Wall Street Journal front page features University
Issue date: 2/25/05 Section: News
The article, titled "How Dr. Papadakis Runs a University Like a Company," not only discussed Papadakis's personality as a business leader, but also his emphasis on online classes and "fancy marketing" despite the University's low rank among top-tier schools.
"It's the most market driven school I've ever worked with," commented George Dehne, President of George Dehne and Associates, to The Wall Street Journal. "[He is] a piece of work [and] I don't know what other institution could handle him."
Through his business acumen, Papadakis has managed to raise the University's endowment funding from approximately $100 million in 1995 to $472.7 million as of Dec. 31, 2004. To date, the University has over a billion dollars in assets and holdings.
"If I didn't have money [for academic programs], I wouldn't be able to do anything," Papadakis said at the Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 23.
The WSJ also reported that library funding still serves as a bone of contention for Papadakis and the faculty. At University Assembly last May, he caused controversy when he voiced his preference to do away with hard books in favor of digital libraries. Currently, however, the library budget stands at $500 per student - nearly half compared to University's competitors.
With a pay of $805,000, the sixth highest salary among university presidents, Papadakis's salary is on par with his fellow corporate CEOs. Furthermore, the University of Michigan alumni lives in a 10,000 square-foot Georgian mansion donated to the University during the early years of Papadakis's tenure.
"Make no mistake [that] higher education is a business," Papadakis said at his May 1996 inaugural address.
The WSJ article even compared to the University's 2002 purchase of then bankrupt MCP Hahanemann University as the "academic equivalent of a corporate merger."