University of Michigan
News for Faculty and Staff

May 22, 2018

Campus briefs

April 17, 2017

Campus briefs

Topic: Campus News

U-M projects receive NEH funding

Two University of Michigan projects have received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Clare Croft, 2017 Norman and Jane Katz Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities and assistant professor of music, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, received $6,000 for her project, "A Different Kind of Lady: Jill Johnston's Political Embodiments of Dance Criticism and Feminism." The project undertakes research on important American arts critic and activist Jill Johnston as a window into examining the role of embodiment in American histories of arts and activism in the 1960s and 1970s. Jeffrey Heath, professor of linguistics and of Near Eastern studies, LSA, received $220,707 for "Documentation of Mbre and Tiefo-D Languages of West Africa," a three-year project to document two endangered languages of West Africa, Tiefo-D in SW Burkina Faso and Mbre (or Pere) of northern Cote d'Ivoire.

Ruth Carlos named vice chair of faculty governance

Ruth Carlos, professor of radiology, will be vice chair of U-M's faculty governance system for 2017-18. The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, central faculty governance's nine-member executive arm, approved Carlos by acclamation at its meeting April 10. She was the sole candidate for the position. Carlos will succeed Dave Wright, associate professor of accounting. SACUA recently named Robert Ortega, professor of social work, to chair the group. Ortega and Carlos also will hold the same positions for the Senate Assembly and Faculty Senate. Their terms start May 1.

Best Buy exec to speak at UM-Flint commencement

A Best Buy executive and UM-Flint alumna will be the keynote speaker at both of UM-Flint's April 30 Commencement ceremonies. Shari Ballard is senior executive vice president and president of multichannel retail at Best Buy, where she oversees and is responsible for all U.S. Best Buy stores, e-commerce, Best Buy Mexico and the company's real estate strategy. Ballard grew up in Gaines, Michigan, and graduated from UM-Flint in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in social work. She credits her years at the university with expanding her horizons and providing a foundation for her professional success.

St. Jude's hospital president to talk at UM-Dearborn commencement

James R. Downing, president and chief executive officer of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, will deliver the keynote address at UM-Dearborn's winter commencement ceremony April 30 in Crisler Center. A renowned leader in pediatric cancer research, Downing focuses his work on understanding the genetic basis of cancer and using that information to improve the treatment of children with cancer. He was instrumental in launching the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, which has sequenced the normal and cancer genomes of more than 800 young cancer patients with some of the least understood and most aggressive tumors. Downing is a Detroit native who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from UM-Dearborn in 1977, and later earned his medical degree from the Medical School.

Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery announces $500K in grants

The Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery at Michigan Medicine recently announced its first round of grant recipients, with $500,000 earmarked to undertake high-risk, high-reward initiatives with the potential to drive new advances in cancer research. The intent is to fuel rapid development of innovative technology and new therapies, bringing better, more targeted treatments to the 1.6 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year. Four grants were awarded to research teams, each of which represents multiple U-M schools. To learn more information about the winning teams, visit

— Compiled by Safiya Merchant, The University Record