Mary Sue Coleman

University of Michigan
Academic administrator; Biochemist; Educator
Leadership, Policy, and Communications
Educational and Academic Leadership

Mary Sue Coleman is president of the University of Michigan and president emerita of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which represents the country’s leading research universities. She also is former president of the University of Iowa. Throughout her career, she has promoted the educational value of diverse perspectives in the classroom and within the academic community, and she has worked in numerous venues to improve access to higher education for all.

At AAU, Coleman led landmark surveys conducted of 181,752 students from 33 colleges and universities regarding the prevalence of sexual assault and misconduct on campuses and on student attitudes about these issues. The results have helped AAU member institutions as well as other colleges and universities in their efforts to address the problems of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct.

Coleman earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a biochemist and faculty member at the University of Kentucky, Coleman built a distinguished academic career through her teaching and research on the immune system and malignancies. Prior to becoming a university president, Coleman was vice chancellor for research and graduate education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and provost at the University of New Mexico.

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