The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  99

CITY-UNIVERSITY RELATIONS

A review of selected statistics at the beginning and end of the 1940-77 period provides a background against which to judge the relationships between the City and the University.

In 1940 the University occupied approximately 8 percent of the city's total land area of 3,672 acres. In 1970, the percentage had remained relatively stable at 10.5 percent, and in 1977 the University occupied 1,560 acres or 10.4 percent of the total city acreage of 15,025. The North Campus lands of 792 acres, or almost 50 percent of the University acreage within the expanded city, represented the major growth area.

In the fall of 1940 the student population was 12,875 or 43 percent of the nonstudent city residents counted in the 1940 census. The 1970 census, which included students, showed the Ann Arbor population to be 99,797. Adjusting this figure for the estimated 26,000 students counted by the census enumerators indicates a nonstudent resident city population of 73,797. A fall 1970 enrollment in Ann Arbor of 32,940 gave a comparable 1970 student to nonstudent residence percentage of 45 percent - a relatively stable percentage. Fall 1976 enrollment in Ann Arbor was 34,754 and the Ann Arbor population was estimated at 106,000, continuing the relative stability at 43 percent.

The University housed 22 percent of its students in 1940, 33 percent in 1970 and 33 percent in 1977.

Therefore, in proportional terms, there remained, over the thirty-seven year period from 1940 to 1977, a stability between students and population and between land owned by the University and land within the City of Ann Arbor.

There are, however, areas of change which lack this same stability. The number of visitors to the University has increased greatly. In 1940-41 the Director of the University Hospital reported 132,327 outpatient visits. In 1970-71, there were 312,808 outpatient visits, an increase of over 180,000. By 1976-77 this figure had grown to just Page  100over 350,000. The Registrar reported 6,791 people participated in noncredit institutes and conferences in 1940-41, while a survey of the major units sponsoring such conferences in 1976-77 indicated an approximate seven-fold increase to 46,645.

Student use of automobiles in the city was controlled by a Regents' regulation in 1940, and some 509 special permits were issued allowing students to drive. By 1946-47 some 3,600 students were driving. The driving regulations were removed in the summer of 1968 and, by fall of 1971, it was estimated 13,000 students would have cars on the campus.

Accommodating to the changes presented by the growth of the city and the University has involved the recognition of common interests in the community at large. The University and city have financed several planning studies over the years, the first being "Measures for Relieving Ann Arbor Street Traffic Conditions" in 1956. Another interesting study dealt with the planning treatment for the Huron River Valley, one of Ann Arbor's important visual amenities.

The fact that the University, as a state institution, is exempt from local taxation has created special problems for the city, particularly during periods of growth. Because of the common interests of the city and the University, the two have worked together to devise means by which the University can purchase required municipal services.

The question of Fire Department and Police Services provides an example of the accommodations reached. Acting under Public Act 98 of the Public Acts of 1929, which authorized contracting for police services, the Regents agreed in 1946 to pay annually a sum equal to the salary of seven policemen to the city "as long as the police service rendered to the University is satisfactory to the Board of Regents." In September 1946, the Regents agreed to purchase a high-pressure fog truck for the use of the City Fire Department, and in 1950 purchased an aerial ladder truck at a cost of $32,000.

In October of 1947 the police agreement was modified to pay the city one-seventh of the total payroll of the Police Department beginning with the fiscal year 1947-48. Page  101In 1951, following adoption of rules and regulations on traffic and parking, the Regents delegated enforcement to the City Police Department and agreed to pay for the acquisition of two radio-equipped motorcycles and the salaries and fringe benefits of two uniformed motorcycle policemen.

In April of 1956 the Regents approved transfer of the fire-fighting equipment to the city and agreed to pay the city 18 percent of the Fire Department operating budget for services rendered by the department to the University. The 18 percent was based upon a comparison of property values, comparative insurance rates, and the number of fire runs over a four-year period.

Effective July 1, 1964, payments for police services were similarly set at 18 percent of the police operating budget. Payments under this formula for 1969-70 amounted to $480,335 for police service, and $305,112 for fire protection. In addition, $56,832 was paid for patrol of University parking facilities.

