University of Michigan

Zennie Abraham

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - General Motors Co.'s chief executive Mary Barra is expected to get an honorary degree when she speaks at the University of Michigan's spring commencement. The university says in a story posted on its website today that Barra will speak at the May 3 event at Michigan Stadium. The Ann Arbor News reported the confirmation earlier in the day. Barra is expected to get an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree. The school's Board of Regents votes March 20 on whether to confer the degree. Five others are recommended for honorary degrees.

MVictors.com

University of Michigan researchers have found that the cost of treating children with congenital heart defects varies greatly across U-S Hospitals. Sara K. Pasquali is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan.

Wikipedia Media Commons

      A person familiar with the event says that new General Motors chief executive Mary Barra is expected to speak at the University of Michigan's spring commencement in May.      The person asked not to be identified Wednesday because the speaker hasn't been officially announced. Barra is the first woman to head a major U.S. automaker.

Big Ten Title Michigan
flickr user gleηη / Creative Commons

The University of Michigan Men's basketball team clinched the outright regular season Big ten title with an 84-53 win at Illinois Tuesday night.  Work is still to be done with the Big Ten Basketball Tournament taking place next week in Indianapolis.  

University of Michigan Central Campus
Andrew Cluley

Changes in how universities handle reports of sexual misconduct by students continue to leave questions on campus.  Even as a federal investigation is ongoing, the University of Michigan Central Student Government wants to review documents around sexual assault investigations, including of a former football player.  

Courtesy Photo

The University of Michigan can go ahead with plans to buy the Edwards Brothers property on State Street for nearly 13 million dollars.  Ann Arbor City Council voted six to five Monday night against using the right of first refusal to match the university’s offer.  

Courtesy Photo

A decision is expected Monday night as Ann Arbor officials debate whether they should buy a State Street Property or have it permanently removed from the tax rolls.  City Council is holding a special meeting to consider using a right of first refusal to buy the Edwards Brothers property.  

University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The federal government has awarded an $8.5 million, five-year contract to the University of Michigan's Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center to coordinate the United States Renal Data System.  The national data system collects, analyzes and distributes information about patients with chronic kidney disease.   

The university announced the contract Thursday, saying that about 13 percent of Americans have chronic kidney disease. It says that each year, 100,000 Americans develop end-stage kidney disease that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.

University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Hundreds of University of Michigan students participated in an all-night protest over what they call low minority enrollment and inclusion.  The Ann Arbor News reports students crammed into Shapiro Undergraduate Library for the 12-hour, overnight event.  The "Speak Out" was hosted by the United Coalition for Racial Justice, a group comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

Public art and the future of the Edwards Brothers property on State Street again take center stage at Tuesday night's Ann Arbor City Council meeting.  

University of Michigan Ford Battery Lab, University of Michigan Partners with Ford Motor Company on an $8 Million Car Battery Development Lab
Joseph Xu / University of Michigan

 On this week's Issues of the Environment, Andy Drews, Technical Specialist at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, discusses Ford's partnership with the University of Michigan for car battery research and the future of car batteries and electric cars in Washtenaw County.

Listen to the extended interview here:

Governor Rick Snyder says he's not focusing on questions about Michigan's minimum wage, because he's working to bring more high-paying jobs to the state as he  discussed a wide range of topics last night with University of Michigan students at the Ross School of Business.  

David Akey, Somnath Dutta

  University of Michigan researchers have taken a big step toward the development of a treatment or vaccine for illnesses such as West Nile virus and Dengue Fever.

Lead researcher, Janet Smith is a faculty member in the U-M Life Sciences Institute and Medical School.  She says she and her colleague were able to create a 3-D image of a protein that helps the viruses spread.

Smith says being able to study the protein in this new way will lead to more experiments to examine it at the molecular level, which could lead to development of new ways to attack illnesses such as Dengue Fever and West Nile Virus, which currently have no vaccine or treatment.

The protein, NS1, is produced inside infected cells, where it plays a key role in replication of the virus. NS1 is also released into the bloodstream, where it may help disguise the infection from the patient's immune system and may play a role in the hemorrhage that is seen in severe dengue virus infection.

