Britany Affolter-Caine, executive director of Michigan’s University Research Corridor — an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University —released the following statement today applauding the hire of Santa J. Ono as the new president of the University of Michigan.

“Dr. Ono is a fantastic choice and will bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to the important efforts of Michigan’s University Research Corridor, collaborating with Presidents Stanley and Wilson. All three URC universities will now be headed by presidents with advanced degrees in medicine, at a time when the URC continues to lead the nation in producing medical graduates and awarding advanced medicine and biological sciences degrees.

We also thank University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman for her steadfast leadership over the past six months. A co-founder of the URC, President Coleman has continued to emphasize the value and economic impact of Michigan’s research universities to lawmakers, policy leaders and the public at large.”

The 2022 URC Economic Impact Report showed that for every dollar that the state has invested in URC institutions, the URC has put back $22 into the state economy. The three URC universities grant nearly 12,000 degrees in high-tech areas annually, as well as nearly 13,000 degrees in high-demand areas such as business, computer science and engineering, and nearly 2,500 medical degrees. The three URC institutions enroll more than 139,000 students, and URC alumni account for nearly $1 out of every $5 in earnings and income statewide — $48.3 billion in fiscal year 2021.