word for elephant, signified the universities’ aspirations: a large collection with a powerful search engine and a long memory. Act 1


en years ago, Larry Page (BS ’95), co-founder of Google, contacted the University of Michigan to offer a rather unconventional gift to his alma mater: scans of the University’s entire collection of 7 million books, free of charge. Page had just developed a new scanning system that, unlike previous scanners, could produce text-searchable copies at unprecedented scale (millions of books per year rather than thousands), without damaging the books themselves. Courant, an economist then serving as provost— the chief academic officer of the University— remembers running a standard cost-benefit analysis. “What’s it going to cost?,” he asked the University’s head librarian, Bill Gosling. “What’s in it for us?” Beyond some staff time, Gosling explained that the costs would be borne by Page’s company. But the benefits, says Courant, “were at least very useful, and possibly super-useful.” For starters, digitization would provide a backup copy of the entire library, ensuring the longterm preservation of everything in the collection. “In the print world, preservation’s assured by the fact that there are a lot of copies out there, people toss them on the shelf, and they rot slowly,” says Courant. But what about historic collections now out of print? Or texts written by hand, before the invention of the printing press? Or limited edition print runs? Think of what happened to the priceless library of Timbuktu last January, or the Library of Congress in 1814, or the great Library of Alexandria, or countless other small libraries near and far. Libraries are safe, but hardly invincible, and preservation is a paramount concern. Digitization would also make it possible to run detailed text searches of all of the library’s collections. In the coming years, a descendant of the University of Michigan’s first AfricanAmerican student-athlete would use the HathiTrust Digital Library to locate news stories about her ancestor. An undergraduate honors student would use the HathiTrust to search the complete correspondence and writings of President Eisenhower for a thesis on Eisenhower’s attitudes toward nuclear weapons. And the U.S. Patent and Trade Office would use the HathiTrust to locate copies of patents lost

in an 1836 fire. Full-text searches would lead citizens, scholars, and policymakers directly to the material that interested them, enabling new and important discoveries. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, digitization would allow the libraries to offer free online access to all public domain works—generally works published before 1923, including almost all of the University’s rare historical collections—for anyone with an internet connection. What Wikipedia did for the encyclopedia, digitization could do for the library—but scholars would be able to access the original source documents themselves, not just a summary of their contents. It would be a powerful public service to the world. “That’s what libraries do,” says Courant. “That’s what universities do.” So after some back-and-forth haggling over the quality of the scans and access to original digital copies of each, the University of Michigan accepted Larry Page’s offer to digitize its collections. And several years later, after stepping down as provost, Courant was appointed dean of libraries, a post that would allow him to continue to work on the Google scanning project.

HathiTrust by the numbers as of November 12, 2013

10,846,727 total volumes 5,699,059 book titles 283,624 serial titles 3,796,354,450 pages 486 terabytes 128 miles of shelf equivalent 8,813 tons of print matter equivalent 3,492,430 volumes (~32% of total) in the public domain



Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Courant was certain that the University of Michigan could build a workable system for sharing its digitized collections. And that Stanford, Harvard, Oxford, and the New York Public Library—other early partners in Google digitization— could each do the same. But if the University of Michigan pooled its collections and resources with other libraries, he reasoned, couldn’t they create a single, huge repository that would reduce institutional costs and provide streamlined access for users all around the world?

Act 2 When the Institute of Public Policy Studies recruited Courant to teach forty years ago, the University of Michigan was a worldwide pioneer in computing. That means U-M had a few ginormous, and very expensive, computing towers that faculty could use for 15 minutes a pop. Today, nearly every University stakeholder has at least one personal computer, often more, and internet access is ubiquitous in the academic the world. When the world changes that dramatically, one can expect brand new problems, and brand new opportunities. “The invention of digital information technology totally transforms the way in which you might expect scholarship to be published and libraries to do their business,” explains Courant. “How do we design libraries so we can really take advantage of this treasuretrove of digitized information?” As dean of libraries, Courant would be in the perfect position to solve those problems, and to grasp those opportunities—and he knew it.

Courant, working with colleagues at Indiana University, put together a business plan to do that, shopped it to the other members of the Big Ten and to the University of California system, and in the course of a few months, launched a collective digital library, the HathiTrust.

one savvy user. And they read out-ofprint books, from one virtual cover to the next, on computers and mobile devices around the world. In just a few years, HathiTrust has become an indispensible part of the scholarly infrastructure.

Act 3 To be true, Act 3 hasn’t been written yet. Courant has returned to the faculty in the Ford School, where he’ll work to further a pretty hefty vision for digital libraries and scholarly publishing. Known as an outspoken critic of overpriced scholarly publications, Courant says now that HathiTrust has been created, it makes other things possible like, for example, “creating a platform to allow people to publish open-access journals that will be preserved indefinitely.”

Today, the HathiTrust—by far the largest digital library anywhere— includes 80 academic library members, contains 10.8 million volumes, and welcomes 50,000 users each weekday (25,000 on weekend days). Those users run advanced searches of the entire collection. They create their own sub-collections, like the collection of 912 Islamic manuscripts compiled by

HathiTrust’s robust preservation strategy allows the consortium to offer permanent storage of scholarly journals, but the trust will only do that for open-access titles that are shared freely. Courant isn’t against a little “shameless commerce,” he says (HathiTrust sells reprints of some out-of-copyright items, including its top-seller, an 1860s-era guide to beekeeping), but the University of Michigan alone spends more than $10 million a year on journal subscriptions, and for smaller academic institutions—whether in n 2011, the Authors Guild filed suit against Kenya, Kazakhstan, or HathiTrust for copyright violations because the Kansas—those fees put HathiTrust holds digitized materials still in important scholarly research copyright (as a matter of policy and practice, well out of reach. ■


those materials are only made available to readers with print disabilities). Judge Harold Baer ruled decisively against the Guild, referring to the HathiTrust as an “invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts.” The Authors Guild has appealed, and the outcome is pending. If the Guild loses, it’s anyone’s guess whether it will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. But if HathiTrust loses, Courant is confident that the HathiTrust and its members will. He writes, “Nonprofit organizations, emphatically including research libraries, are the natural stewards of information that will be of value to society for the indefinite future, precisely because we are driven by a mission of preservation and access, rather than by profit.”

Focus: S T A T E & HILL

Catalysts 9

BA alum among ‘Top 35 under 35’ foreigners making an impact in Africa



adelynne Wager (BA ’13), a first generation college student from the small town of Greenville, Mich., knew she wanted to make an impact. When she started her studies at the University of Michigan, she thought she could do that best by becoming a doctor. But during a summer medical internship in Venezuela, Wager became deeply troubled by the health disparities she witnessed between the wealthy patients at the region’s spotless, upscale hospital, and what the poor confronted at the area’s crowded, unkempt clinic. Why are poor people getting so much sicker in the first place, she wondered, and if poverty makes you vulnerable, can a living wage improve your health?

Wager soon shifted her attention to international economics. Her experience in Venezuela was a major catalyst, but there was another reason, too. She couldn’t shake the memory of when Electrolux, the largest manufacturer in her hometown, moved its manufacturing operations to Mexico, removing 30 percent of her small town’s tax base. “I saw the huge impact that it had on our town, and my friends, and their families,” says Wager, who began to wonder if there were ways to help workers in developing countries without taking jobs away from families in developed ones. As a public policy major and international economics minor, Wager worked with Alberto Trejos , a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School, and Howard Stein, a professor of African and Afro-american Studies and a faculty associate with the Ford School’s International Policy Center. She also joined the ONE campus challenge, lobbying Congressional representatives in Washington, DC to support proven USAID programs in

developing nations. “That’s when I began to see the policymaking process could be a way to systematically change things,” says Wager.

Madelynne Wager (BA ’13) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Later, Ford School financial support made it possible for Wager to undertake a prestigious DC-based fellowship with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, where she conducted advanced research on U.S.