The research done with scientists at Purdue University appears online in the journal Science.

Edwards Brothers Malloy
Courtesy photo

Ann Arbor City Council will take another two weeks before deciding if they want to purchase the Edwards Brothers property on State Street. 

The city is considering exercising a right of first refusal to stop the University of Michigan from buying the land. 

Mayor John Hieftje doesn't think the recent experience with the former YMCA property will have much influence on this State Street parcel.  He says that's because downtown property is in great demand while Edwards Brothers is well south of downtown.
  
Ann Arbor would have to match U-M's $12.8 million purchase price for the property. 

Map of the Edwards Brothers property is here:

City Council last night also postponed action on a first reading of a proposed smoking ban for city parks, bus stops, and entrances to city buildings.   The delay is so council members can get feedback from some of the organizations that would be impacted by the proposal.

OyamO to Receive 2014 Shirley Verrett Award

Jan 29, 2014

Playwright and University of Michigan professor OyamO is being honored tonight by the Women of Color in the Academy Project with the 2014 Shirley Verrett Award. 

The award celebrates faculty members who support the success of female students and faculty in the arts.

Gloria Thomas is Director of U-M's Center for the Education of Women. She says OyamO was nominated by the School of Music, Theater and Dance.

Thomas says OyamO is being recognized for his commitment to students, along with his ability to look past racial and ethnic differences to understand human life. 

The award is being presented to OyamO tonight at Stamps Auditorium on Michigan's north campus.

The University of Michigan
University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Tuesday canceled classes for the first time in 36 years.  School officials based the decision on the extremely low temperatures forecast, and the danger they pose to students traveling across campus to attend classes.     University of  Michigan spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald says other parts of the university, such as the Health System, remained open. The cancelation of classes was a departure from Michigans's controversial decision earlier this month to remain open during a similar cold spell.

University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute
umji.sjtu.edu.cn/ / University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute

A University of Michigan program that sends engineering students to China has picked up one of the highest honors in international higher education. 

The University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute has won an Andrew Heiskell Award from the Institute of International Education. 

Mark Schlissel
Screenshot/ University of Michigan live stream

The University of Michigan has named Dr. Mark Schlissel as the school's 14th  President.

On a unanimous vote this morning the University of Michigan Board of Regents, chose to hire Brown University Provost, Dr. Mark Schlissel to serve as Mary Sue Coleman's successor. 

RELATED STORY: U of M Names Schlissel as 14th President - Full speech here

 Schlissel comes to the U of M from Brown University where he has been provost since July of 2011. Prior to working at Brown, he served as Dean of Biological Sciences in the College of Letters and Science at the University of California–Berkeley. Schlissel says the health of the university is connected to the community and the entire state of Michigan.  He says the Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign will be important to maintain the university's high quality programs.

Schlissel says the breadth of academic excellence and the openness and accessibility of a public university made U of M one of the tiny handful of places that would make him consider leaving Brown University.  He says academic excellence and diversity are linked.  Schlissel says that's because students can learn from other students that look at the world differently.

 Schlissel will begin serving on July first, following the official retirement of current president Mary Sue Coleman.  He says he will make frequent trips to Ann Arbor over the next several months to learn more about the challenges and opportunities he will face when starting work at Michigan.

 Coleman says she's thrilled the regents have chosen another biochemist to serve as president.  She says Schlissel will soon see being the President of the University of Michigan is the best job in the world. — Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.

Mark Schlissel
Brown University

The University of Michigan has named Dr. Mark Schlissel as the school's 14th  President. On a unanimous vote this morning the board chose to hire Brown University Provost, Dr. Mark Schlissel to serve as Mary Sue Coleman's successor.

Schlissel has been Provost at Brown since July of 2011. prior to that post, He served as Dean of Biological Sciences in the College of Letters and Science at the University of California–Berkeley. 

SEE ALSO: New U of M President Mark Schlissel on the role of the University Beyond Campus [AUDIO]

 

President Mary Sue Coleman announced last year that she would step down when her contract expires this summer. She will leave as Michigan's fourth longest-serving leader. Coleman was hired in 2002 after seven years as president at the University of Iowa. The 70-year-old Coleman also is the university's first female president. 

