The University Record, March 11, 2002

Barry new managing director of U-M Life Sciences Institute

By Karl Leif Bates
Life Sciences Institute

Barry (Photo by Bob Kalmbach, U-M Photo Services)
Jack E. Dixon, director of the Life Sciences Institute, has named a managing director to undertake day-to-day responsibility for building, staffing and operating the interdisciplinary research institute now under construction on the Ann Arbor campus. Elizabeth M. Barry, associate vice president and deputy general counsel, has been named to the post, effective April 15.

Barry brings administrative expertise and breadth to the role. As the second-in-command of the U-M’s legal office, she has been responsible for managing personnel, administering budget and finances, and supervising legal services in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer and research administration. She also has been the primary in-house lawyer and spokesperson on the two high-profile cases challenging the University’s admissions procedures.

Dixon says Barry’s skills and experience are a great fit. “There simply aren’t many people who combine all these talents that Liz has, but she’s exactly what we need at this point in the Institute’s development,” he says. “While I focus on the scientific leadership and research direction of the Institute, Liz will work on my behalf in accomplishing all of the necessary operational tasks associated with launching the Institute and bringing the new building on-line.”

“I am delighted that Liz is willing to take on this new role,” says Interim President B. Joseph White. “She is one of our most capable and seasoned University administrators, and will contribute immensely to both the stability and the forward momentum of the Institute.”

Barry says the tremendous potential of the Institute in shaping a cutting-edge research agenda and contributing to the intellectual revolution under way in the sciences convinced her to accept the position. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to join this exciting new venture at a critical stage of its development,” she says. “I’m looking forward to helping build an organization from the ground up and contributing to the important work the Institute will be doing.”

The 250,000-square-foot Institute will accept its first tenants in Fall 2003, and eventually will house up to 350 employees. Its operations are funded by a $130 million endowment created by the Board of Regents. Adjacent to the Institute will be an undergraduate science center, with new labs and classrooms for science instruction, and a commons building that includes meeting spaces and a food court to encourage contact and collaboration between students and faculty on the central and medical campuses.

The Institute complex is the cornerstone of the University’s campus-wide Life Sciences Initiative, a commitment of more than $700 million to date in new research, teaching and personnel aimed at establishing U-M’s place in the coming age of life sciences.

Barry is a 1983 graduate of LS&A and a 1988 Law School graduate, both with honors. She also is an adjunct professor at the Law School. Before joining the University in 1996, she was a university attorney at Harvard and a lecturer in its Graduate School of Education.

Marvin Krislov, vice president and general counsel, will continue to oversee the University’s legal team on the two lawsuits defending the University’s use of affirmative action in admissions.