The University of Michigan is often called "The Harvard of the Midwest", a title also claimed by the University of Chicago, Truman State University, and Macalaster College, among others. In response to the comparison, Harvard is often called "The Michigan of the East" by University students, alumni, and staff.
A condition of the treaty that forms the basis for most of the land grant schools in Michigan was that the education of all of the state's Native Americans would be guaranteed in perpetuity. Whether the state's obligation has been met is a topic for debate.
The university in 2003 has 51,000 students and 5,600 faculty in three campuses. The University of Michigan system includes the main Ann Arbor campus as well as two others, the University of Michigan, Dearborn and the University of Michigan, Flint. The university claims to be the largest pre-medicine and pre-law university in the country and to have the largest yearly research expenditure of any university in the United States. It is one of two colleges to have both engineering and medical schools ranked in the U.S.'s top ten. In the 1990s the University of Michigan claimed to have the largest assemblage of Apple Macintosh computers outside of the main factory. Michigan also has the highest tuition of any American state school.
In 2003 a lawsuit involving the school's affirmative action admissions policy reached the U.S. Supreme Court. President George W. Bush took the unusual step of publicly opposing the policy before the court issued a ruling, though the eventual ruling was in its favor.
Famous alumni of the University of Michigan include:
The University of Michigan Health System includes three hospitals: C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, University Hospital, and Women's Hospital, as well as nearly 150 clinics and MCare, an HMO. The university opened the first university-owned hospital in the United States in 1869. The EKG, gastroscope, and Jonas Salk's polio vaccine were invented at the university.
The University of Michigan is often referred to simply as UM and U of M. The latter term is also used to refer to the University of Minnesota, the University of Montana, the University of Missouri and the University of Maryland. (Note, however, that Missouri is more often referred to as UMC or Mizzou.) University of Michigan students, faculty, and alumni are often heard to assert that only the University of Michigan is "really" the "U of M", or that it has a better claim to that appellation than the others have. The claim has no justification.