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How deeply do major university donors influence higher education in America?

Teresa Mathew
The Michigan Daily

It was a gift — with a capital "G."

Real estate developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made big headlines last month with an eye-popping $200-million gift to the University of Michigan.

The donation is earmarked for the university's athletic department and the business school that already bears the name of Stephen Ross from an earlier gift of $113 million.

The donation capped a fundraising run for outgoing university President Mary Sue Coleman that saw university coffers increase by $542 million over the past two years, thanks to six massive donations.

What goes into these huge gifts? And what do the donors expect for their generosity? How deeply do major donors like Stephen Ross influence higher education in America?

Joining us for the conversation is John Burkhardt, director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan, as well as the special assistant to the provost for university engagement.

Listen to the full interview above. 

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