Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Head football coach Brady Hoke signs a football for a young Wolverines fan during the team's Fan Day. Fans lined up to get autographs from their favorite players and coaches at the annual event Sunday at Michigan Stadium. (Photo by Daryl Marshke, U-M Photo Services)

What's new for Open Enrollment this year
U-M faculty and staff will be able to see 2012 benefit plan rates on Wolverine Access as soon as Aug. 22. The new rate pages will display both the 2011 and 2012 rates so employees can begin planning their benefits plan choices well in advance of the Open Enrollment period, which is set for Oct. 31-Nov. 11. Upcoming changes for 2012 include optional online enrollment for retirees, no co-pay for preventive services, a co-pay increase for certain prescription drugs, and the elimination of the Priority Health plan.

New Web portal organizes continuing education
The university is launching a new Web portal this month that ties together continuing education offerings from units across campus. It information on non-degree classes, lectures and events that are available for those interested in career development, personal enrichment, programs for K-12 students and distance education

Architect Barbie got her start at Taubman College
Architect Barbie, inspired by female architect Despina Stratigakos while she was teaching at U-M in 2007, went on sale Monday. Stratigakos enlisted students at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to create prototypes for a collegewide Architect Barbie Exhibition in 2007. After more than four years of campaigning, Architect Barbie came to be and was announced this year.

Summer program in El Salvador ended early
A summer program in El Salvador involving 14 undergraduate students was ended early after three members of the group were robbed at gunpoint in the city of San Salvador. None of the students was injured during the robbery and the group returned to the U.S. Aug. 2.
• Students, faculty and staff using the Travel Registry now can access trip information via mobile devices.

Wolverines, Buckeyes to play January outdoor game in Cleveland
The U-M ice hockey team will play Ohio State University in an outdoor game titled "The Frozen Diamond Faceoff" on Jan. 15 at Progressive Field, home to the Cleveland Indians. This will mark the third straight season in which the Wolverines will participate in an outdoor game, and the fourth in program history.

More information sought before implementing new health plan design
The university's executive leadership wants details on the complexities of implementation before deciding whether to enact a new health plan design that would offer incentives for employees and their enrolled spouses and Other Qualified Adults to actively manage and improve their health.

School of Nursing implementing Clinical Initiative for Excellence
The School of Nursing is implementing the Clinical Initiative for Excellence in Education, Practice, and Scholarship, which will revolutionize the way that nursing clinical education is taught and will create a new partnership between the School of Nursing and the U-M Health System.

Supervisor safety sessions add more eyes, ears in community
Several hundred staff members soon could become extra eyes and ears for the police, and help co-workers be more diligent about safety in response to recent sexual assaults near campus.

U-M nurse negotiations update: State mediator called, picket planned
The U-M Professional Nurses Council/Michigan Nurses Association (UMPNC/MNA) and U-M Health System negotiating team jointly agreed to seek assistance from a state mediator who will be joining the parties on Tuesday to help them reach an agreement on a successor contract to the one that expired on June 30.

Road closure planned on South University Avenue for utility installation
South University Avenue between South Forest Avenue and Washtenaw Avenue is scheduled to be closed to through traffic today and Tuesday to accommodate the installation of new underground utilities.

CTools Mobile offers optimized view of sites
A version of CTools for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices now is available to the U-M community. CTools Mobile provides an optimized view of CTools sites, allowing users to interact with course and project sites virtually anywhere.

President Coleman named chair of Internet2 board of trustees
Internet2 announced today that President Mary Sue Coleman was elected chair of the group's board of trustees and will serve until July 2012. The board provides strategic direction, leadership and oversight for the organization and greater community. Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community.

Child Care Initiative meets major goals with consolidation of centers
The consolidation of five Ann Arbor campus child care centers into three state-of-the-art children's facilities provides U-M faculty, staff and students with flexible care options for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and achieves the goals of the U-M Child Care Initiative launched by President Mary Sue Coleman in 2005.

University, Skilled Trades Union reach tentative agreement
The university and the U-M Skilled Trades Union have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract covering about 500 U-M employees. A ratification vote on the agreement, which includes wage increases over the four-year contract term, is set for Aug. 24.

Dworkin confirmed to serve on National Council of the Arts
The U.S. Senate has confirmed U-M alumnus Aaron Dworkin to serve on the National Council on the Arts. Dworkin is a violinist and arts educator who founded the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization to increase the number of minority students pursuing classical music careers.

This week in the University Record
• Students prepare for success at academic, sports camps
• Old School: U-M in History — Architect Albert Kahn and the William L. Clements Library
• Spotlight: Laundry Services veteran cooks a mean spaghetti sauce
Read these stories and more in the University Record, available on racks across campus.

U-M saves Medicare more than $22 million during five-year program
Medicare patients received better care at the U-M Health System, and U-M staff has saved more than $22 million on the cost of that care during five years of participation in the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration Project.

Three new tenants move into Venture Accelerator for university startups
Three new companies have moved into the Venture Accelerator, which provides space, services and mentoring for emerging U-M startups. The accelerator is 60 percent full after just seven months in operation. There are now eight companies at the accelerator. Negotiations with several other prospective tenants are under way, and accelerator officials project that the facility at the North Campus Research Complex could be full by the end of the year.

U-M, Shanghai Jiao Tong University fund new round of energy, biomedical projects
U-M and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have chosen six research teams to win a share of $1.05 million in funding for renewable energy and biomedical technology projects in the second year of a joint program that teams up investigators from both schools.

Graduate Student Instructor teaching orientation set for Aug. 29-30
The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching will provide an intensive Teaching Orientation program for new, returning, and future Graduate Student Instructors. The event provides an opportunity to gain teaching skills, make connections with other GSIs, allay impending fears concerning teaching, and learn about helpful CRLT resources.

Former Ford School dean becomes acting commerce secretary
Former Ford School Dean Rebecca Blank now will serve as acting secretary of the U.S. Commence Department. She assumes the role after Commerce Secretary Gary Locke formally resigned Tuesday to be sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the next U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

Other photos from the Record Update
Click the headline to view photos that appeared during the past week in the Record Update, including an engineering presentation in Washington, a visit by the Journey of Hope bicycling team, and the Development Summer Internship Program's Project Showcase.

The Michigan Difference

The Sarvajal Water Project
A team of master's degree students from the School of Natural Resources and Environment has been traveling in India this summer, studying wastewater issues and possible ways to reuse or reduce the brine that is produced during a reverse osmosis process for producing clean and affordable drinking water. Read about the Sarvajal Water Project and the team's travels on its blog.