These arrangements between the city and the University were challenged by Governor William Milliken in his budget message to the Legislature for 1971-72, which stated:

"The University of Michigan and Michigan State University have for some time made payments to their municipal units for police and fire services. Rather than extend this policy to other cities throughout the state, the budget proposed dropping these reimbursements in the belief that the revenue sharing proposal and redistribution of sales, use, intangibles, gasoline and income taxes represent adequate assistance for these services rendered throughout the state."

In writing to the Governor in February 1971, City Administrator Guy C. Larcom, Jr., pointed out:

"Unlike the situation in many other university cities, the University of Michigan, as you well know, is an integral and physical part of the City of Ann Arbor with the central campus area in the downtown portion of the city and with other major land areas such as the north campus within the city limits. The reason for the joint agreements which have Page  102persisted over the years is the recognition by the University and the City that they must plan together in all areas of development and of service and that any effort to split up services would be a costly and hazardous process that could not help the City nor the University."

Following the Governor's recommendation for discontinuation of the 18 percent payment formula for police and fire services, a negotiated direct cost contract was made with the city. A payment of $350,000 was made to the city for 1971-72 police and fire services. (Payments for 1970-71 under the former plan totaled $896,266.)

In July 1974 Regental action authorized payments to the City of Ann Arbor "of up to $475,000 for police and fire services subject to the following conditions:

"That police services are provided by a specific agreement which indicates that manpower and other services are included. That payments for fire service are made with the understanding that they are made for a one-year period only, and that they are to be discontinued in the event that such payments are not authorized by action of the Legislature for subsequent years."

In March 1975 payment of $250,000 was made for Fire Protection Service for the period July 1974 to June 1975. Payments for 1976-77 were $275,000.

Public Act 289, enacted by the legislature and signed by the Governor in 1977, provided a means for payment directly by the state to municipalities for fire protection services received by state facilities.

Ann Arbor's eccentric street patterns, combined with the growth of the city and the University have received much attention. The "Central Campus Planning Study" completed in June 1963 recommended a series of traffic improvements throughout the campus area. A City of Ann Arbor "Thoroughfare Plan" report was issued in November 1963. Subsequently a joint University-City sponsored study, conducted by Harland Bartholemew and Associates entitled "A Traffic and Parking Analysis — The Ann Arbor Thoroughfare Plan in Relation to University of Michigan Central Campus Page  103Study" reviewed the relationship between City and University plans.

The major thrust of the study was to seek ways of improving circulation around the campus, on a "ring" made up of Forest Avenue, Washtenaw Avenue, Hill Street, Division Street, and Huron Street, while closing certain minor streets to automobiles. As a result, the following campus area streets were closed:

  • 1. Washington Street between Fletcher Street and Forest Avenue. This closing allowed the construction of the Fletcher Street Parking Structure with entrances on both Fletcher Street and Forest Avenue. (1964)
  • 2. North University Avenue east from Forest Avenue to the east boundary of the Margaret Bell Pool site. (1968)
  • 3. North University Avenue west from Forest Avenue to Washtenaw Avenue. This allowed the construction of a walkway and pedestrian bridge over Forest Avenue toward the dormitories on the Observatory "hill" and eliminated an especially dangerous conflict between pedestrians and traffic on Forest Avenue. (1968)
  • 4. Haven Street between Monroe Street and Hill Street. This closure permitted the construction of the Hill Street Parking Structure. (1969)
  • 5. East University Avenue between North and South University Avenues. (1970)

In recent years, major street improvements have been made to Forest Avenue, Fuller Road, and Observatory Street, and the University has shared the cost of these improvement projects with the city.

There was a surprise in one of the Harland Bartholemew recommendations, which suggested a new north-south parkway from Washtenaw Avenue on the south to Fuller Street on the north, using the Arboretum as a route. A University official hastened to disavow that recommendation in a press release, saying, "…the reported recommendation for routing a thoroughfare through the Arboretum area is completely inconsistent Page  104with the assigned use of the property as an arboretum. This route location has not been a part of University plans for campus development and there is no concept or provision for a change in the use of the Arboretum."

