Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, August 16, 2010

U-M alumnus Jeffrey Minear (center), holds the Bible as Chief Justice John Roberts administers the constitutional oath to Elena Kagan, the newest associate justice of the Supreme Court. Kagan was sworn in Aug. 7. Minear performed the same function later that day when Roberts administered Kagan’s judicial oath. Minear, who serves as counselor to the chief justice, received dual degrees from the Law School and School of Natural Resources and Environment. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court)

Website highlights alumni service in the Peace Corps
A new university website has collected more than 50 testimonials from alumni who describe how they were affected by their service in the Peace Corps since it was found a half century ago. The website is part of a 50th anniversary celebration of the organization’s founding that is planned for U-M this fall.

Open Enrollment for 2011 benefits set for Oct. 25-Nov. 5
Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for faculty and staff to review their benefit choices and make sure they continue to meet individual needs. Employees can change their benefit elections for 2011 during the Oct. 25-Nov. 5 enrollment period with the changes taking effect Jan. 1. There are a number of changes worth noting during the upcoming enrollment period.

More than 50 areas reach 50 percent participation in MHealthy Rewards
More than 50 university areas achieved 50 percent or greater participation in this year’s MHealthy Rewards program. The select group includes schools, colleges and administrative areas from all four campuses.

Statement regarding the university's hearing before the NCAA
Athletic Director Dave Brandon released a statement Saturday after U-M officials met with the NCAA regarding allegations against the football program. He said the committee "gave us a full and fair hearing."

UMHS rolls out Segways for improved security patrolling
The U-M Health System’s Security Services Department has purchased two Segway Personal Transporters to help its officers more efficiently deter crime on the medical campus. The new Segway Patrol Team will consist of 23 officers who have been trained on the Segways.

School of Public Health partners with China to fight diseases
The School of Public Health and China will partner under a new grant to characterize the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases in China and improve control efforts there. Matthew Boulton, associate professor and associate dean of SPH, received a five-year, $3.62 million grant to fund the effort that will focus on measles, which is epidemic in China.

U-M announces enhancements to retirement savings plans
The U-M Benefits Office has announced changes to the investment funds offered in the U-M Retirement Savings Plan, the SRA (Supplemental Retirement Account), and 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. The changes take effect in mid-September and result in an increase in investment choices available and a reduction in fund management fees and expenses.

U-M, lecturers’ union reach tentative deal on new contract
U-M and the Lecturers’ Employee Organization have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract. Negotiators for both sides said the agreement provides a fair compensation package for the 1,445 non-tenure-track instructors on the three U-M campuses. It also clarifies the appointment process and performance evaluations for lecturers.

Demand for Priority Health continues to decline; U-M to drop plan in 2012
The Priority Health insurance plan will be eliminated from U-M medical plan choices in 2012. For those already enrolled, no immediate action is needed. The plan will continue until the end of 2011, but no new enrollments will be allowed during this year’s Open Enrollment period, Oct. 25-Nov. 5.

North Quadrangle is new home for student living and learning
The first new residence hall constructed at the university in more than 40 years, North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex will open in September as a home for 450 upper-level undergraduate students and a new hub for learning and collaboration. The complex also is home to several academic programs, providing a one-of-a-kind living and learning environment that leverages advanced networking technologies and international programs to extend the university experience to a global perspective.

MRacing takes second place in Formula Student Germany
The MRacing team finished second of 91 teams in the international Formula Student Germany competition, which ended Monday in Hockenheim, Germany. The students finished first in acceleration, second in endurance and third in autocross.

Medical students say video games can help them be better doctors
Today’s students were raised with a digital mouse in their hands. So it’s not surprising that a majority of medical school students surveyed at U-M and University of Wisconsin-Madison say video games and virtual-reality environments could help them become better doctors.

Fan Day set for Aug. 22 at Michigan Stadium
The U-M football program will conduct its annual Fan Day on Aug. 22 at Michigan Stadium. The autograph session and opportunity to meet the 2010 Wolverine team will run from 1-3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. All gates at the Big House will open starting at 11 a.m.

U-M student a finalist for College Entrepreneur of the Year
Allen Kim, an undergraduate in the Department of Industrial Operations and Engineering and co-founder of an online company that calls itself “Netflix for baby clothes,” is one of five finalists to become Entrepreneur magazine’s 2010 College Entrepreneur of the Year. The winner will be determined by votes cast at the magazine’s website.

Putting 'The Big Chill' in the Big House
The U-M tie-ins that went into naming the Dec. 11 outdoor hockey game against Michigan State "The Big Chill at the Big House" go far beyond a play on words with a 1983 movie. The film, directed and co-written by U-M alumnus Lawrence Kasdan, is about a group of friends who gather for a weekend years after they were students together in Ann Arbor during the 1960s.

National conference on corporate responsibility coming to Ross School
More than 2,500 professionals and students will convene to explore issues in corporate responsibility, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship when Net Impact hosts its 18th annual national conference at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business in October. Net Impact promotes socially and environmentally responsible business.

Other photos from the Record Update
Click the headline to view other photos that appeared this week in the Update, including the School of Information's move into the new North Quad, and a parking-lot project at UM-Flint.

The Michigan Difference

Working hard for your money
What started as a favor to a friend trying to navigate the maze of customer service in search of a new transmission has become a company with the goal of assisting consumers. Allen Banez received his master of business administration degree from U-M in 1990 and founded LetterChamp in 2006. Its dual mission is to advocate for disgruntled customers and help companies regain the favor of those customers.