At Thursday’s meeting, the University Board of Regents will consider a host of upcoming projects, renovations and, interestingly enough, special attractions. Last month, the board traveled to the Flint campus for their October meeting.

1. The regents are expected to approve a fireworks display during the 2014 NHL Classic

Sparks will fly.

The 2014 NHL Winter Classic, which will take place on Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium, could include a fireworks display, pending approval from the board.

In March, the board approved the proposal to host the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, while also temporarily lifting the ban on alcohol at the venue.

In a communication to the regents, Timothy Slottow, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the fireworks would “further enhance the fan experience for this unique and historic event.”

If approved, the fireworks will occur multiple times during the event, including during the playing of the national anthems, player introductions, intermissions and during pre-game and post-game festivities.

Manchester, Mich.-based ACE Pyro will produce the fireworks show. The company also coordinated fireworks at the Big Chill in December 2010 at the Big House.

2. The board will consider the construction of a $6 million operation center on the Athletic Campus

Upon the board’s approval, the University’s Athletic Department will construct a new building to centralize its operations on the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus, funded by Athletic Department resources. The building will be approximately 18,000 gross square feet and located south of Stadium Boulevard on State Street.

In a communication to the regents, University Athletic Director Dave Brandon and Slottow said current facilities are “undersized and housed in various locations” around the athletic campus. The new building will include maintenance shops and offices, laundry, equipment storage, and shipping and receiving operations.

If approved, the project will provide about 13 on-site construction jobs. If approved, Brandon and Slottow will request approval for the building’s schematic design, which will be produced by architectural firm Niagara Murano.

3. A permanent boundary line between University and city property is expected to be established in the Nichols Arboretum

In a survey designed by the city, the previous boundary line between the University’s parcel and the city’s portion of the land was uncertain and included outdated natural features.

The University and the city will sign a written agreement that will include the legal description established by the survey, according to a communication to the regents by Slottow.

Since the agreement serves mutual interests, the establishment of the boundary will include no additional costs or considerations for either the University or the city.

4. The University will seek the board’s approval to extend a lease agreement with the Institute for Social and Environmental Research Nepal

ISER-N — the only research organization in the Chitwan Valley of South Nepal working on social science research topics — and the University will work together in collecting and processing data.

The agreement will extend the University’s lease on ISER-N facilities for an additional five years, totaling $113,000 to be paid in monthly installments. The University will also purchase ISER-N services for $8,300.

However, the agreement can be categorized as part of the State of Michigan Conflict of Interest Statute, since Dirgha Jibi Ghimire, a University associate research scientist in the Institute for Social Research, will be part of the agreement as a member of ISER-N’s board of directors.

In a communication to the regents, Slottow wrote that Ghimire “has met state law requirements with disclosure of his pecuniary interest and formal appointment arrangements” with the University.

5. University Provost Martha Pollack will present a letter to the State Budget Office written by University President Mary Sue Coleman

In a communication to the regents, Pollack disclosed a letter Coleman sent in response to a request for information regarding the performance and strategic challenges faced by the Michigan’s public universities. The letter is expected to assist the state in forming its fiscal year 2015 budget.

In the letter, Coleman highlights the University’s progress on cost-containment strategies, outreach to U.S. veterans, strategic initiatives and future plans in regard to University enrollment due to the declining number of Michigan high-school students.

Coleman wrote that one of the primary priorities for the University is affordability for students.

“The university presents an opportunity for Michigan’s top high school graduates to attain a truly world-class education within the borders of their home state and at an affordable cost,” Pollack wrote in the letter. “We continue to place access and affordability for these students as one of our very highest priorities.”

6. The Board is expected to appoint Engineering Prof. as interim vice president of research

The board will also consider appointing Engineering Prof. Shixin Jack Hu as interim vice president of research.

The appointment will be effective from Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2015.

Stephen Forrest, the University’s current vice president of research, announced that he will step down from his position at the September meeting.

Forrest has served in his role since 2006. During his tenure, the University has experienced significant growth in its research budget admit economic challenges. The budget has grown from $800 million in 2008 to its current $1.33 billion, a University record.

With Hu filling his shoes, Forrest will rejoin the College of Engineering as a faculty member and focus on developing companies he has helped found.

“What I’m really looking forward to is being able to focus on one set of problems, rather than focusing on administration of a giant University — which has been exciting in all dimensions — but I also had to maintain a really excellent and robust research program,” Forrest said in September.

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