“Young South African leaders have a real entrepreneurial spirit. Perhaps ironically, they’ve taught me a lot about what it means to be an American.” interventions to reduce poverty and inequality in Africa. Today, with some encouragement from Alberto Trejos, Wager is continuing that work far from her hometown, pursuing innovative solutions to extreme global poverty as the Machel-Mandela Fellow at South Africa’s Brenthurst Foundation (where Trejos serves on the board). Wager’s primary project at the Brenthurst Foundation is conducting research on inequality and how the private sector can help. “I think a lot of times, we look at governments as being both the culprit and the supposed hero of inequality,” says Wager. But to Wager, an equally important conversation is the one that focuses on the imperative of private sector innovation to better the living standards of the billions currently excluded from the market system. ■

* As selected in 2013 by the youth organization Young People in International Affairs.

Wager (bottom left) and peers from U-M’s ONE campus challenge met USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah (BS ’95) at the Ford School.

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Rare and powerful


atesha Love (MPP ‘02) was two weeks into her second year of graduate school in Ann Arbor, getting dressed for class and watching the news with an absentminded interest, when she realized that “something was really, really, really wrong.” It was the morning of September 11, and Love, like everyone else in America, quickly became riveted by the events unfolding on her television.

The North Tower of the World Trade Center had collapsed after a hijacked plane had been flown into it. The South Tower had been struck, too, as had the Pentagon in Washington, DC. And just before 10 a.m., nearly an hour after Flight 175 first crashed into it, Love watched as the South Tower collapsed, crushing hundreds of

New York City firefighters who had rushed in, even as police, on orders to evacuate, rushed out. Though she couldn’t have imagined it at the time, investigating this single hour between strike and collapse would be the primary focus of Love’s work for nearly two years when she joined the Government Accountability Office as a policy analyst after graduation. When the police realized the second tower would fall, why didn’t they warn the firefighters? What was wrong with the city’s emergency communication system? Love interviewed officials at a half-dozen federal agencies, talked to prominent communication experts around the nation, and interviewed or visited first responders and emergency managers from New York and nine other states. The goal: “to make the whole story unfold from a bird’s eye view.” The city’s poorly designed wireless communications systems, she discovered, hadn’t allowed firefighters, police, and paramedics to share crucial, life-saving information during the disaster. Each agency had its own equipment and frequency. So the police could communicate with the police, but not with the firefighters, or the paramedics, or the state, or the federal government.

Above: Latesha Love (MPP ’02) in Washington, DC. Left: 56-foot-long bronze memorial to the fallen firefighters of the FDNY, located across the street from ground zero.

memorial photo: Kevin Lund


Focus: Catalysts



“This wasn’t just about a 9/11-sized terrorist attack. This was about responding to a tornado that goes across two counties, or responding to a hurricane, or a storm, or a flood.” The emergency communication system itself was flawed. And, alarmingly, the flaw wasn’t an isolated anomaly. This was an issue all across the nation, Love was finding, and one that was being exacerbated as the federal government awarded some $2 billion in post-9/11 grants for enhanced emergency communications systems—without requiring recipients to effectively address interagency communications. “There were two ‘ah ha’ moments for me,” says Love, looking back. First, that all across the nation states were receiving grants, significant amounts of money, to build emergency communication systems, but no one was ensuring that these systems would communicate with each other. “We were spending money to make the problem worse,” explains Love. The second ‘ah ha’ moment? That even if every agency in the nation magically used those grants to buy equipment that would be capable of communicating with the others, it still wouldn’t solve the problem. The federal government, explains Love, uses particular communication frequencies. States use other frequencies. Local governments use others, still. “You could buy all the expensive equipment you wanted; if it couldn’t actually operate on the same radio spectrum, it wouldn’t matter.” Love’s team at the GAO compiled a 100-page report explaining the issues in great detail, and laying out five recommendations. The first two dealt with the federal funding issue, recommending that the grant process be quickly revised to require that each state develop a single interoperable emergency communication plan (a plan to ensure that all relevant agencies could communicate in a crisis) and that every funding proposal conform with that state-wide plan. The next two recommended an analysis of the current state of wireless public safety communication systems around the nation and the development of a national database of emergency communication frequencies. And the last? The development of a permanent agency responsible for monitoring and improving the nation’s emergency communication systems. In the years since the GAO’s 2004 report, all of these recommendations have been implemented, and every state in America now has a federally approved interoperable communications plan.

Asked if we’ve had a crisis recently that has tested America’s interoperable communications system, Love says “yes, all of them.” “This wasn’t just about a 9/11-sized terrorist attack,” says Love. “This was about responding to a tornado that goes across two counties, or responding to a hurricane, or a storm, or a flood.” After Love’s initial report on 9/11 communications, she was assigned a series of unrelated studies reviewing post-disaster responses to Hurricane Katrina and a number of other storms. “It was ironic,” says Love. “I’d go to these meetings to investigate the response to natural disasters and one of the things they would always talk about was interoperable communications, exactly what I’d addressed after 9/11—what they’d done, how it had worked… So is there one event? No. All of them are affected by our ability to communicate better now.” Today, Love leads teams of analysts that investigate a wide variety of Congressional concerns, recommending actionable solutions that save U.S. taxpayer dollars, while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government. “The Ford School taught me how to conduct and write analysis that is balanced, objective, direct, and above reproach,” says Love. “In DC, a truly independent, unbiased review is rare and it’s powerful.” ■

Ford School Spotlight Alan Bersin , assistant secretary of international affairs and chief diplomatic

officer for the Department of Homeland Security, spoke about the use of big data when he visited the school in September. Bersin was the 2013 Josh Rosenthal Education Fund Lecturer. The fund was created in memory of Josh Rosenthal , a 1979 U-M graduate who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Focus: Catalysts

Matching and mobilizing private investments in conservation By Erin Spanier


(MPP ’99) was just out of college, with a still-crisp undergraduate degree, when the native northernCalifornian took an unlikely summer job on a family ranching operation in Big Timber, Montana. He was expecting a “Brad Pitt, Legends of the Fall experience,” he recalls with self-deprecating humor; instead, he wound up working harder than he’d ever worked in his life. He fixed the fences, shoveled the manure, stacked the hay, and dodged the bulls and rattlesnakes; but his most important responsibility was irrigation. ason Weller

Jason Weller

In America’s dry prairies, irrigation is no small concern. In average years, the region gets less than half the rainfall seen in Washington, DC; in drought years, which hit unpredictably, the challenge is even worse. To grow forage crops for their cattle, the ranch owners channeled water from the Crazy Mountains and flooded each of their fields in turn. That was the system Weller helped run that summer, so he was familiar with its workings. By luck or by fate, though, it was also the summer the ranch owners chose to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service, an agency now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service, to install an irrigation pipeline. The new irrigation system was a big undertaking. Though the government would cover some of the cost, the family had to pay the rest, and it wasn’t cheap, not in money, or in time. But in the end, says Weller, it saved them water,

a precious commodity in the prairie, and time that they could spend on other revenuegenerating activities. For Weller, it was a touchstone experience— one that left him with great respect for the agricultural profession, a lifelong passion for natural resource issues, and a dogged determination to support farmers and ranchers in more systematic ways. Weller’s is one story in tens of thousands that illustrate the powerful work of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an 11,000-person federal agency with offices in just about every county in the nation. Inducted as chief of the agency this summer, Weller couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the mission—to help private landowners increase their efficiency and productivity through proven conservation practices. “In the lower 48 states, there are 1.9 billion acres of land, and 1.4 billion of them are privately owned” says Weller. “So if you want to make a real difference in protecting our nation’s natural resources, you have to work with landowners.” To understand how NRCS works, and what makes it so remarkable, it’s best to look at the exigent concern that sparked its creation: the 1930s-era Dust Bowl. Sometimes dubbed “the worst manmade environmental disaster in American history,” the Dust Bowl, and the crop failures that went along with it, fueled some of our nation’s darkest days during the Great Depression.

