The University Record, September 5, 2000

Summer Roundup: While you were away . . .

Compiled by Britt Halvorson

Editor’s note: The following is a recap of University happenings during the summer months. To view the Record’s summer issues in their complete form, visit the Record archive page at or go to and select “Search.” The URLs listed with each item refer to the original article that appeared in the Record over the summer.

Parking and Transportation Services tried out a Ford TH!NK city electric vehicle for a week in June. The car can reach 60 miles per hour and travel about 50 miles on a single charge. Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services

Administrative appointments

Rabe appointed SNRE interim dean

Barry Rabe, professor of environmental policy, School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), and adjunct professor of political science, LS&A, was appointed interim SNRE dean July 1. The appointment is expected to be for an initial 12-month term while a national search is conducted. Rabe succeeds Daniel A. Mazmanian, who had been dean since 1996. Mazmanian has joined the University of Southern California.

Little named Dearborn chancellor

Daniel Little was named chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, effective July 1. Prior to joining the U-M, Little was vice president for academic affairs and professor of philosophy at Bucknell University. He was associate dean of the faculty at Colgate University (1993–96) and also was assistant professor (1979–85), associate professor (1985–92) and professor of philosophy (1992–96). He has been a visiting scholar and associate at the Harvard University Center for International Affairs, visiting associate professor at Wellesley College and assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

He holds a B.S. degree in mathematics and A.B. in philosophy, both from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University.

Wolff is new School of Music dean

Music educator Karen Wolff became the new dean of the School of Music, professor of music with tenure and the Paul Boylan Collegiate Professor of Music Aug. 1. Wolff was dean and professor of music at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1991–99. Wolff’s research has focused on the impact of music education on children’s intellectual and social development in areas outside of music. She holds a master’s in music and a Ph.D. from the U-M.

Martin is permanent AD

William C. Martin was named director (AD) of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for a five-year term, pending approval by the Board of Regents at its September meeting. Martin, who has served as interim director since March 6, reversed his earlier decision not to be a candidate for the permanent AD position in part due to a petition the coaches submitted requesting him to stay.

The parapet around the top row of seats at Michigan Stadium, dubbed the ‘halo,’ got a new coat of paint in July. The structure, which was the subject of debate since its erection in the fall of 1998, now is ‘Michigan blue’ with a thin strip of maize. Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services


Regents vote to divest tobacco-related stock

The Board of Regents voted at its June 15–16 meeting to divest the University of its holdings in tobacco manufacturing companies. Regents Laurence B. Deitch, Olivia P. Maynard, Rebecca McGowan and S. Martin Taylor voted in favor of the motion to divest; Regents David A. Brandon and Andrea Fischer Newman abstained; Regent Daniel D. Horning voted no; and Regent Katherine E. White was absent.

The decision follows the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Tobacco Investments, a committee of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the University that was established by President Lee C. Bollinger last September. The committee’s recommendation urged the Regents to “sell all of the University’s currently owned shares of stock (and not to purchase any new shares) in companies that, either themselves or through their subsidiaries, manufacture significant quantities of cigarettes or other tobacco products.”

Health System works to reduce costs

To reach its targeted 2 percent budget operating margin, the Health System (UMHS) will have to achieve $35 million in cost efficiencies during the University’s fiscal year 2001, which began July 1. The expenditure reductions are in addition to the 4 percent across-the-board trimming already made in fiscal year 2000.

While the main cause of the budget pressures is the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 that cut Medicare and Medicaid funding through 2002, it is not the only factor, says Gilbert S. Omenn, executive vice president for medical affairs. The Health System, like all hospitals and physicians, faces continuing pressures from all payers and must continue to implement more cost-effective clinical and administrative services, he says.

The Hospitals announced June 9 that they will be outsourcing cafeteria and catering operations to Aramark Corp., which assumed full responsibility this past weekend. Aramark will manage and operate the University Hospital cafeteria, two Java Coast coffee carts and the Hospitals catering functions. The Wendy’s adjacent to the cafeteria remains in place.

Nike terminates contract negotiations

On April 27, Nike Inc. terminated negotiations for the renewal of a six-year agreement with the University that would have provided funding and Nike footwear, apparel and equipment for the U-M’s 25 varsity athletic teams through April 2006. The prior contract was worth about $7 million.

In a press release, Nike expressed surprise that the modified agreement “contained specific new parameters compelling the company to comply with the University’s undefined and still evolving labor standards and human rights policy.” In response, the University stated, “Michigan has kept Nike fully informed of all its actions and plans as Michigan and universities across the country seek an appropriate forum to address labor conditions in apparel manufacturing.”

