Life in Ann Arbor by Juan Jaimes (MPP 2018)

This article is the first in a series of articles by current students about various aspects of the student experience at the Ford School. Juan graduated from Texas State University with degrees in Family and Consumer Sciences and a minor in Business Administration. Juan has been involved with various non-profits, his university, and his community, specifically in the areas of education and immigration. During his time at Texas State University, Juan founded a student organization to address the issues faced by undocumented students in achieving a college degree. He has worked with organizations such as College Forward, Upward Bound, and University Mentoring programs, whose mission is to improve college attainment for low-resourced students. This includes a partnership with the Mexican Consulate Office in Austin and an internship with Catch the Next, Inc. While at the Ford School, Juan is interested in exploring education and immigration policies.


Once upon a time, in a school far, far away, well not that far, a student asked himself, “What about life in Ann Arbor?”

If you are a student who is asking this question now, life in Ann Arbor can be great! As a student, I like to wake up early and walk to campus. On my way to the Ford School I can smell the coffee and breakfast from the small coffee shops around town. If you like to bike, the town is cyclist friendly!

When talking about groceries, there are some options close by. If you are looking for larger scale stores, the bus system is free to U-M students. Lyft and Uber are also great transportation alternatives!

Expenses can pile up for students, if you are looking for inexpensive furniture and all the stuff that you need for your home, you should know that many students give out their gently used belongings as they move out! There are community groups as well as Facebook groups that place ads about things that you may be looking for.

Summers in Ann Arbor are some of the best you’ll have! There are summer festivals, the social events around the school, and even the green scenery will give you a sense of adventure!

Winters can be full of snow, but don’t let that fool you! Students find creative ways to be productive and active during the cold season. Whether it’s snowboarding, community fireplace socials, or even building a snowman, there’s many things to do.

Lastly, in terms of social life, the city has a variety of options. For me, Salsa Night at Bar Louie is always a great stop! The University as well as the City of Ann Arbor host great events and speakers. D.C is only an hour and a half flight away! Don’t forget, the University of Michigan is home to the one of the largest stadiums in the world, it’s a place where athletics draw huge crowds. If you like school spirit, there is no better place to experience it than at Ann Arbor!

Welcome to our new dean, Michael Barr!


As we launch our 2017-18 academic year, there have been a number of exciting developments at the Ford School. At the top of the list is the naming of our new dean this summer. Our previous dean, Susan Collins, reached the end of her term as dean this past year and is on a well deserved sabbatical. Michael Barr joined the Ford School as dean on August 1st, although he has been a member of our faculty for some time. His primary appointment at the University of Michigan was as the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Profitt Professor of Law at the Law School. In addition to his distinguished teaching career, Michael brings with him a wealth of policy experience.

Mostly recently, Michael worked in the Department of Treasury as assistant secretary for financial institutions in 2009-2010. In that position, he was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Barr played a central role in the development of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and in policies to expand access to capital for small businesses and community development.

Prior to joining the Law School faculty in 2001, Michael served in a number of roles in DC, including serving as a member of the policy planning staff of the U.S. Department of State and at the U.S. Department of Treasury where he was a special assistant to Secretary Robert E. Rubin before moving into the position of deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for community development policy, a role in which he served from 1997-2001. He concurrently served as special advisor to President William J. Clinton, from 1999-2001.

Since returning to campus, Michael has etablished and directed a new interdisciplinary Center on Finance, Law and Policy, bringing together faculty from across the university on projects designed to help make the financial system safer, fairer and better harnessed to the needs of the real economy.

We are delighted to have Michael serving as our dean and look forward to the new activities and traditions that he will bring to our community.