A common expression at UofM is, “the michigan difference”. Does Michigan really have a difference that makes it a much greater institution then other schools. I believe it does, but how would various political theorists feel about our school?
Hobbes says that the primary motivation of people is fear of death. In the academic world, this is the fear of getting poor grades. Students do crazy things when they believe they might fail. They will take adderall, pull an all nighter, or blatantly cheat on an exam. Especially during finals week, students go crazy to get good grades. This happens at Michigan and every other school in the country. So what is it that makes Michigan special and how would political theorists classify our educational system as being fair or unfair?
The University of Michigan has a strong reputation for being a world class school. UofM has the best professors and gives the best education to its students. University of Maryland is a pretty good school as well, but the huge difference in the ability of the schools to provide for the students takes Michigan to a different level.
The University of Michigan has resources that greatly outmatch the majority of other schools in the country. These resources are used to support the growing Michigan Campus and strong athletic teams. If we speak strictly in numbers, Michigan has an endowment of nearly 8 billion dollars. In comparison The University of Maryland has an endowment of about 500 million dollars. Marx probably rolls over in his grave every year when the new financial reports are released. Every building on our campus is either state of the art of has a renovation planned. The Ross school is a multi-billion dollar building, and the computer power of north campus is second only to NASA (for real). All these resources that our school can luckily afford make it quite easy to enjoy learning. I have taken a class at Maryland and the facilities are disgusting in comparison. In addition to academic buildings, the on campus housing at Michigan is on a whole different level than UMD. North Quad, Couzens, Alice Lloyd, and soon East Quad, mimic hotels. While UMD housing mirrors jail. The conditions that students live and learn in play a big part in if they will succeed.
Would John Locke, who believed in equal rights and opportunities in society, agree this makes sense or is fair. (Obviously I am all Blue, I am just using the Terps for comparison). I don’t think Locke would react well to hearing that Maryland is planning to cut 8 varsity sports for next year, while Michigan just added a mens varsity lacrosse program with a women’s team following next year. This does give Maryland much opportunity to become the most winning school in college history, does it?
Examples of The Michigan Difference can be found at http://www.themichdiff.com