Hugh Hammond Bennett (right), first chief of the Soil Conservation Service, on a farm in Washington, DC circa 1951.

Ford School Spotlight


Immigration reform was the topic of Cecilia Muñoz (AB ‘84)’s Policy Talks @ the Ford School lecture in October. Muñoz is the assistant to President Obama and director of the Domestic Policy Council; she was the Ford School’s 2007 Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence.

Imagine yourself a farmer in America’s sun-baked heartland. You cast your eyes to the horizon, and see a dark cloud rushing toward you. You pray that it’s rain. In a parched land, good rains mean healthy crops, food for your family, and a little cash to set aside for the future. In 1930s-America, however, those prayers were likely to go unanswered.

Initially, it didn’t matter what farmers did to America’s southwest soil—under the protective prairie grasses, the soil had grown rich and fertile. But when the rains stopped coming, soils depleted by poor agricultural practices began to blow across the country in great clouds, coating desks as far away as Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, DC alike, and causing extreme and debilitating poverty for the families who relied on those farms for their livelihoods. Background image: Library of Congress

Inset Photos: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

At first, American agricultural policy and practices only compounded the issue. In 1939, Ayers Brinser, who went on to be an original founder of the University of Michigan’s master’s of public policy degree program, wrote that two major forces had contributed to the ecological disaster: a belief on the part of Americans that land was an inexhaustible resource, and a belief on the part of government that land should be made available to anyone who wanted to farm it.

America’s policy response was bold and multifaceted. To address the immediate suffering, farming families were compensated for lost livestock and voluntary crop reductions, were relocated to less arid areas if they wanted to continue farming, or were given new jobs if they wanted to leave the profession. To address the root problem, a new

Weller in Arkansas learning about the automated Grand Prairie Agricultural Water Enhancement Program project.

agency was established: the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, which would promote more sustainable farming practices. The Soil Conservation Service hired technical experts to advance scientific understanding of erosion and the measures that could be used to combat it. Those experts performed soil surveys to identify high-risk soils, crafted flood control plans for targeted watersheds, and developed farmspecific conservation recommendations. With help from the Civilian Conservation Corps, the agency built local demonstration projects, all around the country, to draw attention to sustainable farming practices. And it promoted the development of some 3,000 locally-run Soil Conservation Districts that would steward regional conservation projects far into the future. Over the past few years, the American southwest has again experienced drought—the worst to hit in the last five decades—but, says Weller, many of the region’s grain farmers have continued to see record yields. Why? Because scientific understanding has improved dramatically, and farmers have grown wiser about cover crops, no-till techniques, and other proven practices that improve the health of soil; so, even in drought years, farms continue to produce. We can attribute a good deal of that wisdom to the agency Weller leads, which last year alone helped private landowners improve irrigation efficiency, soil quality, and water quality on tens of millions of acres. The catalyst: federal dollars and technical expertise that matches and mobilizes private investments in conservation. ■



Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Focus: Catalysts

Not your typical physician Dr. Matt Davis uses policy to tackle health disparities


r. Matthew Davis is not your typical physician. Sure, he attended medical school and completed a residency, just like his peers. But while continuing his studies as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Chicago, Davis also earned a master’s degree in public policy. Davis still sees and serves primary care patients through his practice with the University of Michigan Health System, but his public policy training, and what he’s done with it over the years, is allowing him to serve the health needs of much larger communities, in much broader ways. These days, he’s doing that as chief medical executive for the state of Michigan— a role he took on in March of this year.

“Sometimes the questions that I ask, and the problems I find compelling, sound and look more familiar to my colleagues in policy than to my peers in health care, but that’s not a problem…it’s an asset.” Matthew Davis

What’s in the job description for Michigan’s chief medical executive? Simply put, informing policy decision-making in the Department of Community Health, the largest of the state’s 18 agencies. For Davis, that’s meant helping to craft the state’s response to public health threats like heat waves, communicable disease outbreaks like whooping cough and Middle East respiratory syndrome, and, of particular interest to someone with a longstanding passion for policy, Michigan’s statewide implementation of new legislation like the Healthy Michigan Act—the state’s answer to the federal Affordable Care Act.

Davis’s interest in health and health care policy is nothing new. Since 2000, the professor of public policy, pediatrics and communicable diseases, and internal medicine has developed and taught a series of well-received courses on health policy and health care reform for students at the Ford School, the Medical School, and the School of Public Health. While many of the students Davis teaches go on to serve the organizations that craft and refine health and health care policy, Davis jumped at the opportunity to play a leadership role himself—specifically in addressing one of the Affordable Care Act’s larger goals, eliminating socioeconomic health disparities. “Whole books have been written about why it’s so difficult to reduce socioeconomic health disparities,” says Davis. “But the persistent challenges relate mainly to variable access to timely, appropriate, and effective health care, and the choices that individuals and families make, or fail to make, to protect and improve their own health.” To address these challenges, state legislators recently crafted the Healthy Michigan Act, signed by Governor Rick Snyder just a few months ago, that is intended to increase both the number of lowincome residents covered by Medicaid and the range of services, including preventive services, these residents can access. As a member of the leadership team within the Department of Community Health, Davis was directly involved in working with the Michigan legislature to ensure that the Healthy Michigan Act has the best chance to benefit patients living in the state. Now that Healthy Michigan has been enacted, Davis is part of the team working to implement the plan for launch in 2014. Davis is hopeful that the Healthy Michigan Act, and the increased coverage it offers, will help reduce the state’s long-term struggles with socioeconomic health disparities. “Trying to move the needle in Michigan is tough; we rank in the bottom half, if not in the bottom third, of states when it comes to most racial, ethnic, and income-related disparities in health and


pressure, diabetes, and depression— that need to be managed for a healthy delivery and a healthy baby.” Davis says his public policy training has given him a valuable perspective for addressing health and health care challenges. “Sometimes the questions that I ask, and the problems I find compelling, sound and look more familiar to my colleagues in policy than to my peers in health care,” says Davis. “But that’s not a problem…it’s an asset. I really count on my formal background in public policy, and the expertise and discussions I’ve been part of at the Ford School, to help me do the best job I can in this still relatively new role.” While working as chief medical executive, Davis will continue to serve on the faculty at U-M.

Illustration: © 2013 Mark McGinnis, C/O

health care,” says Davis. “That said, there’s a very strong commitment, from the Governor’s office on down, to look unflinchingly at these disparities and commit to doing things differently than we have in the past.” Among the many socioeconomic health disparities Davis hopes to address is the state’s deeply troubling infant mortality rate. For every 1,000 live births in Michigan, seven infants die before their first birthday—well above the national average. Among black infants, or infants born in cities with high poverty rates like Detroit, that number can be twice as high. Asked if he thinks expanded Medicaid can solve the problem, Davis says he does. “Other states that already have more generous Medicaid coverage for adults (regardless of whether or not they’re pregnant) have shown us that when you cover women prior to their pregnancies, you can address conditions—such as high blood

To help other health care professionals acquire this kind of broader policy lens, Davis is teaching a free online course through Coursera, a massive open online curriculum (MOOC) platform that the University of Michigan launched last year. Davis’s course, “Understanding and Improving the U.S. Health Care System,” enrolled more than 10,000 domestic and international students when it was first offered this fall—many of them health care professionals and administrators. The course includes video interviews with Ford School faculty members Helen Levy , a staffer for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Dr. John J.H. “Joe” Schwarz , a physician and former U.S. Congressman (R-MI), who bring their unique perspectives to the material. “Very few medical schools have the faculty base with which to provide health policy education,” says Davis, but “for health care providers to be functioning at their best, they need to know how the health care system is supposed to work, and how they can help to improve it.” ■


ecently, Matt Davis and his research staff developed WellSpringboard, an online platform for crowdsourcing—and crowdfunding—health research ideas, pairing these groups

with the scientists best placed to address these issues. “In our health care system, and in systems around the world, we don’t involve the public much in asking the questions. We only ask them to participate in studies that come from researchers’ questions,” says Davis. He strongly believes that the dynamic between patients and researchers must be “disruptively altered” to advance medical research while enhancing public trust, participation, and innovation.


