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Hanlon Debases the Coin of the Realm

Each year the University of Michigan website contains a summary of the Provost’s Report to the University’s Regents (its Trustees). The document includes details on many aspects of the school where progress has been made over past years. The 2016/2017 report notes proudly that the student:faculty ratio has improved and the number of small classes has increased — but only since Phil Hanlon left Ann Arbor for Hanover in the first half of 2013. His successor, Martha Pollock ‘79, turned around a pair of negative trends:

Michigan Post-Hanlon.jpg

The numbers may be small, but given that Michigan has close to 29,000 undergraduates, changing the student:faculty ratio for the worse requires a real increase in the number of students and/or a consequential decrease in the number of faculty members.

I am not fond of the term “inflection point” — one of Jim Kim’s favorite buzz phrases — but it is hard not to conclude that things started to look up for Michigan’s undergraduates once Phil left the school.


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