Stories indexed with the term ‘East Quad’

Regents Take Action on Building Projects

At their Feb. 16, 2012 meeting, University of Michigan regents authorized moving ahead on several building projects – including two major housing renovations initially approved last year.

Regents authorized staff to issue bids and award construction contracts for the $116 million renovation of East Quad. The overall project had been approved at the board’s July 21, 2011 meeting.  Subsequently, regents signed off on a schematic design at the Nov. 17, 2011 meeting.  The 300,000-square-foot residence hall – located at 701 E. University, between Hill and Willard – houses about 860 students and the Residential College. The renovation is expected to be finished by the summer of 2013.

Authorization for issuing bids and awarding construction contracts was also given by regents for a … [Full Story]

UM Regents Criticize “Formula Funding”

University of Michigan board of regents meeting (Nov. 17, 2011): A meeting that began 20 minutes late included two items that spurred discussion among regents: The possible use of a formula to allocate state funding for higher education, and the need for a more comprehensive housing strategy on the Ann Arbor campus.

Block M cookies

Regent Andrea Fischer Newman passed around a tray of Block M cookies before the Nov. 17 board meeting. Later, regent Martin Taylor objected to a potential “cookie cutter” approach to appropriating money for higher education, via formula funding. It was fairly clear that he wasn’t referring to these cookies. (Photos by the writer.)

This year, as part of the standard budget appropriations process, the state also has asked universities to provide suggestions for how to implement “formula funding” – a mechanism that’s being considered as a way to standardize appropriations for higher education. Martin Taylor and other regents expressed concerns over the approach, and asked for revisions to a letter being sent from the university to the state budget director that would explicitly state UM’s opposition to this kind of funding model.

Also on the agenda were two requests related to renovations at East Quad on central campus and Baits II on north campus. The topic prompted regent Andrea Fischer Newman to call for a broader strategy for student housing in the coming decades, saying that more attention needs to be given to that aspect of the university. Regent Larry Deitch noted that UM charges a healthy price, and he doesn’t believe there’s full value for UM’s lower-division students when some facilities aren’t up to snuff.

The child rape scandal at Penn State was mentioned at two points during the Nov. 17 meeting. Toward the start, board chair Denise Ilitch read a brief statement on behalf of the regents, saying that the board fully supported president Mary Sue Coleman’s Nov. 16 letter to the campus community. The university plans to use this tragic situation, Ilitch said, for thoughtful re-examination of UM’s values, culture and priorities.

At the end of the meeting, Douglas Smith spoke during public commentary, criticizing the university for not protecting alleged victims of sexual assault by UM athletes Brendan Gibbons and Jordan Dumars. Penn State was only an anomaly because the victims were children, he said. But it’s not an anomaly for university administrators to protect their athletic programs rather than the victims, he added – that’s the norm.

Two others spoke during public commentary. Stephen Raiman, founder of Students Against GSRA Unionization, lobbied regents to reverse their previous vote of support for the right of graduate student research assistants to unionize. And Courtney Mercier, founder of Michigan Student-Athletes for Sustainability, advocated for support to improve integration of the athletic department into the university’s sustainability efforts.

Student filmmakers also made a presentation during the meeting, highlighting video public service announcements (PSAs) they’d made for UM’s “Expect Respect” campaign. After they finished, Ilitch asked whether they’d be interested in making a PSA for the regents, too. [Full Story]

UM Regents Approve Two Dorm Projects

Items related to renovations of two University of Michigan dorms – Baits II and East Quad – were approved by UM regents at their Nov. 17, 2011 meeting.

Regents authorized an estimated $11.95 million renovation to Baits II, located on UM’s north campus. The work includes infrastructure updates and reconfiguration of community spaces. The 175,000-square-foot, five-building complex was built in 1967 and houses about 575 students. The project will be designed by UM’s department of architecture, engineering and construction, in collaboration with Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber Inc., a Grand Rapids firm. The work is expected to be completed in the summer of 2013. The nearby Baits I residence hall, which houses about 570 students, will be closed at the end of this … [Full Story]

UM Regents Briefed on Depression Center

University of Michigan board of regents meeting (July 21, 2011): Ten years after the 2001 board of regents authorized its formation, the UM Depression Center has become a national leader in breaking the stigma and improving the treatment of this common, debilitating illness.

John Greden

John Greden, director of the University of Michigan Depression Center, briefed regents at their July 21, 2011 board meeting. (Photos by the writer.)

That message was delivered by the center’s director, John Greden – the man whose vision was instrumental in creating it a decade ago. Greden briefed regents on the center’s progress so far, describing its research and outreach efforts, including its leadership in developing a national network of depression centers that he said is strengthening the fight against the illness. He also indicated the center will be launching a fundraising campaign in the near future, to raise more resources in the face of overwhelming demand for services.

In addition to Greden’s report, regents voted on a range of items. The most significant in terms of a financial commitment was approval of a $116 million “deep” renovation of East Quad, a large dorm on East University Avenue. It’s also the home to UM’s Residential College. At the board’s May 19, 2011 meeting, philosophy professor Carl Cohen had raised concerns about the impact of the renovations as initially designed, saying the RC would be pushed into smaller, inadequate space and would “atrophy and fade away.” A schematic design hasn’t yet been presented to the board for approval.

Among other actions, regents also approved a new joint master’s degree program in entrepreneurship to be offered by the College of Engineering and the Ross School of Business. They authorized renaming the department of geological sciences – it will be called the department of earth and environmental sciences. Regents also approved a $698,364 purchase of land at 417 S. Division, next to the UM Institute for Social Research. Within the past year, that’s the third property – all with apartment buildings – that the university has bought to accommodate ISR’s expansion project. Regents approved that project last year.

In the context of board committee assignments, regent Martin Taylor alerted his colleagues that he’d talked with the university’s general counsel about possible conflict of interest issues that might arise for him in the future. The board’s health affairs committee will likely be involving all regents in overseeing a strategic plan for the UM health system – Martin also serves as a director of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Only one person spoke during public commentary. Dan Benefiel, a leader of the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus, sharply criticized the university’s support of globalism and its relationship with China, a country that he accused of stealing intellectual property and trade secrets from the U.S. The “Trojan Horse of China” must be stopped from “unleashing its unsavory minions” on America, he said. [Full Story]

UM Regents OK Major East Quad Renovation

At its July 21, 2011 meeting, the University of Michigan board of regents approved a $116 million “deep” renovation of East Quad. The 300,000-square-foot residence hall – located at 701 E. University, between Hill and Willard – houses about 860 students and the Residential College. The project is part of a campus-wide ”Residential Life Initiative” first presented to regents in September 2004. Other residence halls – including Alice Lloyd Hall and Stockwell Hall on South Observatory, and Couzens Hall on East Ann Street, among others – have undergone similar renovations since then.

The pending renovation has caused concern in some quarters. At the regents’ May 19, 2011 meeting, philosophy professor Carl Cohen passionately urged regents to intercede in the renovation of East Quad … [Full Story]