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Focus: Catalysts

From dreaming to doing— tuition equality now By Lillien Waller


n April 17, 2013, at approximately 6:00 p.m., 50-60 people gathered outside the Michigan Union, at the intersection of State Street and South University. U-M student activists and Ann Arbor community members had come to protest the University’s in-state tuition policy, which at that time excluded undocumented Michigan high school graduates. By 7:00 p.m., the protesters had blocked the intersection. “What do we want?” they chanted, in a classic protest call and response. “Tuition equality! When do we want it? Now!” Eight were arrested, including Ford School alumna Marisol Ramos (MPP/MA ’13) who, despite her youth, has been an immigrant rights activist and organizer for nearly a decade. Over a cup of coffee in southwest Detroit’s Cafe Con Leche, Ramos talked about the demonstration and her work as an activist. Her parents emigrated from a small, rural town in Mexico to the Bronx

Above: Marisol Ramos (MPP/MA ’13) (right) being arrested outside the Michigan Union during an April 17 protest. Right: A U-M police officer talks with Kevin Mersol-Barg (BA ’13) as he sits in the middle of State Street, blocking the flow of traffic.

in New York City, where Ramos was born. “I didn’t really become involved until I was in college, in the mid-2000s and right around the time of the big immigration marches of 2006,” Ramos explained. “I became politically aware and worked as a youth organizer with immigrant communities in New York. And that led to my involvement in immigration issues at the state level.” In 2005, Ramos cofounded the New York State Youth Leadership Council, an organization that promotes equal access to higher education for young immigrants, leadership development, and grassroots organizing. She is also a cofounder of the United We Dream Network, the largest organization led by immigrant youth in the country. But after years of activism and accomplishment, Ramos realized that she lacked the policy training to be a truly effective advocate for the rights of immigrant youth. And so she came to the Ford School, where her activism background provided a context for what she was learning in policy courses.

Photos (this page): Terra Molengraff/Michigan Daily


“When you get to writing a bill, for example, there is a cast of characters that you have to keep in mind,and if we’re not included in that policymaking process, our voices are ignored.”


Marisol Ramos

Ramos’ recalled Professor Richard Hall ’s core politics course (currently “Politics, Institutions, and Processes: National”) where students explored how to size up stakeholders in the policymaking process. “When you get to writing a bill, for example, there is a cast of characters that you have to keep in mind,” said Ramos. She realized that she herself was one of those stakeholders: “And if we’re not included in that policymaking process, our voices are ignored.” In an education policy course with Chuck Wilbur , she began to research the issues surrounding public university tuition for undocumented youth in Michigan. Ramos explained, “I did a lot of calling people, doing one-on-one interviews. When I started working at the Forum [The National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good], I continued having conversations with different administrators at higher education institutions, including Wayne State University and Ferris State. In all those conversations, everybody said, ‘If [the University of] Michigan does it, then we might,’” Ramos recalled. “That meant we had to get U-M to do it.”

Photo (top): Gabriel Martinez

As a seasoned organizer, Ramos served as an adviser for the Coalition for Tuition Equality (CTE), founded by Kevin Mersol-Barg (BA ’13) in 2011. CTE eventually comprised over 30 organizations working to secure in-state tuition for undocumented Michigan students. “Marisol played a really fascinating role,” said Mersol-Barg. “She spent numerous years in New York working with activists across the country around this issue. She facilitated our work with the National Forum on Higher Education. She also mediated between CTE and some national activists so we could find ways to bring them to campus.” CTE applied external pressure to U-M administrators by educating the broader campus community about the issue, bringing national speakers to campus, and staging demonstrations. But the organization also worked internally with University administrators on a task force initiated by thenUniversity Provost Phil Hanlon in April 2012.

Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs, chaired the task force, which had been charged with researching the pros and cons of tuition equality. “I enjoyed working with all of them [CTE students]. We visited California universities—Berkeley and UCLA—and met with a number of people and found that there was enormous support for undocumented students,” said Monts, who noted that, from the very beginning, the provost’s office had been responding to activism by students like Ramos, Mersol-Barg, and the Coalition for Tuition Equality. In March 2013, the task force presented its findings to the U-M Board of Regents. On July 18, the Board of Regents passed new guidelines extending in-state tuition rates to U.S. military veterans and to undocumented students who graduated and attended a Michigan high school for at least three years and a Michigan middle school for at least two years. ■

Ford School Spotlight New director Susan Guindi leads a dynamic team of professionals in the Ford School’s Student and Academic Services department. Top (l-r): Guindi, Mandy Ciacelli , Beth Soboleski , Amy Flanagan . Bottom (l-r): Mim Jones , Lindsay Price , Julia Hoffert , Tricia Heney .



Focus: Catalysts

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Yes, you! The unlikely and absolutely inspiring career of Eunice Burns | By Lillien Waller


(MPA ’70) holds up a photograph taken at her 90th birthday celebration. It’s of her children— Catherine’s the oldest; then there’s Laurie, Robert, and Tamara. In the picture Burns beams with pride, as she does now. Over the years, Burns’ children have organized small tributes on her birthday to honor her lifetime of dedication to the city of Ann Arbor; on a number of occasions she has received proclamations from the mayor. unice Burns

This year they held to that tradition but they also established the Eunice Burns Fund for Water Policy Education at the Ford School (previously the Institute of Public Policy Studies, or IPPS), from which she graduated in 1970. Eunice Burns (MPA ‘70)

For 52 years Burns has played many roles in Ann Arbor civic life—including three terms as a member of City Council—and for most of that time she has also served on the board of the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC). In 1981, she co-founded Huron River Day, an annual preservation event emphasizing the importance of water quality. The gift to the Ford School is a fitting tribute to this farm girl and former physical education teacher who was born and raised in southern Minnesota, “15 miles as the crow flies from the Mississippi” as she says. Who could have predicted that she would become a powerful voice in Ann Arbor political life and a passionate advocate of civic engagement? Certainly not Burns.

“Now what am I going to do?”

In 1961, Burns’ husband, microbiologist and U-M professor Charles Burns, encouraged her to step up to a new challenge: run for a vacant City Council seat. “Who me?” she asked. “Yes, you!” he replied. “But I can’t,” she told him, “I don’t even like speaking in front of groups.” “What do you believe in? What would you like to accomplish?” “I’d like to pass the Fair Housing Ordinance,” she said. “I campaigned and did the whole thing. I was scared to death the first time I went out to meet people, but I went to every door in the ward. The first person I met didn’t speak English; I spent 15 minutes trying to talk to her,” Burns recalls, laughing. “Usually, I would just hand out my literature and say, ‘unless you have any questions, I’ll just keep going.’” Burns continues, “But then I kind of liked it; it was fun. So I went to all those doors, and I won.” She thought to herself, now what am I going to do? The first part of the Ann Arbor Fair Housing Ordinance passed in 1963; the full ordinance passed during Burns’ second term in September of 1965. It was the first such statute in Michigan. “I discovered that I knew more than a lot of the men on that council because, even though I had






Approximate fraction of the earth’s surface that is covered in water

Percent of the earth’s water that is salt, and therefore unfit for drinking

Fraction of the earth’s remaining freshwater that is locked in ice caps, glaciers, and permafrost

Approximate percent of earth’s freshwater that is accessible and drinkable

Fraction of the world’s population that lacks access to safe drinking water


four children, I studied and learned,” she says. In 1965, the untimely death of Charles Burns in a sailboat accident put Eunice Burns’ resolve to the test. “I had four children, so I needed to go on,” she recalls. After the City Council, Burns worked on her Master of Public Policy degree. She secured course credits for prior experience from Pat Crecine , then chair of IPPS. “I walk in the door, and he says, ‘Oh, I see you’ve been on City Council; I think you ought to have 6 credits.’ One credit for each year,” she says chuckling. Master’s degree in hand, Burns didn’t feel particularly savvy about the job search. “I just went to my friends and said, ‘Hey, I’m available!’” It worked. Burns assisted Wilbur Cohen, former dean of the School of Education. For part of that time, she also worked directly for President Robben Fleming as the chair of the U-M Commission for Women. She authored the Burns Report on women in intercollegiate athletics, which recommended actions to implement Title IX in the wake of its passage in 1972. After a decade of service to the University, Burns retired in 1982.

