The University’s Board of Regents approved the appointment of Philip Hanlon to the position of provost and executive vice president of academic affairs in a unanimous vote at their monthly meeting yesterday.

Hanlon, who currently serves as the University’s vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, will succeed current provost Teresa Sullivan who is leaving the University to become the president of the University of Virginia.

University President Mary Sue Coleman told the regents yesterday that she is excited about Hanlon’s appointment, adding that she is looking forward to continuing to work with him.

“Everyone at this table has worked with Prof. Hanlon as part of our annual budget planning and knows his command of both academic and budgetary matters,” she said. “Not only is he an excellent administrator, he is an accomplished mathematician, a (Arthur F.) Thurnau professor, a dedicated teacher and most important a respected leader.”

Hanlon, who is also a mathematics professor, will begin work in his new role on July 1 under a five-year contract, though Sullivan won’t be leaving the University until July 31. For the month of July Sullivan will act as a special advisor to the president.

REGENTS APPROVE TRANSIT CENTER CONSTRUCTION PLANS

The regents also unanimously approved improvements to the Central Campus Transit Center.

The project includes adding bike lanes and expanding bus shelters. In addition, the plan calls for resurfacing North University Avenue between Fletcher and Church Streets and decreasing the number of motor vehicle lanes from two on each side of the street to one.

In addition, a new water main will be put in as the street is being resurfaced. The larger water main will provide greater fire protection to the surrounding buildings.

The number of crosswalks will also be reduced to streamline pedestrian traffic. Additionally, renovations will be made to the Ruthven Museum to increase handicap accessibility.

Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, told the Regents that the renovations will make the area easier to traverse and safer for pedestrians and motorists alike.

“A number of congestion and pedestrian safety issues exist and a lot of this has come about over the years as we continue to add more and more bus transportation,” he said.

The $4.5 million project is being funded by the University and the federal stimulus. Baier said usually the city of Ann Arbor would help pay for a project like this, but it is currently strapped for funds.

“We will often do cost sharing with the city, but in this case, we’re picking up additional funding because the city doesn’t have the funds,” Baier said. “So, typically, they would pick up the water main and they would pick up portions of the street repaving.”

University officials said they expect the project will be completed in the fall.

REGENTS HEAR UPDATE ON REACCREDITATION PROCESS

Geology Prof. Ben van der Pluijm, who is heading the University’s accreditation team, gave a presentation at yesterday’s meeting to inform the regents about the status of the University’s accreditation process.

The University is required by law to be reaccredited every ten years in order to qualify for federal financial aid. As part of the reaccreditation, the Higher Learning Commission requires the University to complete a self-study. The study focuses on five specific topics outlined by the HLC — the University’s mission, its preparedness for the future, the in-classroom experience, out of classroom engagement and application of knowledge.

Additionally, the HLC allows institutions that are expected to be reaccredited to choose an extra self-study on a topic that appeals to them. Because the University falls into this category, University officials have decided to do a self-study on internationalism at the University.

In his presentation, van der Pluijm said there are many recommendations in his committee’s report that outline ways for the University to have more of an international feel.

“We also want to emphasize that in a place like Michigan that internationalization is not just getting more kids abroad,” van der Pluijm said. “Getting kids out of the Ann Arbor campus is not the only scenario. Bringing people to campus can be just as valuable.”

The process will culminate next month when a 13-member team from the HLC comes to Ann Arbor from March 15 to 17 to observe the campus and to meet with high-level administrators and other University leaders.

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