The University Record, October 7, 1998


RIF policy changes recommended

Changes to the Reduction in Force (RIF) policy have been recommended. Prior to finalization of the revisions, the Human Resources/Affirmative Action Office would like staff reaction and input to the proposed changes.

The RIF procedure details the policy for the reduction or layoff of staff as a result of lack of funds, lack of work and reorganizations. The current policy was last modified in 1991. The proposed changes result from a review and reengineering effort to improve the process and facilitate placement of staff who are laid off.

The full text of the proposed RIF policy is on the Web at, or call Employee Relations, 763-2387.

A summary of the changes:

• The new policy establishes a 90-day mutual assessment period for laid off staff who are hired by another department. During this period of time, either the department or the employee could discontinue employment, at which time the employee would be returned to RIF status. It is hoped that this addition will create incentives for departments to hire staff on layoff status.

• The current policy requires RIF notice of 30 or 90 calendar days, depending on seniority. The proposed change allows payment in lieu of notice.

• The revised policy limits the duration of layoff to 12 months. Current policy allows a staff member to be laid off for 18 months under certain circumstances.

• The revised language emphasizes the fact that the University may select employees for RIF based on necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to perform available work. The new language reads: "The order of reduction will begin with the staff member with the least University service (seniority), except that the University may retain employees, irrespective of service, who possess the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to perform the available work which are not possessed to the same degree by other employees in the same classification."

• The revised policy excludes staff on closed-ended appointments or contracts.

Comments may be sent to Bruce Pringle, director, Employee Relations, 3003 S. State, Room 2005, or, or call him at 763-2387.


TropiCola showing is Oct. 11

The program in American Culture and the Latino/a Studies Program are presenting TropiCola, a film on contemporary Cuba, at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Michigan Theater. Filmed on location by director Steve Fagin and laced with Havana's timba beat, the 95-minute film is the winner of the Latin American Studies Association 1998 Award for Merit in Film. The Michigan Theater screening includes an interview with the director. Admission is $6.75 for the general public, $5.25 for students and senior citizens, and $4.50 for Michigan Theater members.

A reception for Fagin will be held 4-6 p.m. Oct. 10 at Shaman Drum bookshop. Fagin is the author of Talkin' With Your Mouth Full: Conversations with the Videos of Steve Fagin.


'The Political Life of a Dead Body' lecture is Oct. 12

Katherine Verdery, the Eric R. Wolf Collegiate Professor of Anthropology, will deliver the collegiate professorship lecture, "The Political Life of a Dead Body: Reburying Transylvanian Bishop Inochentie Micu," at 4:10 p.m. Oct. 12 in Rackham Amphitheater. A public reception will follow in Rackham Assembly Hall.

Former chair of the anthropology department at The Johns Hopkins University, Verdery is the author of What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? and Transylvanian Villagers: Three Centuries of Political, Economic, and Ethnic Change.


Commission for Women meets second Tuesdays

The Commission for Women holds its steering committee meetings noon-1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in Room 4016, LS&A Bldg. New members are always welcome. The first meeting of the year is Oct. 13. For more information, call Sally Grace, 764-5188, or send e-mail to


'From Corsets to Body Piercing' Oct. 12

Joan Jacobs Brumberg, author of The Body Project, and Stephen H. Weiss Professor at Cornell University, will deliver the Vivian R. Shaw lecture, "From Corsets to Body Piercing: Historical Perspectives on American Girls and Their Body Projects." The free, public lecture at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 in Auditorium 3, Modern Languages Bldg., will reflect Brumberg's book in which she provides an account of what adolescent girls have gained and lost as American women shed the corset and associated ideals.

The lecture is being presented by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Women's Studies Program and the Michigan Initiative for Women's Health. For more information, call 764-9537.


Sign up for Arb classes

Nichols Arboretum is offering a variety of adult education classes this fall. For a brochure or to register, call 936-2652 or send e-mail to Class information follows:

• A History of Brewing, Dan McConnell, 7-9 p.m. Oct. 7, $15.

• Illustrating Nature, John Megahan, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 10, 17, 24, $65.

• Tree Identification, Dave Mindell, noon-3 p.m. Oct. 11, $25;

• Valuation of Shade and Ornamental Trees, Harrison Morton, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 17, $15;

• The Creative Naturalist: Literature and Nature, Keith Taylor, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 24, $60;

• Tropical Butterflies: Natural History and Mimicry, Herb Wagner, 7-9 pm Oct. 15, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 17, $35;

• Paper: A History From Papyrus and the Invention of Paper in China, Karen Koykka O'Neal, 7-9 p.m. Nov. 7, $15.