Photo: Huron River Watershed Council

Illustration: Michigan Sea Grant

The “Yes, You!” Proclamation

Among Burns’ many roles, she continues to sit on the board of the HRWC, which recently honored her with the inaugural Herb Munzel Lifetime Achievement Award. “Eunice Burns’ leadership and commitment to the development of citizen science and stewardship has helped foster the effectiveness of HRWC,” says executive director Laura Rubin. “She has made a significant difference in improving the water quality and the quality of life in Ann Arbor.” On Burns’ 90th birthday, Ann Arbor mayor John Hieftje proclaimed her the “Yes, You!” Torch Bearer for a lifetime of service. Looking back on an unexpected but influential career, she advises young women to “find out what’s going on and get involved with some part of it—you can start just licking envelopes. I remember the first door I knocked on when I was campaigning, and it got easier and easier after that. You just have to take the first step and see where it leads you. And at age 90, I still haven’t stopped!” ■



Number of people, in millions, who die annually due to unsafe drinkingwater conditions

Percent of the earth’s freshwater that is held in the Great Lakes watershed

Source: Unless otherwise noted, all data from The Great Lakes Water Wars, by Peter Annin. Published by Island Press, a trademark of The Center for Resource Economics, in 2006.

The legacy of Eunice Burns Launched with a $35,000 gift, the Eunice Burns Fund for Water Policy Education will support educational and research activities at the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP). The fund will enable students, scholars, and the public to better understand the policy implications around sustainable methods of managing the world’s supply of fresh water, and related issues associated with effective environmental governance. The gift to the Ford School is also a gift to Eunice Burns from her children as a way to honor her steadfast commitment to her family, the U-M, Ann Arbor, and the environment. “The four of us started talking about it, and everyone was very enthusiastic,” says Burns’ daughter Laurie Burns McRobbie. “We also needed to do this in a way that would allow her to interact with the students who benefit from the fund. I think, more than anything, what she exemplifies is the notion that everybody has the ability to step up and make a difference.”

Burns on the Huron River.



Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Fac ulty

High honors Ford School faculty took home prestigious awards this fall

In September, Professor Robert Axelrod was presented the 2013 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. The Skytte Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in political science, recognizes outstanding academics and their contributions to the field. The Skytte Foundation selected Axelrod for having “profoundly changed our presumptions about the preconditions for human cooperation …[H]is findings are of crucial importance to a better understanding of international relations, negotiations, complex organizations, and political decision-making assemblies.” Axelrod was presented with the award during a ceremony held at Uppsala University in Sweden. The Skytte Prize is in its 19th year and is named for Uppsala’s 17th century vicechancellor, Johan Skytte.

Also in September, Assistant Professor Joshua Hausman— who recently joined the Ford School and whose research focuses on economic history and macroeconomics—won the 2013 Allan Nevins Prize in American Economic History for his dissertation titled “New Deal Policies and Recovery from the Great Depression.”

The Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame was created in 1983 to celebrate Michigan women’s history, promote educational opportunities, and honor the accomplishments of Michigan women. In the past 30 years, over 260 pioneering women have been inducted, including former First Lady Betty Ford.

The Nevins Prize recognizes the best dissertation in U.S. or Canadian economic history. Hausman received this award at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association in Washington, DC.

Susan M. Dynarski, postdoctoral fellow Joshua M. Hyman, and Northwestern University Associate Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, received the Raymond Vernon Memorial Award. The Vernon Award is given to the best research paper published in the current volume of the Association of Public Policy and Analysis Management’s (APPAM) flagship journal, The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM).

In October, Professor Marina v.N. Whitman was inducted

into the 2013 class of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. Having served as the first woman on the Council of Economic Advisers under President Nixon and then as a leading executive at General Motors, Whitman received this distinction for her lifelong leadership in business.

In November, Professor

Dynarski and Hyman’s paper, “Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Degree Attainment and Degree Completion” examined what insights can be learned from continued research on policies and experiments from the past, and the merging of old data with newer data. The authors used these practices to enhance the understanding of the effects of early interventions on later outcomes. ■

Axelrod Hausman Whitman Dynarski Hyman


The People’s House Gerald Ford’s congressional legacy

Before Nixon’s fall, before Agnew’s fall, Gerald R. Ford spent 25 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. But while everyone remembers his presidency, and the “extraordinary circumstances” under which he assumed the post, too few recall the influential role he played as a moderate Republican in Congress.

Photo: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

House Republicans applaud the newly elected House Minority Leader, Gerald R. Ford (arm raised), in January 1965.


n 1946, after the close of World War II, Gerald Ford returned from service in the U.S. Navy to his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan and resumed civilian life. Almost immediately, the young Ford became immersed in a wide variety of political and civic causes. He was working as a lawyer, with the hopes of making partner some day, and the idea of running for an elected office was a distant and somewhat hazy dream. So Ford followed local political happenings with his innate curiosity, but wasn’t deeply involved until he found himself disagreeing with his district’s Representative, Bartel Jonkman, on a matter that concerned him deeply. Jonkman—like many Republicans of the era—was a staunch isolationist when it came to foreign policy. He strongly opposed President Truman’s plan to assist in the post-

war reconstruction of Europe, including the reconstruction of former enemy states, Germany and Italy. Ford was a Republican too, of course, but one who had become convinced during his service in the Navy that America had a responsibility to promote and preserve world peace, and that rebuilding war-torn nations— whether friend or foe—would be a good way to do that. So Ford chose to run against Jonkman. Though Jonkman was a powerful politician, Ford ran a smart campaign, and won with an impressive 60.5 percent of the votes, joining the U.S. House of Representatives in 1949. At the age of 37, before the end of his first term in Congress, Ford was appointed to the quiet but powerful House Appropriations Committee, where he would serve for more than a decade. During these years, Ford worked to save taxpayer dollars, advance government


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Gerald Ford’s 25-year career in Congress was marked by a record of dedicated leadership and a unique ability to foster enduring relationships among both Republicans and Democrats. “I’m forever fond of Gerald Ford and all he did as a great leader of our nation, especially because he was a fellow son of Michigan.” —Congressman John D. Dingell (MI-12) efficiency, and invest in America’s military to preserve the peace. In 1961, the American Political Association presented Ford with its Congressional Distinguished Service Award, calling him a moderate conservative, highly respected by both parties, “who eschews the more colorful publicity seeking roles in favor of a solid record of achievement in the real work of the House: Committee work.” James Cannon, author of Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life, writes, “To the Association, as in the House, Ford was not a show horse, but a workhorse….” Ford didn’t write legislation, or drive new Republican bills, but he was influential. Throughout the 1950s, Ford served on a number of other subcommittees, including the Foreign Operations Subcommittee and the select committee that drafted legislation leading to the creation of NASA. In the 1960s, he was tapped to serve on the Warren Commission,

investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. And he might have gone on in this fashion indefinitely, happily serving Congress far from the limelight, if not for a series of events that crippled his party. In 1964, Ford watched with concern as the Republican National Convention was dominated by Senator Barry Goldwater and other deeply conservative members of the party. The senator's strident speeches and systematic exclusion of moderate Republicans left Ford dismayed, and on election night, his fears were realized. Goldwater’s extremism alienated many voters, and the 1964 election cost the party three dozen seats in the House. This is when Ford gave in to the urging of his moderate Republican peers and agreed to run for House minority leader. In 1965,