Because the contract termination put additional pressure on an already tight budget at the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, President Lee C. Bollinger approved a one-time transfer of $3 million from the President’s Unrestricted Gift Fund to the department.

GM files brief supporting affirmative action

General Motors Corp. (GM) filed a legal brief in U.S. District Court on July 17 supporting the University’s stand on affirmative action.

The amicus brief notes that GM’s interest in the U-M’s legal battle to continue its policy is substantial. GM employs a large number of graduates, especially from the Business School and the College of Engineering.

A complete history of the admissions lawsuits and supporting documents is available on the Web at

First phase of Emergency Department renovations is complete

The first phase of the Health System Emergency Department’s renovation and addition has been completed and opened for the public July 10. The project includes a three-phase expansion of the emergency room that will cost $19 million and cover 15,200 square feet. The entire project is expected to be completed by fall 2001. The department has doubled the space and changed the configuration of patient areas to give patients and families more privacy, and includes more facilities for critically ill patients, wall-mounted computers and digital imaging, an on-site laboratory and diagnostic equipment.

Generous donation paves way for Walgreen Drama Center

A generous donation by alumnus Charles Walgreen has made possible the construction of the Walgreen Drama Center. The Center will house the 600-seat Arthur Miller Theater and several smaller student repertory theaters. This $5 million gift, combined with a previous gift from Walgreen in the same amount, will support the construction of the new theater complex. It will be located on Central Campus adjacent to the Power Center for the Performing Arts.

The approximate cost for the Drama Center is estimated to be $18 million. An architect is yet to be selected. Other gifts are being sought to pay for the remaining cost of the facility. The project is expected to take at least two years to complete.

President’s Commissions work through summer

Two commissions appointed by President Lee C. Bollinger earlier this year—the President’s Commission on the Undergraduate Experience and the President’s Information Revolution Commission—have continued their work through the summer and plan to host public forums in fall term and present interim recommendations to the president in October or November. Both groups also have formed subcommittees to address specific issues within their charges.

President updates community on life sciences

Accomplishments-to-date and ongoing activities related to the University’s Life Sciences Initiative were detailed in a letter from President Lee C. Bollinger that was sent to members of the University community in early June.

“Advances in the life sciences,” he said, “are raising new questions about what it is to be human, how best to lead a human or humane existence, what it is to be a living organism on this planet, and other crucial questions of human values that will reverberate throughout the social sciences, the humanities, the arts and medicine. We also can expect transformations in the practice of health care, the nature of scientific research and significant segments of the economy, technology and education.”

To read the entire letter, visit the Web at Hard copies are available by sending a request to

University Photographer Bob Kalmbach retired July 17, though he continues a part-time appointment at the Athletics Department

University to receive 5.7% state appropriation increase

A last-minute agreement among members of a combined state House and Senate committee on June 23 will give the U-M a 5.7 percent increase in its state appropriation, if approved by the Legislature this fall.

Budget includes modest 2.8% tuition increase (budget tables)

Strong financial support from the state will allow the University to continue to expand a number of academic programs while keeping tuition increases to a modest 2.8 percent for most students.

Overall, general fund budget revenues for FY 2001 are $981 million, an increase of 5.7 percent over the previous year. Expenditures for administrative units over the past three years have grown at less than half the rate of the academic units. One area of significant cost savings for the coming year is a 5 percent reduction in the cost of utilities campuswide. “The principal sources that will support essential improvements in information technology, as well as new and expanded programs in FY 2001 and beyond, are reductions and reallocations from activities undertaken in FY 2000,” said Provost Nancy Cantor. “By necessity, given the budgets they receive and their operating costs, the academic units continually reallocate from areas of lower priority in order to support areas of higher priority and programmatic innovations.”

A large stand of Scotch pine near the corner of Bonisteel and Fuller was removed because the trees were diseased with pine wilt. Because the wood was diseased, it was not suitable for either firewood or mulch, and has been chipped to use as fuel in power plants. Photo by Britt Halvorson

Changes from HR/AA

Sick Pay Plan changes

The University has made changes to the Sick Pay Plan, Standard Practice Guide 201.11, effective July 1. The revisions apply to all regular non-union allied health, office, professional/administrative and technical staff members with the exception of paid-time-off- (PTO) eligible employees. Affected areas include: Short-term sick time pay, extended sick time pay, renewal of extended sick time, accrual of vacation, payment of vacation accrual, clarification of family care eligibility and notice of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) usage.