Theatre Department opens season with Beckett's Endgame

The Department of Theatre and Drama opens its 1998-99 season Oct. 8 with Samuel Beckett's Endgame. The play, directed by Philip Kerr, is showing at 8 p.m. Oct. 8-11 and 15-17 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 12 and 18 at the Trueblood Theatre. Tickets are $14, $7 for students with ID.

Enoch Brater, professor of English and an authority on Beckett, says "Endgame is about the end of things; a long process that is never fully achieved. Beckett makes us face the endlessness of ending. Outside of Waiting for Godot and Death of a Salesman, Endgame is one of the most significant plays to be written in the post-World War II period." For more information, call 764-0450.


Anything Goes runs Oct. 15-18

The Musical Theatre Department opens its 15th season Oct. 15-18 with Cole Porter's musical comedy Anything Goes at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Gary Bird is directing; Linda Goodrich, assistant professor of dance, is the choreographer; and Musical Director Grant Wenaus is conducting a seven-piece band.

"A flirtatious and joyfully orchestrated romp, Anything Goes features several tongue-in-cheek send-ups on everything from revival meetings to who's who on the FBI's most wanted list," reviewers say.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Oct. 15-17 and 2 p.m. Oct. 18. Tickets are $18 at the door, $14 ($7 for students with ID) in advance from the Michigan League Ticket Office. For more information, call 764-0450.


'Border Crossings' is Oct. 9

Five performance poets from Ann Arbor, Chicago and New York City and a dozen musicians will blend music and the spoken word in "Border Crossings: A Festival of New Jazz/Rock & Poetry" on Oct. 9.

The free performances, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium, will provide a background for Richard Tillinghast, poet and professor of English, to release his first poetry/music CD, "My Only Friends Were the Wolves." Donations will be accepted at the Great Lakes Literary Alliance.

Tillinghast and Poignant Plectomus create an "incendiary blend of poetry and free form fusion music that includes rock, jazz, Middle Eastern, Eastern European and classical influences," reviewers say.

Other performers for the evening are Arwulf Arwulf, the Sonnelicht Project, Brenda Cardenas, M.L. Liebler and the Magic Poetry Band, and Barry Wallenstein.

"Border Crossings" is part of the 1998-99 Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Department of English, the Graduate School, the School of Music, Shaman Drum Bookshop and WEMU-FM. For more information, call 764-6296.


Reduced phone, data rates in effect

New campus telephone and data rates are in effect. Basic telephone service rates are $20 monthly, down from $24.80, and long distance service rates also are lower. Data connection rates are still being established. Router port connections from departmental local area networks to the campus backbone are charged $600 per month to each department (not to each desktop connection). For more information on long distance and other rates, see the Information Technology Division Web page,


Nursing's open house is Oct. 15

The School of Nursing will hold a Graduate Program open house 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 15 at the School of Nursing. Participants can learn about graduate programs in nursing and meet faculty for informal advising. For more information or to register, call 763-5985.


Learn how to mediate family differences, exorcise exercise

"Mediating Family Differences" is at noon-1 p.m. Oct. 8 in Conference Room 4, Michigan League. The workshop, led by Gary Marsh will explain barriers to successful joint custody and provide strategies for dealing with them.

"Exorcising Exercise: How Women are Reclaiming and Enhancing Physical Activity" is noon-1 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Henderson Room, Michigan League. "Exorcising Exercise," led by Michelle Segar, president, National Center for Women and Wellness, takes a look at the roadblocks women face in being active and shows new approaches to enable women to be physically active.

Both workshops are presented by the Family Care Resources Program, Consultation and Conciliation and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. For more information, call 936-8826.


RRP workshop is Oct. 13, 21

"Authorship, Mentorship and Data Stewardship," a workshop coordinated by W. Andrew Achenbaum and Shake Ketefian, will be presented 4-6 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Michigan Room, Michigan League, and again 7-9 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Vandenberg Room, Michigan League. The workshop is part of the Research Responsibility Program (RRP) sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR).

The RRP provides an opportunity for learning more about issues relating to individual conduct and administration of research. For details, see the Web at, send e-mail to, or call 763-1289.


'Kids Kare at Home' program expands

Following a successful six-month pilot of the "Kids Care at Home" program, the Office of the Provost has agreed to continue funding for faculty and staff and support a six-month pilot program for students. The program sends a trained caregiver to the individual's home to provide care when a child is ill and the parents must teach, attend class or be at work.

The program also has some new features:

• Families may use up to 24 hours of service, with a minimum of four hours charged per visit, beginning Nov. 1, for 12 months.

• The program will be offered on a sliding scale basis. The University will subsidize up to 85 percent of the cost of the service. Charges will be $2, $4 or $6 per hour, depending on household income, for the basic level service. If a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse is needed, the charges will be higher.

Those who wish to use the service must register Oct. 8-30. Registration materials are on the Web at and are available from the Family Care Resources Program, 936-8677.