Photo: Newport News Shipbuilding


Photo (above): Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library


he won the office by four votes, becoming the highest-ranking Republican in Congress. As minority leader, Ford attempted to develop more substantive and positive Republican platforms. He campaigned for moderate Republican candidates, and helped to narrow the gap between the Democratic majority and Republican minority in the House. And along the way, he also did what the House minority leader is supposed to do: he engaged with the majority, across the aisle, to address issues of joint concern. Democratic Representative John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress, remembers Ford fondly. “When it comes down to it, the best political leaders are those who

A 1948 billboard in Grand Rapids, Mich. during Gerald Ford’s first campaign for the House of Representatives.

put partisan labels and rhetoric aside to best get the job done.” Though from opposing parties, Dingell and Ford did just that, he says. In 1973, when Richard Nixon nominated Ford two days after Agnew’s resignation—setting in motion the “extraordinary circumstances” under which Ford would later assume the presidency—Congress deliberated, as it must, but only briefly. Ford’s bipartisan leadership, civility, work ethic, and modesty had earned him the respect of his peers. His nomination was confirmed by an overwhelming majority of Republicans and Democrats in both houses. ■

Ford School Spotlight Opposite: “I christen thee United States ship…” On November 9, Susan Ford Bales christened the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the first of America’s next-generation aircraft carriers. Dean Collins attended the event in Newport News, VA. The ship will have a lifespan of 50 years and will be completed in 2015.

Right: President Obama’s spiritual advisor, Joshua DuBois , gave a Policy Talks @ the Ford

School lecture in November about faith, the White House, and the public square.



Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Sausage-making for charity Student-led auction wins Forever Go Blue award


ant to learn to curse in Bulgarian? Experience mixing, grinding, and stuffing your own sausages before you launch your career in DC? Challenge your school’s dean to a game of Whirly Ball? Enjoy a momofuku-style Bo Ssam dinner with six of your closest friends? Just attend the Ford School’s annual Charity Auction.

For the past 15 years, Ford School students have organized hundreds of fundraisers for local charities—weekly bake sales and annual Big Lebowski Bowling Nights, periodic penny wars and poker games, tasty ethnic lunches on the run, and catered evening banquets in the Great Hall—but while they’re all clever and entertaining, and more or less lucrative, none can compare to the students’ annual Charity Auction. In the past decade alone, the student-run Charity Auction has raised more than $100,000 for ten local and international nonprofits nominated and selected by the students themselves. They’ve included a support program for military families and returning veterans, an organization that works to promote peace and understanding in the aftermath of war, and a nonprofit—founded by one of our own Ford School alums—that helps thousands of young people engage in meaningful volunteer opportunities in Detroit.

In the past decade alone, the student-run Charity Auction has raised more than $100,000 for ten local and international nonprofits nominated and selected by the students themselves. In 2011, the Casablanca-themed auction raised $11,000 for Freedom House Detroit, an organization that helps survivors of persecution seeking political asylum in the United States and Canada. In 2012, the Magic-of-Motownthemed event raised $12,000 for Alternatives for Girls, a Detroit nonprofit serving homeless and at-risk girls. Last spring’s Charity Auction, with a Roaring 20s theme, raised $9,000 for Detroit Action Commonwealth, an organization that combats homelessness. Recent auction items included puppy play dates, golf outings, Detroit tours, statistics lessons, growlers of homemade hard cider, and lunch with the Mayor of Ann Arbor (the mayor teaches a Ford School class on local governance). The highest selling items in 2013? $825 for a cocktail reception for 25 hosted by faculty members Megan and Kevin Tompkins-Stange and $775 for a threeday, two-night stay at the 1,800-acre Henry Ford family estate along the Ogeechee River in Georgia. In 2013, the University of Michigan Alumni Association recognized the Ford School Charity Auction with the Forever Go Blue Award for External Philanthropy. Want to contribute to the 2014 Charity Auction? Quirky goods and services are always welcome. ■

Ford100 S T A T E & HILL

Ford School 100: centennial stories The Class of 1948’s Ben Williams visits the Ford School


he launch of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) in 1946 was a turning point for the school now known as the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Originally established in 1914 to prepare graduates for careers in municipal government, the IPA was designed to prepare graduates for careers at the state level, and to serve the rising demand for well-trained public administrators—a demand brought on by the close of WWII and the growth of American cities. (MPA ’48), who recently returned to the Ford School for a visit, was among the first graduates of the Institute of Public Administration. During the war, Williams had been stationed in Canada, where he was charged with helping send thousands of P-39s and P-63s, so-called tank destroyers, to the Soviet-German front. “They were obsolete as far as our service was concerned,” he recalled. “This was a collection of all our outdated airplanes; we sent them to Russia, and they were just the tool they needed to get the German tanks.”

Class photo: Larry Collins

Ben Williams

Ben Williams (MPA ’48) (first row, second from right) and the rest of the Institute of Public Administration community. Inset image: Williams returned to campus this September.

When the war ended, Williams returned to Michigan, and enrolled in the University of Michigan’s newly-constituted Institute of Public Administration. And after graduation, he took a job as a budget examiner for the state transportation department. Back then, much like today, finances were tight, so all budget requests were thoroughly scrutinized. Williams would help transportation department staff members consider their requests from all angles, developing answers to the critical questions they’d be asked by the legislature: “What’s it going to cost? Is it worth it? And what’s the public going to gain from what you’re proposing?” Throughout his career, he helped to grow and maintain the state’s highways, airways, and waterways. In 2014, the Ford School will celebrate all of the alumni who—like Ben Williams— have designed, informed, and implemented well-crafted public policy, improved lives, and made our world a better place. ■


A few of the centennial events to look forward to in 2014 ‘War on Poverty’ a 50th anniversary review of what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what’s ahead, organized by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Ford School’s National Poverty Center. Generous support provided by The Ford Foundation. January 8, 2014, Washington, DC Lecture and networking event in DC following the Ford School’s annual MPP recruiting trip, featured speaker Professor Justin Wolfers. February 6, 2014, Washington, DC

Honoring Edward M. Gramlich and the importance of policy research: A conference sponsored by the Ford School and hosted by the Federal Reserve Board. May 30, 2014, Washington, DC Amnesty and Forgiveness: Implications and enduring lessons from the Ford presidency. Fall 2014, Ann Arbor, MI

Centennial Reunion and Community Celebration recognizing the Ford School’s 100th anniversary during U-M’s homecoming weekend. October 31-November 2014, Ann Arbor, MI See back cover for more events.

Share your memories Were you a student in the IPA? An IPPSter? Or among the first Ford School classes? What do you remember about the school, your cohort, the classes, or the times? Please share your best Ford School memory at fordschool.umich. edu/100-reunion/memories. You can also send photos to: We’ll share your stories throughout the year.


Fac ulty

Faculty News & Awards John Ayanian published an article in

the New England Journal of Medicine on Michigan’s approach to Medicaid expansion and reform. The article received coverage in Crain’s Business Detroit and Crain’s Business Michigan, as well as on Michigan Radio. Dean Susan M. Collins began her twoyear term as president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). APSIA comprises 34 member schools and 35 affiliates in North America, Asia, and Europe dedicated to the improvement of professional education in international affairs and the advancement thereby of international understanding, prosperity, peace, and security.


In September, Sheldon H. Danziger published an op-ed in The New York Times arguing that the official poverty measure reported by the Census Bureau is inaccurate because it does not reflect the value of poverty interventions like food stamps and the earned income tax credit. In August, Alan V. Deardorff participated in a National Council of Applied Economic Research workshop in New Delhi, India on “India in the Asian Century.” In September, Deardorff led a discussion at an expert meeting on nontariff measures hosted by the United States International Trade Commission in Washington, DC.