Courtesy / Facebook / Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley

This week the discussion centers around dispelling the myths of affordable housing. New affordable housing is often equated with being "cheaply built."  We didn't have a definitive answer on the subject, so we went looking. We found that quite opposite is true.  

Our guest this week builds affordable homes in the Metro Detroit Region; quality and efficiency is what makes them affordable. 

Rob Nissly, Housing Director for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley will discuss the connection between reigning in energy costs and homeownership for lower income residents of Washtenaw County.

Black Students at Michigan
@THEBSU/Twitter

The University of Michigan's Black Student Union says it's unacceptable that it has not yet been contacted by the university regarding seven demands presented Monday by the Union and the group Being Black at U-of-M. 

Geralyn Gaines is Secretary of the Black Student Union, which has threatened "physical actions" if its demands are not met in seven days. She says the actions will be non-violent, but declined to be more specific.

The demands made Monday include making affordable housing for low-income students available on the main campus, giving black students experiencing financial difficulty emergency scholarships, improving the university's multicultural center, and giving black students an equal chance to effect change. 

The group’s full demand:

  • We demand that the university give us an equal opportunity to implement change, the change that complete restoration of the BSU purchasing power through an increased budget would obtain.
  • We demand available housing on central campus for those of lower socio-economic status at a rate that students can afford, to be a part of university life, and not just on the periphery.
  • We demand an opportunity to congregate and share our experiences in a new Trotter [Multicultural Center] located on central campus.
  • We demand an opportunity to be educated and to educate about America’s historical treatment and marginalization of colored groups through race and ethnicity requirements throughout all schools and colleges within the university.
  • We demand the equal opportunity to succeed with emergency scholarships for black students in need of financial support, without the mental anxiety of not being able to focus on and afford the university's academic life.
  • We demand increased exposure of all documents within the Bentley (Historical) Library. There should be transparency about the university and its past dealings with race relations.
  • We demand an increase in black representation on this campus equal to 10 percent.

University Provost Martha Pollack said Monday the school is focusing on three areas: Improving the Trotter Multicultural Center, improving the climate on campus, and increasing enrollment of under-represented minorities as allowed by law. 

Gaines says the Provost's comments were "comforting," but fall short of what the Black Student Union expects from the university.

— Bob Eccles is a reporter and the host of 89.1 WEMU's All Things Considered. Contact him at 734.487.3363, email him reccles@emich.edu, or follow him on Twitter @BobEcclesWEMU

A clean-up contractor is working to repair flooding damage at a couple of University of Michigan dorms where pipes burst during the extreme cold weather. 

Peter Logan is Director of Communication for University Housing.  He says most students had not yet returned from winter break when the pipes bust in the Oxford and East Quad dorms. 

Affected students were contacted, and arrangements made for those who need temporary housing.

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Ann Arbor City Council wants some more information as they consider using their right of first refusal to purchase the Edward Brothers property on South State Street. 

Council Monday night voted unanimously to have the city administrator and city attorney study the issue and identify options to make buying the property financially feasible. 

Work hasn't progressed on the proposed Fuller Road Station in over a year and the University of Michigan is instead building a parking structure between Maiden Lane and Wall Street. 

City Council Monday night passed a resolution formally terminating the Memorandum of Understanding with U of M regarding the proposed project. 

City Council member Stephen Kunselman says it's good to tie up the loose ends.

U of M and the city first agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding in 2010.  The proposal however had many critics that say parkland shouldn't be used for a transit center.

— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.

Courtesy photo / EMU Student Government

Eastern Michigan University's Student Government wants undocumented students living in Michigan to qualify for in-state tuition rates. 

Under the current system they must pay out-of-state rates that cost $15,500 more per year.

EMU Student Body President Desmond Miller says that's not fair.

The University of Michigan and Washtenaw Community College have already changed their policies to allow qualified undocumented students to pay in-state rates. 

EMU's Board of Regents plans to discuss loosening the qualifications for in-state tuition at tomorrow's meeting.

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