Other street closings have included East Jefferson Street in 1945 between State and Maynard Streets to permit construction of the former Administration Building, now the Literature, Science, and Arts Building. Clark Street, in the Medical Center, was closed in 1950, and Thayer Street, between Washington and Huron Streets, was closed in 1955 to permit expansion of the Frieze Building.

Between 1946 and 1977, the University participated in street improvements, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and related expenses to the extent of $2,749,907. Payments were also made to the city in 1940 and 1947 for the expansion of the city's water and sewage treatment plants. Since that time both water and sewer rates have been set at a level to provide revenue for plant expansions.

The University has deeded land to the city for road improvements, two notable examples being 4.21 acres of North Campus land for the construction of the Huron Parkway in 1965 and a strip of land for widening Green Road on the eastern boundary of the North Campus.

In the acquiring of land for expansion of the University, there has long been concern by citizens about the removal of such lands from the tax rolls, thereby decreasing the city's tax base. In acquiring land, the University, beginning with the acquisition of parcels in the Medical Center in 1891, has attempted to acquire undeveloped land for future use. The North Campus development was an acquisition of this type. In addition, subsequent sales of University lands to Parke-Davis in December of 1957, and to the Climax Molybdenum Company in December of 1964 for building research laboratories resulted in a net increase in the tax base of the city. A study for the period July 1956 through December 1968 showed that the University purchases had removed taxable property with an assessed valuation of just under $1,370,000, but that sales of University property had resulted in adding over $3,700,000 in assessed valuation during the same period.

Page  105In 1967 the University sold two acres of land on Green Road to the Ann Arbor Housing Commission for use as a site for public housing. The sale was at an appraised market value of $10,000 per acre.

The Regents in January 1967 agreed to share the cost of an artificial ice rink and swimming pool complex to be built on Fuller Road. The University's contribution of $212,000 permitted enlarging the pool to Olympic size. Under the terms of an agreement with the city, the University participates as a lessee of restricted use time of the facility. Intramural Director Dr. Rodney Grambeau was designated as the University spokesman and coordinator for scheduling University use in accordance with the lease agreement.

The University provided rent-free use to the city of a parcel of land along the Huron River which included seven holes of an 18-hole Municipal Golf Course. The parcel was acquired in 1955, and the city continued its use until February 1968, when improvements to the land for intramural field sports were scheduled by the University. Since that time the Ann Arbor Recreation Department has used the field in the summer for league baseball games.

University-City cooperation pioneered one of the nation's most unique recreation developments in 1968 with the establish ment of the Summer Recreation Program for community youngsters. This innovative and initially very successful addition to the free summer sports opportunities for Ann Arbor children was made possible by the cooperative efforts of the Ann Arbor Recreation Department and Athletic Director Donald B. Canham. Week-long clinics, directed by the varsity coaching staffs in the varsity athletic facilities, provided an opportunity for interested children to learn and gain experience in a variety of sports. Baseball, track, gymnastics, basketball, and football clinics were organized the first year and attendance averaged 880 per day. In 1969 clinics in wrestling, golf and tennis were added, and over 6,000 participated. Girls had been excluded from some of the earlier clinics, but in 1971, after complaints from local women's rights organizations, all clinics were opened to girls as well as boys. Unfortunately, interest in the program fell drastically in 1973 and no program was held in 1974.

Page  106In terms of facilities, the Athletic Department had, in addition to the Fuller playfields, made the varsity baseball field available for scheduling by the Ann Arbor Recreation Department. The 1970 football game between Ann Arbor's Huron and Pioneer High Schools was played in the Michigan Stadium.

Other areas of cooperation have been a summer job program for city teenagers, begun in 1968, and the use of University facilities for polling places. The North Campus Commons, Michigan League, West Quadrangle, South Quadrangle, Mary Markley Hall, and Yost Field House have been used for this purpose.

