For the second consecutive year, the University’s 2010 fiscal year research expenditures have topped $1 billion, according to the University’s Annual Report on Research and Scholarship.

Stephen Forrest, the University’s vice president for research is scheduled to present the report to the University’s Board of Regents at its monthly meeting on Thursday. A summary of the report was released yesterday along with the meeting’s agenda.

According to the report submitted to the regents, the University’s total research spending for the 2010 fiscal year, ending June 30, was more than $1.1 billion — an increase of 12.1 percent from fiscal year 2009.

The University ranks first in research spending among all public institutions in the country, according to data from the National Science Foundation. And the University is second overall among all universities nationally, trailing Johns Hopkins University.

Spending nearly $500 million, the Medical School spends the most on research of any unit at the University of Michigan and consumes about 44 percent of all expenditures. The College of Engineering, the Institute for Social Research, LSA and the School of Public Health rank second through fifth, respectively, in terms of spending.

The University’s largest source of research funding is the federal government, which contributes about two-thirds of all the University’s research funding, totaling about $750 million in fiscal year 2010 — an increase of 14.7 percent from the preceding year.

Additionally, the University received $301.1 million in federal stimulus funds to be used in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. According to the report, the stimulus money has funded more than 547 research projects at the University.

University President Mary Sue Coleman said in an interview last month that the University has a strong relationship with the federal government.

“Throughout my whole career I’ve been at a number of research universities and Michigan is the one, I think, that takes advantage of the fact that our faculty have a partnership with the federal government to do research — some of it’s basic, some of it’s more applied,” Coleman said.

Regents to approve $1.5 million upgrade to ISR Building

The regents will also deliberate about $4 million worth of campus construction projects at their meeting Thursday.

Among the projects to be considered is a $1.5 million improvement to the fire suppression system in the existing Institute for Social Research building, colloquially called Wing One.

In a communication to the regents, Tim Slottow, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, wrote that the new fire suppression system will allow for an addition to the ISR building to be built without a fire separation wall between the addition and the existing structure. The regents approved the ISR addition in July 2010.

If approved, the project will be funded by both the ISR and the Office of the Provost. The installation of the system is expected to be completed in the spring of 2012.

Board to consider $2.5 million utility tunnel renovation

The regents are also expected to green light a $2.55 million project to renovate utility tunnels beneath Central Campus under Huron Street. This project will renovate 500 feet of the tunnels, in addition to replacing 120 feet of the tunnels, according to Slottow’s communication to the regents.

Slottow wrote in the communication to the regents that this new project is part of a series of refurbishments to utility tunnels that distribute power to campus from the University’s Central Power Plant.

“In 2006 a master plan for tunnel infrastructure renewal was developed that prioritized a series of tunnel projects, and several have been completed,” Slottow wrote.

If approved, construction on the tunnels is estimated to be completed in winter 2012, and funding will come from University Utilities.

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