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How Does the University Research Corridor Benefit Michigan?

Stephen Henderson meets with M. Roy Wilson, President of Wayne State University, Lou Anna K. Simon, President of Michigan State University, and Mark Schlissel, President of the University of Michigan to discuss how the University Research Corridor (URC) attracts and retains talent in the state and how it benefits Michigan’s economy. The key points:

  • Economic benefit: Schlissel says, “for every $1 invested in the URC, the state receives $21 of economic benefit.” He says this makes it a huge return on investment for Michigan. The URC brings money to the state through its research, which attracts further talent to Michigan.
  • Competition: According to Simon, The Michigan URC is the #2 research cluster in the country behind California. She says the URC is very competitive and can compete with any cluster in the country in talent and innovation.
  • Funding: Though higher education investment from the government has declined in Michigan during the past decade, the university presidents hope that the state will see the URC as a priority and a good investment in Michigan’s future.
  • Independent collaboration: Schlissel says that if Wayne State, MSU, and U of M were a part of a unified educational system, there would be “less opportunity to innovate” than they have as three independent universities. Wilson agrees, explaining that the collaboration between them goes much deeper than the presidents. Simon says the sharing of resources within the URC is part of a powerful and consistent relationship that is an asset to the state of Michigan.
  • Diversity: Wilson says that while some universities use the ban on affirmative action as an excuse for decreased diversities in their schools, the universities in the URC do everything they can to attract more diverse talent.

Listen to the full conversation by clicking the audio link above.

Image credit: WDET

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