Many faculty and staff members have made major contributions to the city as members of various units of city government. In the past forty years, five of eight Ann Arbor mayors have been University people: Walter C. Sadler, 1934-41 (Professor of Civil Engineering); Leigh J. Young, 1941-45 (Professor of Silviculture); Samuel J. Eldersveld, 1957-59 (Professor of Political Science); Robert J. Harris, 1969-72 (Professor of Law); and Albert J. Wheeler, 1975-78 (Associate Professor of Dermatology and Microbiology). David S. Pollock (Supervisor of Community Service, University Relations), John Dowson (Professor of Dentistry), John G. McKevitt (Assistant to the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer), and Clinton N. Hewitt (Assistant University Planner) are among many who served on the City Planning Commission. Mechanical Engineering Professor Jay Bolt devoted many hours to the city's Noise Ordinance while Civil Engineering Professor Donald Cleveland and Natural Resources Professor William Drake have worked with the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. Numerous University faculty and staff members have also served on the Ann Arbor City Council.

It has been almost traditional that at least one Regent be a resident of the Ann Arbor area. In recent years local residents Roscoe O. Bonisteel, 1946-59; Frederick C. Matthaei, 1960-67; Eugene B. Power, 1956-66; Deane Baker, 1974 — ; and Sarah Goddard Power, 1975 — have served on the Board.

The University and the Ann Arbor Public Schools have long worked together and many University employees have served as trustees of the Board of Education.

Page  107In 1950 the University sold property at Stadium Boulevard and Main Street for the construction of a new Ann Arbor High School and purchased Wines Field (now known as Elbel Field), the High School Athletic Field at Hill and Division Streets, for University intramural use. In 1954 the University purchased the old Ann Arbor High School (since renamed the Frieze Building). In 1964 the Regents agreed to furnish 25 acres on Fuller Road for a second high school, with the understanding that the School of Education would cease to operate grades 10, 11 and 12 of the University School and arrange for an orderly transition of teachers and children to a new facility upon completion. The University purchased the Perry School at Packard and Madison Streets in 1965.

With the University scheduled to close the University School completely in June 1970, and with more married student apartments being constructed on the North Campus, the School Board looked toward the University for some sort of payment for the schooling of children living in this tax-exempt housing.

At the April 1970 meeting, the Regents agreed to make payments to the Ann Arbor Board of Education "…for school services to children living in Northwood Apartments; that the cost for that agreement be charged back to the tenants of Northwood Apartments, effective July 1, 1970; that those monies collected be held in escrow; and that the University join in a suit to determine the legality of payments of such charges…"

At the May 1970 meeting, the Regents modified the position by setting an amount of $6.00 per month per apartment unit and recommended that no payment be made to the schools until an opinion is obtained from the Attorney General or a court as to the legality of such payment.

In January 1971, the Regents resolved, "That the University of Michigan pay to the Ann Arbor School District an amount not to exceed $6.00 per month per unit for the period August 1, 1970 to June 30, 1971." And at the September 1973 meeting, it was "RESOLVED, That in view of the decision on September 18, 1973, by the Michigan Supreme Court in Sprik v. Regents (Docket No. 54432), a payment calculated Page  108as hereinafter provided shall be made by the University to the Ann Arbor Board of Education as soon as practicable. Said payment shall be an amount equal to collections by the University of $6.00 per month per married student rental housing unit for the months of August, 1970, through September, 1973, inclusive. Additional payments calculated in the same manner shall be made quarterly hereafter, and it is FURTHER RESOLVED, That any previous acts or resolutions of this Board which may be construed as inconsistent herewith are hereby expressly repealed and this Resolution shall control in the event of any such inconsistency or ambiguity." The legality of the payment was challenged in the courts. A May 1975 Michigan Supreme Court ruling resolved the dispute and cleared the way for payments to the Ann Arbor Board of Education.

The compiling of the information in this history and the writing of major parts have been accomplished by Frederick E. Oliver, Anita J. Stull, and William S. Sturgis, all long-time members of the staff of the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.