Individuals who do not register during the registration period may still use the service at the full, unsubsidized rate of $14 per hour for basic care. Priority is given to families who preregister.

Faculty and staff who signed up for the pilot program need to register again, as certain procedures have changed.


Power award nominations sought

The Academic Women's Caucus (AWC) is accepting nominations for the Sarah Goddard Power Award through Nov. 20. The Power Award, given annually since 1984, honors and recognizes those individuals who have contributed to the betterment of women through distinguished leadership, scholarship or other activities related to their professional lives.

U-M faculty, including instructors, lecturers, primary researchers, librarians, curators, and senior administrative staff are eligible. Nominees must be able to attend the Feb. 17, 1999, ceremony in the Michigan League. For more information or to receive an award nomination form, contact Tonya Brown, 763-1284 or The nomination form is also available on the AWC Web site: Completed nominations can be sent to Sally Grace, 4005 Wolverine Tower 1281.


Terry Gross to speak at Rackham

Terry Gross, host of NPR's daily interview program Fresh Air, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in Rackham Auditorium, sponsored by Michigan Radio and Hillel. Tickets, $15, are available at the Michigan Union ticket office, 763-TKTS, or through Hillel, 769-0500. Admission is free for U-M students who obtain tickets at Hillel.

Gross, known as one of the best interviewers in the country, will shed light on what it's like to share the microphone with some of the most prominent figures of our time. She recently has interviewed former President Jimmy Carter, author Salman Rushdie and horror novelist Steven King. Following her talk, she will take questions from the audience.

Fresh Air is a recipient of the Peabody Award for its "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight."


Graduate Library copiers use Mcards

The Microforms and Serials area in the Graduate Library has added four copiers accepting the Mcard and a CashChip Machine able to add funds to Mcards and dispense visitor Mcards.

Mcards continue to be accepted in Library Circulation Services for payment of fines and in the staff lounge vending machines. For more information, call 936-2273, or see the Mcard Web page,


Social Work receives Kellogg grant

The School of Social Work has received a $1.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support a "Global Program on Youth," an initiative designed to improve the well-being of young people.

The program will establish broad-based groups of scholars, policy-makers and service providers who will work together to confront issues of youth in schools and communities, child welfare, children's rights and family violence.

"Our program provides an ambitious but practical strategy for demonstrating how the School of Social Work and the social work profession can have a significant impact on the well-being of youth throughout the world," says social work Dean Paula Allen-Meares. "It restructures the way the School of Social Work relates to the human-service community at the state level, and it tests a new action-oriented partnership between academia and the community that we believe will transform the way social workers are trained and how social work research is disseminated."


Dearborn to hold open house Oct. 11

Prospective students, parents and friends will have a chance to tour the U-M-Dearborn campus and meet with current students, faculty members and alumni during the campus open house noon-4:30 p.m. Oct. 11.

Staff members will be available to discuss academic programs, admissions, financial aid policies and co-op and internship programs. Students also will be on hand, representing some of the more than 100 student organizations.


Saturday A.M. Physics returns Oct. 10

The Physics Department's "Saturday Morning Physics" series returns for a fourth year this fall. Presentations on the universe's mysterious "dark matter" and how the effects of its gravity distort our perceptions of the heavens, on the bizarre phenomena associated with black holes, and on the central role of physics in understanding the structure of proteins and DNA will begin at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 10 in Room 170, Dennison Hall.

"Saturday Morning Physics," featuring post-doctoral research fellows, runs through Dec. 12. Each session is geared to a general audience and is followed by a question-and-answer session. Refreshments will be served. The 1998 schedule is:

• "Dark Matter: Unmasking the Invisible Universe," Phil Fisher, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 10, 17, 24;

• "Black Holes, White Holes and Worm Holes," Manasse Mbonye, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 31, Nov. 7;

• "Physics and Pharmaceuticals," Jeanne Stuckey, 10:30 a.m. Nov. 21, Dec. 5, 12.

For more information, call 764-4437.


Phone system will be Y2K-compliant

The University's telephone system is well on target for Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance. Dave Boyers, a key manager of the phone system, says, "We are confident that the University phone system will be fully compliant well before the end of 1999."

The main part of the campus telephone system has been Y2K-compliant since a major system upgrade in fall 1987. Other key components are being made compliant or replaced.

• A software upgrade for Meridian Voice Mail that will expand its capabilities and make it Y2K-compliant by the end of 1998.

• The student voice mail product, Trilogue, is being evaluated and should be compliant within the next six months.

• Campus call-prompting functions-automated attendance-are being evaluated and are expected to be completed late in 1998 or early 1999.

• Campus billing software for telephone bills and facilities management software are scheduled for replacement in May 1999 with Y2K-compliant software.

• MIS (Management Information System) call center statistical support is being replaced with enhanced call center capabilities.

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