Regents approve future developments, faculty appointments
During their final meeting of the academic year, the University of Michigan Board of Regents discussed issues including construction, faculty appointments and the new multicultural center in front of more than 60 attendees in the Michigan Union Wednesday afternoon.
The regents approved three new deanship appointments at Thursday’s meeting, including Lynn Videka, Carol Bradford and Thomas Finholt.
Videka was appointed as dean of the School of Social Work for a five-year renewable term, effective Aug. 1, according to the action request. Videka has an educational background in nursing and social welfare, and much of her career has been devoted to academic social work and research, focusing on those served by the child welfare system and individuals with mental health disabilities.
She has held several leadership positions in the social work sphere, including president of both the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work and the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research, as well as vice president of the Society for Social Work and Research.
Videka also holds previous deanship experience as vice president for research at the University at Albany and as dean of the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. According to Provost Martha Pollack, the Silver School’s annual research portfolio grew from less than $1 million to over $32 million while under Videka’s leadership.
“By focusing on interprofessional practice and scholarship and by emphasizing a public health perspective for the science of social work, she has worked to build bridges between school, university and the profession,” Pollack wrote in a recommendation. “I am confident that Lynn Videka will lead the School of Social Work to achieve its goals.”
In addition, the regents approved Carol R. Bradford, M.D. as executive vice dean for academic affairs of the Medical School, effective July 1. She is currently a professor and department chair of otolaryngology at the University's Medical School.
Bradford has served in numerous leadership positions. She is currently co-director of the Head and Neck Oncology Program of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and, in 2014, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine.
According to Pollack’s recommendation of Bradford, she will oversee the development and expansion of academic programs and “ensure that the education, research and clinical missions are aligned.”
Another member of the University community, Thomas Finholt, was appointed as dean of the School of Information for a five-year renewable term, effective May 1. He is currently a professor and interim dean at the School of Information.
According to Pollack’s recommendation, Finholt’s research explores the “design, deployment and use of cyberinfrastructure in science and engineering.” He has developed several innovations that aid in scientific discovery, including the first operational virtual observatory, the Space Physics and Aeronomy Research Collaboratory and the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.
Finholt has held numerous academic administrative positions during his professional career including associate dean for research and innovation, senior associate dean for faculty and senior associate dean for academic affairs.
“Tim Finholt combines a clear vision for the School of Information with an impressive ability to build research and educational programs that are among the best in the field,” Pollack wrote in her recommendation. “We are delighted he will serve as dean and confident that, under his leadership, the school will be a hub of innovative ideas, strong scholarship and engaged faculty and students.”
Wednesday’s meeting also marked former Central Student Government President Cooper Charlton’s last presentation in front of the regents. E. Royster Harper, the vice president for student life, thanked Charlton for his service to the student body and cooperation with administration in a stressful year.
“You’ve helped us shepherd two major, complex, and sometimes controversial policy changes — the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the sexual misconduct policy,” she said. “Your work to make sure student voices were heard in all important decisions taken by the University is greatly appreciated.”
Before bidding farewell to the regents, Charlton reviewed seven finalized amendments to the Statement, which were aimed at increasing transparency and awareness around the amendment process and bringing student guidelines in line with the newly revised sexual misconduct policy. Charlton further pointed out that University President Mark Schlissel did not approve two of CSG’s proposed amendments, including one concerning the addition of a student honor pledge, which would be a non-binding reminder to students of how their conduct should reflect the University's ideals.
Charlton criticized the faculty’s alterations to CSG’s proposed pledge — crafted partly in response to an incident of a fraternity’s destruction of property at Treetops Resort last year.
“CSG spent an extensive amount of time developing this honor pledge ... unfortunately, during the faculty review, our proposal was altered for the worse,” he said. “Faculty that remained out of touch with students remained at the forefront of changing policies that do not solely affect faculty, but rather majorly affect students.”
Charlton thanked Schlissel for promising to include an honor pledge in next year’s amendment process.
Newly elected CSG president David Schafer, an LSA junior, also introduced himself and incoming CSG Vice President Micah Griggs, also an LSA junior, to the regents, saying he looks forward to increasing trust between the student body and student government.
“We ran because we firmly believed student government could positively impact every student on this campus,” Schaefer said. “And we hope to make Central Student Government inclusive and representative of every student.”
Alcohol at Big House
The regents approved a Class C License and Catering Permit to Sodexo Management Inc., enabling the company to serve alcohol at the 2016 International Champions Cup soccer match between Real Madrid and Chelsea FC scheduled for July 30.
Relevent Sports — a division of RSE Ventures, a multi-national sports and entertainment venture firm with a focus on new technologies — has already received the proper licensing to host a game of the ICC Tournament at Michigan Stadium. The regents’ approval allows the company to move forward in obtaining a liquor license from the state of Michigan.
Construction & Renovations
Construction plans for the exterior of the Michigan Union and the repair of the roof of North Quadrangle residence hall are set to proceed next fall after the regents’ voted to approve funding for both projects.
Renovations to the Union totaling an estimated $1,400,000 will include brick and stone repair as well as the installation of new steel lintels for support and flashings to prevent water penetration in the 97-year-old building.
Construction costs for North Quad’s roof repairs are estimated at $7,800,000 — the project’s focus will be on the replacement of 30,000 square feet of roofing on the building’s residential wing.