State Street

Pedestrians and a horse-drawn vehicle are part of the street scene circa 1877 along State Street looking north, at the corner of North University Avenue. (Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

This month in history (163 years ago)

Until Henry Philip Tappan was elected president in August 1852, the university operated without a chief executive officer. Previously, a president of the faculty had been elected annually to supervise those duties, which fell to the professors. Meanwhile, the Board of Regents had as its presiding officer the governor of the state. This system had defects, among others the lack of a concentrated authority. Realizing a need for reform, the framers of the state Constitution of 1850 provided for the popular election of the regents for a term of six years, and for the selection by the regents of a president of the university, who does not vote. He shall preside at the meetings of the regents and be the principal executive officer of the university.

— From “The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey”



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