The University Record, September 4, 2001

Summer roundup: While you were away . . .

Compiled by Martin May

Editor’s note: The following is a recap of University happenings during the summer months. To view the Record’s summer issues in their compete 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.

President’s Information Revolution Commission issues report

Responding to the need to examine the University’s place in the ever-evolving information environment, the University’s Information Revolution Commission issued a report that called for creating a “living laboratory” in which all members of the University community can use, experiment with and study new technologies. The “living laboratory” concept is part of a comprehensive strategy to continually enhance information and communication technology in education and research, to develop and to investigate the impact of the information revolution on society.

The commission’s full report is available on the Web at Paper copies of the report are available from the President’s Office, Room 2074, Fleming Administration Building or by sending an e-mail request to For more information, call (734) 764-6270.

Dolan named Business School dean

Robert J. Dolan, the Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration, became the new dean of the School of Business Administration July 1 after approval by the Board of Regents.

Dolan, who taught at Harvard since 1980, previously served as chair of the school’s marketing area (1986–94), taught marketing to senior executives in Harvard’s Advanced Management Program (1990–95) and was the MBA program faculty chair (1996–97).

Senior White House science adviser named dean of SNRE

Rosina M. Bierbaum, acting director of the president’s Office of Science and Technology, was recommended as the new dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE). Her appointment will be effective Oct. 1. Bierbaum also will be appointed professor of natural resources and environmental policy, with tenure.

Social Work partners with life sciences

Although its research activities are more likely to employ pens than pipettes, to compare community demographics than biochemical reagents, or to analyze socioeconomic variables rather than the sequences of genes, the School of Social Work will play a vital role in the development of the University’s Life Sciences Initiative.

School of Social Work Dean Paula Allen-Meares said the School is planning an ambitious program of investment for research and instructional activities to enhance and support the University’s Life Sciences Initiative.

Exhibition at Clements focuses on historical trends in Detroit

The Clements Library has mounted an exhibition that focuses on four events or trends in the 300-year history of Detroit. Featured are artifacts relating to Pontiac’s siege of the British garrison in 1763, the transfer of Detroit from British to U.S. control between 1783 and 1796, William Hull’s humiliating defeat in the first summer of the War of 1812, and the city’s rise to pre-automotive prosperity during the 19th century. The exhibition is open 1–4:45 p.m. weekdays and continues through Sept. 28. Admission is free.

Campus policies on weapons updated

New provisions in the University’s Standard Practice Guide (SPG) and amendments to the Regents’ Ordinance were approved, restricting guns and other dangerous weapons on campus.

The new SPG (201.94), which went into effect March 12, prohibits U-M employees from possessing or discharging a firearm on University property or elsewhere in the course of their employment with the University, regardless of whether the employee has a permit. The SPG also prohibits possession of explosives, certain knives and other dangerous weapons, including chemical substances intended to cause injury.

Questions and answers about the University’s policies on concealed weapons can be found on the Web at

After 53 years of teaching at U-M, historian Sidney Fine says goodbye

After more than a half-century of teaching, Fine held his last lecture April 16. He is credited with having the longest active teaching career at the University and for leaving a lasting impression on his students.

Recognized as an outstanding educator and historian, Fine said he is proud of winning the University’s Henry Russel Lectureship and the Golden Apple Award. Fine is the first professor to receive both of these awards.

New tax legislation benefits U-M students and employees

While much of the focus on the tax bill signed into law by President Bush was on tax rate cuts, estate taxes and the “marriage penalty,” the legislation also included a number of tax improvements for U-M students and employees. While most of the provisions affecting the University community kick in Jan. 1, 2002, they all are slated to expire in 2010. Beginning next January, U-M students, employees and their families may be able to take advantage of a number of provisions in the new law.

Provost search committee appointed

A 13-member search advisory committee was appointed by President Lee. C Bollinger to help identify candidates for the position of provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. The provost is the chief academic officer and chief budget officer for the University. Nancy Cantor, who served as Provost from September 1997 to July 2001, left to become chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For a list of committee members, visit the Web at the link above.

Hill Auditorium to undergo $33.5 million renovation

Plans are under way to renovate Hill Auditorium after Regents approved the $33.5 million project at their June meeting.

The 88-year-old designed structure is slated to undergo improvements that will preserve its architectural history, enhance the experience of performers and audiences, and replace or update aging infrastructure. The renovations, expected to take 18 months, will begin May 13, 2002, said Robert Kasdin, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Forest Avenue parking structure opens with Garage Jam

Construction took less than 18 months, but many more months of planning went into making the new Forest Avenue parking structure a reality. On June 29, officials from the city, University, Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and various political groups mingled with area residents and motorcycle buffs to open the new structure.

U-M provided funding for about a third of the project—$5.9 million—and in exchange received a third of the spaces for parkers with blue and gold parking permits.

University’s 2001–02 budget increases tuition 6.5%

The 2001–02 budget approved by the Board of Regents July 19 is “designed to sustain the quality of the University, consolidate the gains of the past few years and maintain momentum on our most important initiatives,” said President Lee C. Bollinger. The state appropriation to the University will increase just 1.5 percent for the coming year. The tuition increase for most students is 6.5 percent. That figure is among the lowest in the Big Ten and among public institutions in Michigan, continuing a four–year trend, said Paul N. Courant, associate provost for academic and budgetary Affairs. “We have worked hard to restrain our tuition increase despite the difficult state funding environment and rapidly rising costs in areas such as utilities, employee benefits and information technology,” Courant added.

Health System opens unit for ER patients who need extra care

A new 16-bed unit in the University Hospital’s Emergency Department is serving adult and pediatric patients who need follow-up after seeing emergency physicians for chest pains, abdominal pain, dehydration, asthma attacks and other conditions.

Dubbed MEDPATH, for Michigan Emergency Department Patient Assessment and Treatment Hub, the unit holds patients for up to 24 hours, until physicians either recommend they be discharged or admitted to the hospital.

Health System ranked seventh by U.S. News & World Report

The Health System took the No. 7 spot in an annual ranking released by U .S. News and World Report magazine, up from 12th in 2000. It is the only health care system in Michigan to make the top 10 list of Best Hospitals. Only 15 hospitals make the magazine’s Honor Roll. In the various medical specialties, the Health System placed in the top 15 for 14 of the 17 areas examined.

Prescription Drug Work Group 2002 reports on focus groups

A number of findings emerged from a series of 24 focus groups held on all U-M campuses during fall 2000 and January 2001. About 400 randomly selected faculty and staff, and 42 retirees participated in these forums. In findings from the focus groups, outside consultants Ovo Partners identified themes that arose repeatedly and that appeared to have high importance in the context of particular discussions.

FDA advisory committee examines FluMist

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on July 27 said that there is adequate data to support the effectiveness of FluMist for the prevention of influenza in healthy individuals ages 1–64.

The committee also stated that data analysis so far is not sufficient to support the safety of the vaccine. In closing the discussion, Robert S. Daum, panel chairman, indicated that the committee is willing to evaluate the safety data when the analyses are complete.

FluMist is an influenza virus vaccine delivered as a nasal mist. It is based on technology developed by Hunein “John” Maassab, professor of epidemiology. The FDA is reviewing the license application for FluMist. If approved, FluMist would be the first influenza vaccine delivered as a nasal mist to be commercially available in the United States.