New Faces


he Ford School is delighted to welcome three new faculty to the school this fall: Catherine Hausman , an assistant professor who focuses on environmental and energy economics and applied

econometrics; Joshua Hausman , an assistant professor who studies

economic history and macroeconomics with a focus on the U.S. economy in the 1930s; and Joy Rohde , whose research integrates U.S. political and intellectual history with the history of science. All three will teach Ford School courses in winter 2014.

C. Hausman

J. Hausman




Matthew M. Davis launched a free online course on Coursera titled “Understanding and Improving the U.S. Healthcare System” aimed at addressing questions raised by the Affordable Care Act. Coursera is a massive open online curriculum that U-M launched last year to provide free courses on a wide variety of subjects for learners from any background. Susan M. Dynarski presented a paper at a Hamilton Project forum on the evolving role of higher education in American society. Her paper, co-authored with Education Policy Initiative postdoctoral fellow Daniel Kreisman , proposes a single, incomebased student loan repayment system.

Postdoctoral fellow Joshua M. Hyman received a research grant from the Spencer Foundation to study the impact college financing information has on enrollment decisions students make. The project, a collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education, is titled “Information and College Enrollment: Evidence from Two Statewide Experiments in Michigan.” Philip B. K. Potter published an article in the September 2013 issue of International Studies Quarterly, “Electoral Margins and American Foreign Policy.” Potter argues that presidents who win elections by a large margin authorize the use of substantial military force more regularly, but do so at the expense of personal diplomacy and lowlevel crisis engagement. Potter was also interviewed by The New York Times about the growing risk of terrorism in China following the October 28th attack in Tiananmen Square.

In September, Joy Rhode published Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War. The book examines the controversies over Cold War social science and reveals the persistent militarization of American political and intellectual life.





In June, Craig Ruff joined the administration of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as his special advisor for education. Ruff is overseeing the gamut of education policies from pre-school through adult education. Ruff served under Governor Milikien from 1972– 1983 and, prior to returning to the State House, served as a senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants (PSC). Carl P. Simon was named one of the top

25 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professors in



Michigan by the Online Schools Michigan website, a resource for students to learn about online education options in the state. Simon was selected because of his work with the application of dynamic modeling to the movements of economy over time. In June, Betsey Stevenson was appointed to President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. The three-person council is charged with offering the president objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy.

Susan E. Waltz launched the Human

Rights Advocacy and the History of Human Rights Standards website, a collaboration with Albion College Professor Carrie Booth Walling. The site aims to bring attention to the historical role of human rights organizations in building international policy and provides a valuable resource for students, instructors, researchers, and advocates.

Ford School Spotlight

As part of our commemoration of President Ford’s centennial, the Ford School hosted a lively and insightful conversation in New York City, featuring eminent statesmen Henry Kissinger , 56th Secretary of State, and Paul H. O’Neill , 72nd Secretary of the Treasury.

Ford School undergrad and graduate students asked questions of former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe in small groups before her Policy Talks @ the Ford School lecture at Rackham Auditorium. After her lecture, Senator Snowe met with attendees and signed copies of her new book, Fighting for Common Ground.



Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Al umni

Class Notes Boatman

Ben Williams (MPA ’48) visited the Ford School in September 2013. Upon his graduation in 1948, Ben worked as a Budget Examiner in the Office of Budget and Management for the State of Michigan. Later, he served as an Administrative Manager in the Michigan Department of Transportation. David Fauri (MPA ’64) is serving as

Faculty Representative to the Board of Visitors of Virginia Commonwealth University. Gerben DeJong (MPA/MSW ’72) spent

2½ months in New Zealand as this year’s William Evans Visiting Fellow. DeJong spent much of his time lecturing in five New Zealand cities on topics related to his research at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC.

David Weiner (MPP ’83) was promoted in September 2013 to Assistant Director for the Tax Analysis Division at the Congressional Budget Office. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Director in the same division.

After an extensive nationwide search, the Board of Governors of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) selected James Potter (MPP ’88) as its Chief Executive Officer.

Pictured, left to right: Nathan Edward Curtis, Cora Ann Curry, Ruth Zora Goldberg, Silvia Mara Stella

Jonas Neihardt (MPP ’89), Senior Vice

President, Government Relations for Hilton Worldwide, hosted a joint reception with Visit England and members of Parliament at DoubleTree by Hilton, London Westminster to celebrate and highlight ways the Government can promote British tourism. In September 2013, Jack Smalligan (MPP ’89) was promoted to Deputy Associate Director for Education, Income Maintenance, and Labor in the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Office of the President. Jack took a sabbatical from OMB in 2012 to be a guest scholar at Brookings and a research fellow at the Harvard’s Kennedy School.

the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in November 2013. He plans to do part-time consulting on issues related to climate change.

Class of 20??


Jim Spaniolo (MPA/JD ’75) recently moved back to Holt, MI after serving as president of The University of Texas at Arlington for the past nine years.

Alan Miller (MPP/JD ‘74) retired from

In September, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Alan Cohen (MPP ’75) as a Member of the Social Security Advisory Board. Cohen served as the Senior Budget Advisor and Chief Counselor for Social Security for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance from 2001 to 2012.


Jeff Wallbaum (MPP/MA ’96) and Scott Dillon celebrated their first nine years together by getting married in March 2013. They live in Washington, DC. Francisco Sanchez (MPP ’88) hosted a

small tailgate at his home for the U-M vs. Notre Dame game in September. Ford School alumni and students spanning four decades were in attendance.

Earlier this year, Meghan Henson (MPP/MBA ’97) became the Chief Global Human Resources Officer for Chubb Insurance based in Warren, New Jersey. Meghan was previously Senior Vice President of Human Resources for PepsiCo.





Mellie Torres (MPP ’97) received her PhD

in education from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in 2013. Xiaodong Zhang (MPP ’97) recently joined IMPAQ International as Managing Director and Principal Research Scientist. Previously, Zhang earned his PhD in Public Administration at American University. Heidi Goldberg (MPP/MSW ’98) is happy to announce the birth of her daughter, Ruth Zora Goldberg, born on July 6, 2013 and weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Michael Landweber ’s (MPP/MA ’98)

debut novel, We, was published by Coffeetown Press in September. Michael works at the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy as a Senior Advisor and Director of Regional Affairs. Olga Stella (MPP ’99) and husband Dante Stella welcomed daughter Silvia Mara Stella on November 12, 2012.

On August 10, 2013, Annie Maxwell (MPP ’02) married Adam Pike in Santa Barbara, CA. They live in San Francisco, where Annie is the Chief Operating Officer of the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Laura (Smith) Curry (MPP ’02) and

her husband Chris welcomed daughter Cora Ann Curry on May 7, 2013. Stephanie Klupinski (MPP ’04) moved

to the middle of the Pacific to become the Organizational Performance Manager for the newly-formed Hawaii Public Charter School Commission. This fall, Angela Boatman (MPP/MA ’06) joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University as an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education in the department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations. Tyler Curtis (MPP ’06) and wife Lily Clark (MPP ’06) are pleased to announce

the arrival of their son, Nathan Edward Curtis. Andrew Schroeder (MPP ’07) received the President’s Award from Esri at the organization’s Global User Conference in



San Diego this July. Andrew was honored for the value of his mapping work with Direct Relief International in improving humanitarian medical assistance around the world. Manny Teodoro (PhD ’07) joined



Gabriel Tourek (BA ’10) is a first year

PhD student in Public Policy at Harvard University. He spent the last two years as a research fellow in the Evidence for Policy Design program at the Center for International Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

the faculty of Texas A&M University as tenured Associate Professor of Political Science.

Rebecca Lopez Kriss (MPP ’11) was

In October, Andreas Hatzigeorgiou (MPP ’08) defended his doctoral dissertation in economics, “Information, Networks, and Trust in the Global Economy—Essays on International Trade and Migration,” at Lund University, Sweden.

Sarah Obed (MPP ’11) was promoted

Marissa Rollens (MPP ’08), Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, began her three-year tenure as a policy adviser to U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany.

