Sorry Matt you are one of those confused people who can't wrap their heads around the difference between ownership and revenue sources.Matt wrote: Nope. The taxpayers are an extreme minority share in the university: http://obp.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads ... _16-17.pdf
Think of a guy who starts a business. Early in the process the business stays afloat because the owner floods it with his own cash. In other words the business loses money. But over time he develops a customer base and after several months/years he turns a profit, he doesn't put in any of his own money. At that point who owns the business him or his customers?
You are confused when you say "The taxpayers are an extreme minority share in the university" as if the University is a publicly traded corporation. Its not. When a billionaire like Stephen Ross donates millions to the University he isn't buying shares of a corporation he is getting his name on a building. That is not the same as owning the building. He doesn't get the keys, pay the electric bill and decorate it to his liking. The tax payers own the building he paid for.
If you voted already or bother to vote today there will be picks for the Wayne State Board of Governors, the Michigan State Board of Trustees, and the University of Michigan Board of Regents. Those choices will show up on every ballot in the whole freaking state. A yooper in Iron River will help make those choices. Why? because we the people of the entire state own those Universities and we elect citizens to run them on our behalf. So the sources of revenue that stream in to run those Universities doesn't change who owns them. The people we elect to represent our interests decide how to spend OUR money regardless of whether OUR money came from tax collection or a Taubman/Ross donation.
While I am on this rant even though the Athletic Department is essentially self sustaining it doesn't change the fact that you and me own the stadium and the helmets the lads strap on.