Plans to build the Arthur Miller Theatre, one of the largest projects proposed by former University President Lee Bollinger, have been delayed because of budget concerns.
Officials decided to hold the project until costs could be reevaluated after building construction plans exceeded the $20 million budget, said interim University President B. Joseph White.
“This project is not in danger,” White said. “This project is alive it is not dead.”
White said it would be several months before he knows the theater”s future.
White said Bollinger”s resignation from the University has no connection with the delay of the project.
“Lee Bollinger would have had the same problem with it if he would have been here,” said White. “Bollinger told me the cost estimates were vastly higher than the $20 million.”
Theater construction plans were not discussed yesterday at a meeting of the University Board of Regents, who originally approved building plans, but the regents did release a description of the criteria candidates to become Bollinger”s replacement should meet.
The duties and responsibilities defined by the criteria state the next president should enhance and continue the University”s policies and practices towards comprehensive diversity, undergraduate education and the life sciences.
The criteria does not specifically state that the next president must support affirmative action, instead saying that candidates should be in favor of maintaining diversity on campus.
The criteria states that the president have “significant academic and administrative experience, preferably at the senior management level in a research university or comparable institution in business or government and an appreciation of the values and objectives of a large, public research university dedicated to quality teaching and scholarship.”
When developing their list of desired qualifications, University Regent Martin Taylor (D-Grosse Pointe Farms) said the committee took input from the University community into account.
“We asked the deans, executive officers and alumni of the University, it was a collaborative type of criteria,” Taylor said. “People from the whole community are all vitally interested in this people stop you on the streets.”
Taylor added that the committee has developed a tentative calendar of events and is on schedule to choose the next president by their deadline of June. The candidate must be able to assume their position for the 2002-2003 academic year.
“We are working hard with the consulting firm, we are on track and making good time,” said Regent Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann Arbor).
The regents also approved funding for an addition to the Bentley Historical Library, and Regent Laurence Deitch (D-Bloomfield Hills) advised the regents to consider looking into a renovation of the President”s House on South University Avenue.
“This seems to me to be a good time to take a look at the function of the President”s House. Let”s do a survey on the house to keep it fresh and important in the life of campus,” Deitch said.
Though he does entertain at the house, White is not living in the official residence.