For the entire Sick Pay Plan, visit the Web at

Temporary student employment SPG changes

The University has approved changes to sections 201.24, Employment of Students, and 201.57, Temporary Employment, of the Standard Practice Guide. The revisions apply to all non-union allied health, office, professional/administrative and technical staff members with the exception of instructional staff.

The policy revisions are the result of a Universitywide committee’s study of approaches to temporary employment on all campuses. To read the full text of those changes, visit the Web at, or call Employee Relations, (734) 763-2387, and request a copy. Changes include: Creation of a new category of temporary employee, no limit on duration of employment for U-M or non-

U-M students, clarification of FICA tax withholding, extension of non-student temporary employment and shared responsibility with the supervisor and temporary employee for reporting changes in status.

Long-term disability rate increases

The long-term disability (LTD) rate increased 5 percent, effective July 1.

“LTD rates have not increased since 1997,” says Bonnie Marttila, supervisor of the University’s long-term disability program. “However, the number of people receiving benefits through the plan has doubled in the last eight years. In addition, the plan continues to be under-reserved, which means that there are insufficient assets to pay future disability benefits of currently disabled participants.”

U will move non-exempt staff paid monthly to a biweekly pay schedule

The University will make two important changes to biweekly payroll procedures, both effective Jan. 1, 2001.

Non-exempt staff now paid on a monthly schedule will be paid on a biweekly schedule. The change will affect approximately 2,000 staff in professional/administrative classifications PA 01–PA 05.

For approximately 9,000 staff who are paid biweekly and participate in benefit plans, payroll deductions that currently are taken 12 times per year (once each month) will be taken in 24 equal installments (from two paychecks each month). There will be two pay dates each year when no payroll deductions will be due for most benefit plans. This includes payroll deductions for health insurance, dental insurance and others. This deduction frequency change will take place in January 2001 to pay for February 2001 premiums.

U has new vendor for auto, life, home

The University has selected American International Group Inc. (AIG) as its new vendor for group auto, homeowners and personal liability insurance, effective Sept. 1.

The University terminated its contract with METPAY Aug. 31 due to problems with payroll deductions.

Technology update

Students begin to use online registration

Students who were on campus for summer orientation sessions were the first group to use online registration through Wolverine Access. The Web system has replaced touch-tone telephone registration, which is no longer available. Students currently are able to log in from anywhere in the world to register on the Web. The week before Thanksgiving break, students will begin to use the Web-based system to register for winter term classes, according to an appointment schedule that will be sent to them.

Computer virus protection vital

On May 4, while millions of computer users worldwide were besieged by a virus called VBScript/Love Letter, the University’s computers remained virtually intact. This incident highlighted the importance of computer virus protection.

To obtain the appropriate anti-virus software for your machine, contact your system administrator, or download the software from the Web at for Dr. Solomon’s Anti-Virus (DSAV) Toolkit or for the VirusScan software.

Phone rates are lower than last year

New rates are:

  • Peak domestic long distance: 9 cents per minute (down from 17 cents).

  • Evening long distance: 6 cents per minute (down from 11 cents).

  • Weekend long distance: 6 cents per minute (down from 9 cents).

  • International long distance: Reductions averaging 25 percent and up to 40 percent for most frequently called countries.

  • Local calls: 10 cents per call (down from 11 cents).

    IT Communications will now sell telephone sets to departments. Departments that choose to purchase telephone sets will no longer be charged the $1.60 monthly telephone lease fee.

    Upgrades made to U’s Internet ‘backbone’

    The first steps of the University’s plan to upgrade the campus “backbone” network have been completed, increasing the capacity (bandwidth) that is available for carrying electronic information to and from computers. The backbone connects all data networks on campus and enables the University community to access networking services such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web.

    The upgrades mean a faster data transfer and improved network performance for most individuals who use computing resources on campus. Prior to the upgrades, the campus’ backbone utilization rate was running close to 100 percent during peak traffic hours, causing delays in the transfer of electronic information. Now, less than 25 percent of the capacity is used during peak hours.

    Microsoft, U expand software agreement

    The University has expanded upon a multi-year licensing agreement entered last December that offers Microsoft software products to faculty, staff and students at significantly reduced costs. The agreement allows the use of a specific and popular set of Microsoft products for all computers—at work and at home—including operating systems and Microsoft Office. In addition, members of the University community may upgrade their covered Microsoft product licenses to the latest version at either no additional charge or deeply discounted prices throughout the life of the agreement, providing a significant savings.