Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alex Sobelev of Weinreich Labs discusses violin making with Shelby Curwen-Garber (center) and Diana Isbister at the School of Art & Design's recent Welcome Back Picnic. The event gave students a chance to network with alumni about their professional options. Click the photo for more images of new students being introduced to activities related to their areas of study as the new academic year gets under way. (Photo by Scott Soderberg, U-M Photo Services)

Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider panel's Proposal 2 decision
On Sept. 9 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order stating that the entire court would reconsider the July 1 decision of a three-judge panel that had held Proposal 2, the state ballot initiative that bans affirmative action in university admissions, to be unconstitutional. Granting such review automatically sets aside the earlier panel's decision and the case is resubmitted to the entire court.

U-M again ranks near top in U.S. News & World Report rankings
The university continues to rank near the top in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s best undergraduate colleges and universities. The 2011 rankings were released online today at

Space Utilization Initiative transitions into everyday operations
The Space Utilization Initiative is officially ending, but its legacy lives on as part of day-to-day campus operations. The initiative, launched in 2007, put in place a foundation of space policies, business processes, resources and tools that now are used across the Ann Arbor campus.

Opening draws hundreds to Robert B. Aikens Commons and Kirkland & Ellis Café
The recent opening of the glass-roofed Robert B. Aikens Commons left little doubt about where the social heart of the Law School now lies. Built on the site of a disused courtyard between Hutchins Hall, the stacks and the Reading Room, the gathering space now links all three. Featuring a curved glass roof supported by tree-like steel beams, the Commons — with its student gathering spots, spaces for student organizations, meeting rooms and the new Kirkland & Ellis Café — also will serve as the main entry point for Hutchins Hall.

The Michigan Difference

Advocating for families
When law professor Vivek Sankaran saw the growing number of children being unnecessarily placed in foster care in the Detroit area, he saw the need of an advocacy group for low-income families. The Detroit Center for Family Advocacy became a pilot program geared at providing legal representation and social work services to families in need.