After being interrupted mid-sentence by Occupy U-M protesters at the University’s Board of Regents meeting yesterday, University President Mary Sue Coleman didn’t hesitate as she continued to address the regents with a packed agenda.
During the meeting, the regents approved three new construction projects, including renovations to the Lawyers Club, the University hospital trauma burn unit and the George Granger Memorial Laboratories. The regents also announced the appointment of a new associate vice president for medical development and alumni relations for the University of Michigan Health System and approved the Michigan Investment in New Technology Startups program — an organization that will fund faculty start-ups.
T. Lee Becker of Hartman-Cox Architects presented the schematic design for upcoming renovations to the Lawyer’s Club and John P. Cook residence hall to the regents, a design that will defer $30 million in maintenance.
“The idea is to upgrade the building and create a better sense of community,” Becker told the regents.
Half of the estimated 18-month project is being funded by a $20-million gift from Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. The renovations will include 159,000 square feet of the Lawyers Club and John P. Cook building, and displaced residents are provided the opportunity to move into apartments the University has leased from Prime Student Housing.
The plans include restoration of the exterior of the building, installation of elevators, removal of wood fireplaces within the buildings to increase safety and establishment of a more efficient heating and cooling system. Additionally, Munger requested double beds be placed in all of the rooms.
At the meeting, Coleman expressed her approval of the design and gratitude to the architects for maintaining the structure and design of the historical buildings.
“I could not be more pleased,” Coleman said. “I really thank you so much for listening carefully.”
The regents also approved an addition to the George Granger Brown Memorial Laboratory building, which houses the department of Mechanical Engineering.
Regents approve MINTS program
The regents voted unanimously to approve the Michigan Investment in New Technology Startups, a program that will help to provide up to $25 million in funding for startup companies at the University.
In a communication to the regents, Timothy Slottow, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, wrote funding through the MINTS program will be available to any faculty start-up that fulfills the requirements.
The maximum amount of funding the University will invest in an individual start-up is $500,000, and will be determined by the amount a venture capital firm invests.
Brian Lally appointed new vice president for medical development and alumni relations
Ora Pescovitz, the University’s executive vice president for medical affairs, and Jerry May, the University’s vice president for development, announced the appointment of Brian Lally as associate vice president for medical development and alumni relations for the University Health System.
Lally previously worked for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School where he served for 11 years as the vice president for development and alumni relations, and most recently the chief advancement officer.
As associate vice president for medical development and alumni relations, Lally will “hold executive responsibility for the planning, implementation, and management of all development and alumni relations programs for the Health System and all of its components,” May and Pescovitz wrote in a communications to the regents.
Provost Hanlon recognizes award winning students and faculty members
University Provost Philip Hanlon introduced and applauded LSA senior Alex Carney, one of 36 students nation-wide selected for the Marshall Scholarship last month — a scholarship program that provides funding for students to pursue graduate degrees in England.
“A world class faculty as well as a high achieving student body are the foundation in which we build the University of Michigan,” Hanlon said as he introduced Carney.
After graduation, Carney will study for a year at the University of Oxford and then a year at the University of Cambridge.
Hanlon also honored three faculty members — Tiya Miles, director of the Department of Afroamerican & African Studies, chemistry professor Melanie Sanford and Yukiko Yamashita, assistant professor in the Life Science Institute and at the Medical School — who were recently awarded the MacArthur fellowships, also referred to as the “genius awards.” Their addition to the program leads to a total of 10 professors who hold MacArthur fellowships on campus.
Additionally, Hanlon recognized recipients of various other awards, including winners of the National Academies awards, Professors of the Year and Arthur F. Thurnau professors.