At Thursday’s meeting of the University’s Board of Regents, the board will consider a host of renovation projects and approve proposed designs for a refurbished South Quad Residence Hall. The University’s governing body will also weigh granting honorary degrees to a number of distinguished individuals at the May commencement ceremony and approve the selection of a new vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs.
One of the largest projects the regents will consider for approval is the design for a proposed renovation of the Taubman Health Sciences Library. The regents approved the commission of a schematic at the April 2012 meeting, allocating up to $55 million for the project. Along with the design, the regents will approve the selection of TMP Architecture to complete the renovation.
The project plans to transfer lesser-used volumes to an off-site location in order to open two floors of the building for academic use. The plan calls for a renovation of 137,000 square feet of space that will include a smaller library collection and larger areas dedicated to instructional functions. These areas include a clinical skills and simulation suite, computing and study spaces, and spaces designated for faculty and student service.
The Medical School will finance the project to carry out architectural, mechanical and electrical work. The renovation will employ 72 on-site workers and is slated for completion in fall 2015.
Regents to approve new softball facility
The regents are set to review the schematic design and revised project budget for the Softball Center New Facility project, as requested by Athletic Director David Brandon and Timothy Slottow, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Approved at the October 2012 meeting, the project will include new locker rooms for players and coaches, new offices, fitness spaces, hydrotherapy pools, a team meeting room and a support space. With the regents’ approval, Integrated Architecture will be responsible for the 10,200 gross-square-foot project.
The regents will consider the revised project budget, which has grown from $4 million to $5.2 million as a result of Athletic Department resources and gifts. After creating the schematic design, Brandon and Slottow determined that they had originally underestimated the cost.
The project is set to provide 19 on-site construction jobs, and construction is expected to be completed in the winter of 2014.
Regents to approve issuing of South Quad renovation bids, Earl V. Moore Building roof replacement
As the schematic design for the renovations to South Quad was approved at the February 2013 regents meeting, the regents are also set to authorize the issue of bids and award construction contracts for the project.
The $60-million project will renovate nearly 106,700 square feet of space in the first and ground floors of the dorm. The project will create an updated and enlarged dining facility meant to be a hub for all of Central Campus — similar to Hill Dining Center — and renovate bathrooms throughout the building. The project will create new spaces for student interaction such as study spaces, music practice rooms and refurbished lounges.
The dorm’s infrastructure improvements include new plumbing, fire detection and suppression systems, wireless Internet and accessibility improvements. There will be 131 on-site construction jobs, and the project should be completed in the summer of 2014.
The regents will also consider roof reconstruction for the Earl V. Moore Building with an estimated cost of $1.8 million funded by investment proceeds.
In a communication with the regents, Slottow said the current roofing system has exceeded its projected life and is showing signs of wear. The project will replace all existing roofing systems and walkway surfaces.
The project will create 18 on-site construction jobs and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and six others to be granted honorary degrees
While the University announced Twitter CEO and 1985 alum Dick Costolo as the spring commencement speaker Monday, the regents will approve him and six other honorary degree recipients on Thursday.
In an interview with the Daily on Sunday, Costolo, who will receive a Doctor of Laws, said he was surprised by the University’s choice of speaker.
“It’s really the single greatest honor I could ever imagine receiving,” Costolo said. “When I grew up as a kid outside of Detroit in Troy, I always wanted to go to Michigan. It was the only university I applied to, and I always knew I wanted to go there.”
University President Mary Sue Coleman said Costolo received rave reviews for his November address in Rackham Auditorium and is excited to continue the conversation this April in the Big House.
“(Costolo’s) entrepreneurial drive, being at the leading edge of a revolution in communication, and the impact of Twitter on the world … he deeply understands the ways that this affects people’s interactions with each other,” Coleman said.
Pending Thursday’s approval, six others will receive honorary degrees in April.
William Brehm, a University alum and philanthropist, will receive a Doctor of Laws. He is the co-founder and chair of SRA International, a consulting firm focused on national security. In addition to this work, which included a stint in the 1960s and 1970s with the Department of Defense, Brehm has made substantial contributions to the University, including an $8 million donation to renovate the Earl V. Moore building at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
Ballerina and educator Suzanne Farrell will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts. After achieving her status at the forefront of ballet, Farrell formed her own dance company which is produced at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
A Doctor of Humane Letters will be awarded to Rosabeth Kanter, former editor of the Harvard Business Review and a business professor at Harvard Business School. Kanter has published multiple books on business leadership and sustainability.
Dale Kildee, a former Democratic Congressman who served for 36 years before his retirement in 2012, will receive a Doctor of Laws from University of Michigan-Flint.
David McCullough, a historian who has won the Pulitzer Prize as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters. He is the author of several bestselling biographies on U.S. presidents and other historical topics.
At University of Michigan-Dearborn, Jeffrey Sachs, economist and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, will receive a Doctor of Science. He has served as a special adviser to the United Nations Secretary General and has focused on international development and poverty eradication in his work. Additionally, he is the author of several New York Times bestsellers and has been listed as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”
Alfred Franzblau to succeed Pollack as Vice Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs
University Provost Phil Hanlon plans to recommend Alfred Franzblau, associate dean for research at the School of Public Health, as vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs. The position is currently held by Martha Pollack, who will take over as provost in May.
With the regents’ approval, Franzblau will serve from this May through June 2018. As vice provost, he will work with the provost to maintain policy in academic and budgetary issues and serve as a liaison to deans and directors.
When he joined the faculty of the University in 1989, Franzblau worked as an assistant professor in the School of Public Health. Since then, he has worked as an associate research scientist in the Center for Ergonomics in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering and as a professor for Environmental Health Sciences.
In January 2011, Franzblau was appointed as associate dean for research in the School of Public Health, where he oversaw total research funding in 2011-2012 of over $66 million.
“Dr. Franzblau is an outstanding mentor and innovative teacher whose courses are critical to the curriculum in the department and the school,” Hanlon wrote in a communication with the regents. “Given his broad experience across the University, I am confident that Dr. Franzblau will provide leadership in academic and budgetary matters.”