Regents to hear updates on budget, construction intiatives

Monday, February 15, 2016 - 3:28pm

The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents has released its agenda for its February meeting this Thursday in the Michigan Union. This week, the regents will hear updates on several investment reports and construction projects, and will discuss other reports from Central Student Government and the University community.

Construction Projects

The plant extension report outlined several projects that are currently in the planning stages. The most costly of those projects is the construction of the new Biological Science Building, funded by LSA and Office of the Provost resources, which is estimated to cost about $261 million.

The BSB will house the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, both of which are currently in the Edward Henry Kraus Natural Science Building.

The new facility will connect to the Life Sciences Institute, allowing for greater and easier transportation of lab supplies. It will include new laboratories, offices, classrooms and some of the museum collections currently in the Ruthven Museums Building.

Sports-focused projects made up a significant portion of the construction planning. These projects include $18.7 million renovations to the Intramural Sports Building and a $168 million South Campus athletics facility. The Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus Athletics South Competition and Performance Project is funded by the Athletic Department, which received a $100 million gift from University alum Stephen Ross.

The construction plan for the 310,000-square-foot facility is designed to support male and female student-athletes in track and field, cross country, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, tennis, gymnastics and women’s rowing teams.

New Master of Science in Nursing

The regents will also vote on the approval of a new Master of Science in Nursing graduate program through the School of Nursing. The MSN will serve as a path to the Doctorate in Nursing Practice, which the report cites as important for preparation for national certification and licensure. It is designed for those who have completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.

The School of Nursing’s governing faculty has already approved the 36- to 37-credit-hour curriculum. If the regents approve, enrollment may begin in Fall 2016.

Central Student Government

Central Student Government also submitted a report to the regents outlining several of its recent operations and goals.

The report includes updates from the Course Evaluation Committee, which includes both student and faculty representatives. Members of CSG and the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs have been collaborating to improve the evaluation instrument and create fairer data release policies and mechanisms.

According to the report, the Course Evaluations Instrument Review Committee has entered the final stages of selecting appropriate evaluation questions, and the Policy Committee is currently drafting a disclaimer to be used upon the release of course evaluation data.

CSG filed a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request in December for the University to release course evaluation data. The report expressed CSG’s disappointment about the delays in the process.

Additionally, the Faculty Senate’s Student Relations Advisory Committee recently voted to not recommend one of six CSG proposals, which would have allowed students to “formally share their feedback on amendments proposed by the Faculty Senate or Executive Officers.”

“We are disappointed in the Faculty's decision to vote this down, as it is only fair that students are given the same opportunity to comment on amendment proposals that the faculty and administrators have,” CSG wrote. “Any change proposed to our student code of conduct should have ample opportunities to have students voice their opinions — and the SRAC's decision to vote this down makes it difficult for students to share their thoughts on any proposed changes.”

The Office of General Counsel, along with E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life, will now review amendment proposals, and the final decision will be made by University President Mark Schlissel.