The University Board of Regents voted on a host of proposals at its Dec. 13 meeting, including a two-day fall study break, changes to the athletic bylaws, establishment of bylaws for the Life Sciences Institute, appointment of an architect to design the Ford School of Public Policy and approval of designs for the renovation of Hill Auditorium.
The regents voted unanimously to institute a two-day fall study break every October.
Next fall, classes will not be held Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 14 and 15.
Regent Andrea Fisher Newman (R-Ann Arbor) said MSA President Matt Nolan and interim Provost Lisa Tedesco addressed all of her concerns regarding the break, one of which was that the four-day weekend would “lead to more free time and more partying.”
The regents also approved measures to change the bylaws regarding the Life Sciences Institute and the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics, which will now be called the Advisory Board on Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Life Sciences Institute bylaw, which will establish an executive committee for the program, passed unanimously.
Changes to the athletic bylaws passed by a 7-1 margin, with Regent Katherine White (D-Ann Arbor) voting against the proposal. White said she wanted more time to hear feedback about the proposal, but other regents argued against the delay, saying they should leave a clean slate for interim President B. Joseph White, who took over Jan. 1.
The athletic board will now serve to advise the president rather than vote on decisions themselves, despite concerns from the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs that the changes would take power away from the faulty, student and alumni members of the board.
Bollinger emphasized that the changes would mainly clarify the situation, adding that a future president will not use the amended bylaw to “seize more control of the athletic department.”
The athletic director will still seek the faculty”s advice in regard to academic interests in athletics.
A plan to appoint Robert A.M. Stern Architects to begin designing a new building to house the Ford School of Public Policy at the northeastern corner of Hill and State streets also passed without opposition.
University Chief Financial Officer Robert Kasdin said Stern himself will take a personal interest in the project, given its importance.
“This will really serve as a gateway to the University,” Kasdin said.
The regents voted unanimously to accept a revised budget for the renovation of Hill Auditorium and to begin offering bids to construction companies to complete the work, slated to begin in May.
The renovation emphasizes the goal of restoring the building to architect Albert Kahn”s original vision while updating the building to increase wheelchair accessibility, install a sound lock, create a lower-level lobby and add more restroom facilities.
A resolution to begin building a pedestrian walkway over Washtenaw Avenue to link the Life Sciences Institute with the rest of the Hill area was also approved.