The University Record, September 3, 1997

Summer Roundup

Fire department trains on Dental School Building

Museum of Art kept kids busy during Art Fairs

Lieutenant Ed Dzinbimski of the Ann Arbor Fire Department descends the 125-foor height of the Dental School Building. The Fire Department used the U-M campus as a training site for rappelling exercises in July. Photo by Bob K almbach

Olivia Cohn was one of many who took advantage of the Museum of Art's activities during the Art Fairs in July. She learned string games from Marcia Gaynor. Photo by Bob Kalmbach

Editor's Note: For those of you who are new to the U-M and those who were away during the summer, here's a brief look at some of the articles that appeared in the Record. For complete text, follow the Archive link on our Website Web site (


Orphan disease treatment an accidental discovery

Dementia, drooling, slurred speech, temper outbursts, violent tremors are a few of the symptoms of a potentially fatal condition called Wilson's disease, a recessive genetic disorder that interferes with the body's ability to excrete copper.

Zinc acetate, a drug recently approved by the federal government that can halt progression of--and often completely reverse--the symptoms of the disease, was discovered and pioneered by George Brewer, professor of human genetics and of internal medicine. Brewer discovered the benefits of zinc acetate about 15 years ago while working with sickle cell anemia patients. Since then, he has drawn Wilson's disease patients from around the world to the General Clinical Research Center, the only place in the nation that researches the disease and treats large numbers of patients.


Marcus first woman elected to NAS

Anthropologist Joyce P. Marcus has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the first U-M woman to be so honored.

Marcus, professor of anthropology and curator of Latin American archaeology at the Museum of Anthropology, is the author of Mesoamerican Writing Systems: Propaganda, Myth and History in Four Ancient Civilizations, among other publications.


McNamara is interim director of art museum

Carole McNamara, collections manager, was named interim director of the Museum of Art May 1. She joined the Museum in 1978 as registrar and since then has participated in every facet of Museum life, overseeing the permanent collection and embarking on numerous curatorial adventures.


M-Pathways gets PeopleSoft software

M-Pathways, a multi-year project to make access to information easier for everyone, passed a milestone this summer with receipt of student administration software from PeopleSoft Inc. U-M was the first school to receive a copy among seven schools that helped PeopleSoft develop the product.

The new system is designed to get the right information to the right people at the right time.


Ann Arbor getting new area code

Get ready to change your letterhead and business cards. On Dec. 13, "optional" dialing will begin for the Ann Arbor area's new area code-734-which means individuals calling you long distance can use either 313 or 734. The new area code will be mandatory July 25, 1998. The city of Detroit and all Detroit zones will remain in the 313 area code.

Optional dialing for a new area code-248-for parts of Oakland County ends Sept. 13.


Ground broken for Wyly Hall

Ground-breaking ceremonies for the new Sam Wyly Hall in the Business School complex were held May 2. On hand were Texas entrepreneur and Business School alum Sam Wyly, who donated half the cost of the $20 million building, and William Davidson, alumnus and president and CEO of Guardian Industries. Guardian pledged $5 million toward the facility, which will be headquarters for the William Davidson Institute, founded five years ago with a $30 million gift from Guardian, and will allow expansion of the executive education program.


U documenting NAGPRA items

Work spread over five years and involving an army of staff enabled the University to complete cataloging hundreds of artifacts and remains to comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

The law, which applies to all institutions that receive federal funds, calls for a return of items from grave sites to Native American tribes that request them and can prove cultural affiliation with the items. The U-M was to make the first transfer of some items during the summer.


Journalists have field day at George Reserve

Sixteen reporters and photographers visited the E.S. George Reserve near Pinckney to learn more about this internationally recognized field research station and several of the ongoing studies conducted there. The Reserve is used by scientists and students from throughout the United States and several other countries. Its white-tailed deer herd has been monitored since 1928 and the turtle population since 1953. Since 1949, researchers have been studying how native plants reclaim old farm fields on the Reserve.


New Web gateway page takes a bow

The University's WorldWide Web page ( took on a new look in June. The site is now structured by audience, rather than by administrative unit, with many campus resources linked in from more than one location.


Social Work reaches fund-raising goal

The School of Social Work, already widely considered the top social work school in the country, successfully completed its campaign to raise $12 million-"Building Leadership for a Changing Society"-several months ahead of its fall target date. In addition, the School's endowment has grown from about $280,000 to $3.4 million.

Dean Paula Allen-Meares says the funds will be used for student scholarships and programs, faculty research support and endowed chairs, and for costs associated with the new Social Work Building, under construction just north of the School of Education Building.


New group celebrates League history

The newly founded Friends of the Michigan League, devoted to preserving the League's history, celebrated its beginning with a luncheon May 1. In the early 1920s, women at the U-M had no place to gather, since they were not allowed in the Michigan Union. Persistence in pursuing their case gained them permission to construct a building and a portion of the University's land to build on in 1921, provided they had the funds and were ready to build within five years.


Super glue a cut above stitches

Emergency rooms nationwide may be using something similar to "crazy glue" in place of stitches if a Medical Center physician has his way. James Quinn, clinical assistant professor, has completed an extensive study of a skin adhesive, awaiting FDA approval, that takes the place of sutures in closing wounds.

It is less painful to use, quicker to apply than sutures and produces excellent cosmetic results. Quinn says the glue is great for treating children and others who are afraid of needles, since it is a virtually pain-free procedure.


Cancer, Geriatrics Building dedicated

The new nine-story, 252,000-square-foot building housing the Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Geriatrics Center was dedicated in June.

Designed to expedite the application of research findings to clinical care, the $88 million facility includes diagnostic, treatment, pharmacy, research and support services in one location.

