Post-game analysis: Coach Beilein and Ray Batra on new fund

December 2, 2015

Coach Beilein and his family have made a series of gifts to establish the Beilein Family Fund for BA students like their son Andy, who earned his bachelor's in public policy at the Ford School in 2012. Here’s Coach B and Ray Batra, the first student to benefit from the fund, with some post-game analysis.

Coach B

Illustration: Mary Rochelle

Illustration of Coach Beilein and Ray Batra

When Andy told you he wanted to study policy, were you surprised?  I was actually aware of the Ford School already. My team captain, CJ Lee (AB ’08, MPP ’10), had studied there, plus I’d always had an interest in both politics, and the history of public policy. I was thrilled that Andy found something he had a passion for.

How’s Andy using his policy training now?  Andy works for former Governor John Engler and the Business Roundtable in Washington, DC. The Ford School really helped him become a more profound thinker, and look at the world from a much wider sense.

Is there a b-ball analogy for making a gift like this?  Absolutely—there’s a b-ball analogy for most things. I’d call this an assist. At U-M, we value assist makers on our team, just as much as we value those who score the points.

Ray Batra

Speaking of scoring the points...Ray, how did you use the funds?  I interned in the City of Detroit, reporting to the general manager of the Department of Neighborhoods and the chief talent officer. On the talent side, I suggested strategies for connecting with nearby high school and university student talent. Lots of students I know would love to get involved.

And for the Department of Neighborhoods?  My very first day, I got to sit in on a meeting with the mayor. It came up then, and it continued to come up, that a big problem for the city is illegal dumping—the city spends $2 million a year to clean up, and collects nearly 3,000 tons of illegally dumped waste per month. I offered to do some comparative research.

How’d it go?  I interviewed department heads in the mayor’s office, as well as government officials in five other cities, and put together a 10-page report with strategies ranging from enforcement to prevention. At the end of my internship, I presented that to a crowd of almost 200 at a police department meeting.

Slam dunk! What’s next for you?  I’d love to return to the mayor’s office, and I’m in discussions with them to see if it can happen. I’m also looking at positions with a few education-focused startups out west and one in India. There are lots of possibilities; it’s an exciting time.

Below is a formatted version of this article from State & Hill, the magazine of the Ford School. View the entire Fall 2015 State & Hill here.