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Updated 1:00 PM June 30, 2003
 

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Closures allow U-M to focus on 'core mission'


In an effort to preserve critical programs while meeting new budget realities, the University will close the U-M Woodshop by late summer or early fall, and last week closed the University Major Events Office. The Unions also will give up management of the Arbor Lakes food service.

"We're focusing around our core mission, serving students first," says Loren Rullman, director of University Unions, who added that the decisions constitute strategic financial choices about the organization's future. The three items eventually will save about $150,000. In total, the University Unions, consisting of the campus' three student unions, will cut $700,000 for the 2004 fiscal year starting July 1.
Neil Welch, a student in the College of engineering, works on a knife block at the woodshop. (Photo by Todd McKinney)

The woodshopwhere students, the campus community and the public have had access to tools and have worked on woodworking projectswill close later this summer. The shop charged $2 per visit for students and $7 for non-students. It is used mostly by non-students and does not recoup its costs. The woodshop will remain open on Thursdays-Sundays through early July, and beyond that date, arrangements will be made for users to retrieve projects during the summer and early fall. The director of the Michigan Union and the woodshop manager will determine a firm date for final closure.

The Major Events Office, which has organized on-campus concerts since 1975, was losing more than $50,000 a year, and many of the concerts drew mostly non-students. The Unions will continue to underwrite events, in cooperation with other sponsors, such as major student programming groups.

The Arbor Lakes Conference Center will assume management of the food service there, which operated at a loss.

The woodshopwhere students, the campus community and the public have had access to tools and have worked on woodworking projectswill close later this summer or
in early fall.

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