Called "less nerve-wracking" than traditional health care facilities by Gov. John Engler, who also noted that "treatment need not take place at an abysmal location," the building design incorporates input from both patients and staff. Six floors are dedicated to research, three to patient care.


Cantor named provost; Lewis interim dean

The appointments of Nancy Cantor as provost and Earl Lewis as interim dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, both effective Sept. 1, were approved by the Regents in July. Cantor was vice provost for academic affairs and Graduate School Dean. Lewis was senior associate dean and also is professor of history and of Afroamerican and African studies.


Gramlich nominated to Fed

Edward N. (Ned) Gramlich, dean of the School of Public Policy and professor of economics and public policy, was nominated to the Federal Reserve Board in July by President Bill Clinton. His appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.


Laser performs high-precision surgery

A new high-precision laser that can be used to perform corneal surgical procedures has been developed by U-M researchers. The laser uses powerful light pulses lasting just a few hundred femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second). Ron M. Kurtz, assistant professor of ophthalmology, says the ultrashort pulses require less energy to cut tissue and do not create large "shock waves" that can damage surrounding structures.

He is testing the laser for use in corneal refractive surgery for vision correction and in corneal transplantation. Future research will test the laser's effectiveness in the treatment of glaucoma and cataracts.

A prototype of the system was designed and built by Tibor Juhasz, associate research scientist, and his colleagues at the Femtosecond Medical Research Laboratory at the College of Engineering's Center for Ultrafast Optical Science.


Tuition increase less than 3 percent

The rate of tuition increase for U-M undergraduates declined for the seventh year in a row when the Regents approved the University's 1997-98 budget at their July meeting.

Tuition for all undergraduates-including upper division and lower division students, Michigan residents and nonresidents-rose by only 2.9 percent. Tuition and fees for in-state, entering freshmen remain below $5,900.

"This is a very conservative budget with a minimal increase in tuition," said Provost J. Bernard Machen. "It represents a commitment on the part of the new administration to keep a Michigan education affordable. We have set tuition rates as low as possible without compromising the quality of our academic programs."


Johnson named chief of staff

President Lee Bollinger appointed Chacona Johnson his chief of staff in July. She also will be associate vice president for development. She had been director of principal gifts for the Campaign for Michigan.

As chief of staff, Johnson will advise the president on a wide range of issues, both internal and external. She also will be responsible for coordinating issues among senior officials and the president, and will be involved in communication and policy development.


Nasal spray influenza vaccine culminates years of research

A nasal spray vaccine pioneered by Hunein F. Maassab, professor of epidemiology, has proven 93 percent effective in a major nationwide study of 1,600 children. The vaccine triggers an early, local antibody response in the nasal passages--a powerful first line of defense and a key element in the prevention of influenza.

School of Public Health Dean Noreen M. Clark noted that the success of the clinical trials "is a tremendous accomplishment. The results of the clinical trials are the successful culmination of three decades of dedication and innovation by Dr. Maassab and his research team. The vaccine is likely to have a major impact on U.S. public health in the future."


M-CARE initiative on hold

Implementation of the M-CARE preference initiative, a proposed health insurance program designed to enhance the economic viability of the U-M Health System that would make M-CARE free to faculty and staff, has been postponed.

The income that the proposal would have generated was included in the Health System's 1997-98 budget, presented at the July Regents' meeting. President Lee C. Bollinger asked that the line item be removed from consideration to allow further discussion of the proposal on campus. A revised budget was approved by the Regents at a special conference-call meeting in August, with the president calling for continued discussion of this and other compensation issues.


More than 100 brainstorm about Internet2

More than 100 representatives from universities around the nation who are members of the Internet2 consortium gathered at the U-M in July to discuss the potential and properties of the proposed super-network that would increase reliability and could transfer information at speeds from 100 to 1,000 times faster than the present Internet.

Participants brainstormed about how to build Internet2 to accommodate applications vital to the research and teaching community. Those applications are expected to be used as demonstrations when the group makes recommendations in Washington, D.C., in October.


Budget goal: reduce administrative costs

A major goal of this year's General Fund budget, approved by the Regents at their July meeting, is to reduce the cost of central administrative units while enhancing the resources available to academic units.

According to outgoing Provost J. Bernard Machen, the past practice of across-the-board cuts could not continue because it is not the best way to achieve cost containment or savings and, in fact, sometimes places academic units at a disadvantage.

Four fundamental objectives undergird the budget:


Maintaining and enhancing the quality of instructional and research programs.


Increasing the quality of the undergraduate experience.


Maintaining and enhancing access for Michigan undergraduates students.


Continuing to pursue racial and gender diversity.

This year, budget allocations for nine administrative units show a net increase of less than 1 percent overall. Within the group, allocations for two units stayed at least year's level, three received cuts and four received increases.

To avoid any undue hardship on employees, a loan will be provided to these administrative units to support a merit salary program for 1997-98.

Survival Flight on top

Aaron Ward brought Stanley Cup to Mott

The U-M's emergency transport program-which includes survival flight helicopters, fixed-wing transports and ground transportation services-is one of only two nationwide to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditat ion of Medical Transport Systems in all three categories.

Survival Flight provides critical care transport, using the most up-to-date aviation and medical technology 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It has two twin-engine Bell 230 helicopters with about a 200-mile coverage area and a cabin-pressurized Cessna Citation with a coverage area spanning most of North America.

When it was his turn to hold the Red Wings' Stanley Cup, defenseman Aaron Ward brought it to Mott Hospital to share with young patients. He posed with Krystie Irwin and others for media photographers. Photo by Bob Kalmbach