This June, Erik Fonseca (MPP ’09) was elected the 11th president of the Voces Latinas Toastmasters Club in Los Angeles, CA. The club provides members with the tools to become better public speakers and leaders in their communities. In May, Elizabeth D. Brouwer (BA ’09) started a new job as a Health Economic Analyst at the University of Washington’s Global Health Department examining the cost-effectiveness and equity of global health interventions. This fall, Colin Lewis-Beck (MPP ’10) began work on a PhD in Statistics at the University of Iowa. Daniela Pineda (PhD ’10) became the

first Strategic Data Officer for the Postsecondary Success Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Craig Cammarata (MPP/MS ’10)

became Director of Decision Analytics for Enviance, Inc. in July 2013. He works with the federal government and Fortune 500 companies to systematically assess environmental risks to inform more sustainable business decisions.

promoted to Manager, Entrepreneurial Investment for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce. She works to improve Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem.

to Vice President of External Affairs at Doyon, Limited, the Native regional corporation for Interior Alaska. She will be responsible for representing the corporation on a wide range of matters before federal, state, and local governments, and reviewing and analyzing legislative issues. Candice Ammori (BA ’12) recently

finished a year with Princeton in Asia teaching Singaporean students business communications at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. She moved to Cambodia in October to work with Vision Fund, the microfinance arm of World Vision. Chris Brunn (MPA ’12) joined Google as a Partner Technology Manager. He manages the success of some of Google’s largest partnerships. Jesse Franzblau (MPP ’12) is currently

working as a research consultant for the National Security Archive—a research institute located at the George Washington University. He provides policy analysis on security sector reform and transitional justice efforts in post-conflict countries. Lydia McMullen-Laird (BA ’12) received a Fulbright Scholarship to China. She will study Chinese-Russian relations. Nathan Rix (MPP ’12) was promoted to Strategic Initiatives Project Manager in the Office of the Chief Operating Officer, State of Oregon. He focuses on aligning state services to the priorities of Governor Kitzhaber’s Regional Solutions Centers.


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy


Our next century As the University launches a major fundraising initiative, “Victors for Michigan,” State & Hill speaks with the co-chairs of the Ford School’s campaign, Jim Hudak (MPP ’71) and Jim Hackett (BGS ’77).

S&H: Why did you commit to co-chair this campaign for the Ford School?

I was a 1971 graduate of the program—the first year they gave the MPP. After 20 years of government I went into the private sector. I went to Yale undergrad on full scholarship, but I give here, because Yale has lots of people who can afford to donate. Here, most of the alums go into government, and they don’t have the resources to do all the things we need to do. And the other reason (gestures) was because Jim was going to co-chair with me. Hudak:

He just stole my answer (laughs). My motivation is a discussion that I had with President Ford two or three years before he passed away. He asked me to his office in Grand Rapids to share that we were quite close to hitting our goal for the (new Ford School) building. He just asked “Can you help?” And the way he did it was so down to earth, and you didn’t feel pressure. Later, it was just an honor to meet talented graduates that I respect so much. So I thought, this is need-based, President Ford wanted it, I meet great people, and it feels like it all fit together. Hackett:

Hudak: I was the youngest of three. My mother was a librarian and my dad was a high school teacher and football coach in a very small rural school. They taught us to give back, to leave your community a better place. I couldn’t afford to come to the U-M. I was already married, I had a kid. I got a full scholarship here. So part of my passion for the school is to give money for scholarships or fellowships, so that talented kids can come. I’m excited to meet two of the Hudak Fellows at lunch later today.


Describe the goals of the Ford School campaign.

Hudak: The school has to accomplish three things. One, it’s got to attract the best students, and that takes money, because other schools can offer them scholarships and we need to be competitive. Second, we must have the best faculty. To do that, we must have endowed chairs, and the competition for faculty is really fierce right now. And then the third is to do the kind of research and study and engagement that actually can make change in major societal problems.

Those are the three things that make for a great public policy program, and none of those come without the money behind it. I once worked for the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in San Antonio Texas, and they had a great saying, “no money, no mission.” There are countless worthy causes out there; why should people invest in the Ford School?


As a business person, I’d say that you can have the wrong action at the right time, or you can have the right action at the wrong time. This (program) is the intersection of right time and right action: it is crucial that we find ways to build new capabilities for governments—improvement and modernization and what I call the design of our future. I think there’s a magical moment for our fundraising and that people will be compelled to act right now if we can get to the right people and have a discussion about that.


What campaign message would you want to send to alumni?


Hudak: Give what you can! I’d like to see us have the highest percentage of alumni participating, even if it’s a couple dollars from each. Also, they’re in positions where they have contact with the people who want to make a constructive change and have the means; help us reach those people about why they should give to the Ford School.

But don’t let them off the hook about contributing! Even in small amounts, a high participation rate means a lot. S&H:

20 years from now where would you want to see the school?

Hudak: My answer is simple: whether you’re in government or in business, if there is a complex problem the first place you think about going is the Ford School. This is a place that can bring an objective, analytic approach; you’re not going to get that giving to a law school or a business school. This school can make a practical impact on the problems that are most important to us. ■

Jim Hudak (MPP ’71) and Jim Hackett (BGS ’77).

Ford School Spotlight

In July, Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day brought together alums around the globe—including this group in Washington, DC—to reconnect with friends and toast President Ford on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Victors for Michigan On November 7, the University of Michigan publicly launched its ambitious fundraising campaign of $4 billion—the largest effort in the history of public higher education. The University’s highest priority is to raise funds for student support so that every student accepted by the University can afford to attend and so that every student can have an outstanding student experience. The second priority is to extend learning from the classroom out into the world, providing a global purview and encouraging a creative, entrepreneurial mindset. The third priority, linked to the U-M’s responsibility as a public university, is to collaborate on bold ideas that address the world’s most challenging problems, such as sustainability, kindergarten-12th grade education, and cancer. On November 8, a community-wide celebration kicked off the public phase of the campaign with festive events on Ingalls Mall and in Hill Auditorium.

Doctoral student Matthew Alemu (MPP ’09) speaks at the Victors for Michigan event.

Be a Victor for Michigan!


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Joan and Sanford Weill Hall 735 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091

Printed on paper made from 100% post-consumer waste using biogas energy.


Join us

in person or online for these upcoming Ford School events:

January 8

February 6

May 30

January 8, 2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the ‘War on Poverty’ launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson. With the Russell Sage Foundation, the Ford School’s National Poverty Center will release an edited volume assessing the impact of these programs, and the significant work that remains, at an event in Washington, DC. Support provided by The Ford Foundation. Live streamed.

Lecture and networking event in Washington, DC following the Ford School’s annual MPP recruiting trip, with featured speaker Professor Justin Wolfers.

Honoring Edward M. Gramlich and the importance of policy research: A conference sponsored by the Ford School and hosted by the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC. Keynote live streamed.

February 3

The future of the Voting Rights Act: Is there one? A Policy Talks @ the Ford School lecture by Heather Gerken, the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Live streamed.

March 25 Kevyn Orr will deliver a Policy Talks @ the Ford School lecture one year to the day of his appointment as emergency manager of the city of Detroit. This event is co-sponsored by CLOSUP.

April 10-11 Poverty, policy, and people: 25 years of research and training at the University of Michigan, a conference honoring Sheldon Danziger. The conference will include a Citi Foundation Lecture by Rebecca M. Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Lecture live streamed.

October 31-November 1 The Centennial Reunion and Community Celebration: Join us for major celebration of the Ford School’s centennial held during U-M’s homecoming weekend. Activities include featured panels, keynote speaker, reception, tailgate, football game, and opportunities to network with alumni, faculty, staff, students, and guests. For details and to share your memories: fordschool.umich. edu/100-reunion

Visit for more details or to watch videos from our past events. For the latest event news, sign up by emailing or following @fordschool.

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