Campus briefs


U-M among world’s top universities in QS world rankings

The University of Michigan was ranked among the best higher education institutions in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings 2024 edition released June 27. The annual list ranked U-M 33rd overall among 1,500 universities across 104 locations around the globe. Among institutions in the United States, U-M ranked 14th and was one of three public universities to make the top 15. The University of California, Berkeley, was fourth and the University of California, Los Angeles, was 13th among U.S. institutions. The rankings are based on nine factors, including academic reputation (30%), employer reputation (15%), faculty-student ratio (10%), citations per faculty (20%), proportion of international faculty (5%) and proportion of international students (5%). In celebration of the rankings’ 20th edition, three new factors were introduced this year, including sustainability (5%), employability (5%) and international research collaboration (5%).

U-M Health house officers ratify contract with university

The U-M House Officers Association has overwhelmingly ratified a four-year agreement with the Board of Regents and Michigan Medicine. The house officers, qualified doctors who have attained their medical degrees and are practicing under supervision in a hospital, are employed by U-M Health, the clinical division of Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center. The new contract, which took effect July 1, increases the starting salary of Level 1 house officers, keeps all house officers in the 75th percentile or above compared with other academic medical centers, and extends the contract from the previous three-year time frame to four years. It raises the starting salary of first-year house officers to $70,000 and includes salary increases of 3.25% during years 2-4. Historically, U-M house officers are among the top medical school graduates in the country. Read more about the agreement.

A 40-foot electric bus and a 60-foot articulated electric bus outside the new Dean Road Transportation Center on North Campus. (Photo courtesy of Logistics, Transportation & Parking)

Four electric buses take U-M a step toward cleaner campus fleet

Four new battery-powered electric buses have arrived on the Ann Arbor campus, as a step in a broader effort to decarbonize the U-M vehicle fleet. The set, manufactured by New Flyer, includes three 40-foot electric buses and one 60-foot articulated electric bus. The buses will be put into regular service this fall. An electric bus is estimated to contribute 74% less greenhouse gas emissions than a standard diesel-powered bus. Battery-powered electric buses also typically carry lower energy and maintenance costs over time. The U-M fleet also includes 29 diesel-hybrid buses and 27 regular diesel buses. In preparation for the buses’ arrival, U-M Logistics, Transportation & Parking implemented substantial electric-vehicle charging infrastructure into its new transportation center on North Campus. To date, there are 12 EV charging stations for fleet vehicles on campus, with an additional 20 to come by July 2023. Read more about the buses.

U-M updates vaccination policy for Michigan Housing students

The university has revised its vaccination policy, no longer requiring Michigan Housing students to receive a dose of bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. The policy, which became effective July 5, does still require them to report their COVID-19 vaccination information, along with other routine immunization histories. The majority of students applying for Michigan Housing are already in compliance with this latest policy revision. This policy change comes after recent FDA recommendations to develop a new COVID-19 vaccine formula this fall more closely targeting circulating strains. University public health officials still encourage everyone to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including the bivalent dose and any future recommended doses. Additionally, some units still have their own policies in place that may require vaccinations for health care settings or field placements.

Matt Bowe named swimming and diving head coach

Matt Bowe

Matt Bowe has been named the men’s and women’s head swimming and diving coach, succeeding Mike Bottom, who is retiring. Bowe comes to Ann Arbor after spending the 2022-23 season at the University of California, Berkeley, as the associate head coach for the men’s and women’s programs, serving as recruiting coordinator for the men’s program. The men’s squad repeated as national champions, scoring 482 points to take home the title, and finished second at the Pac-12 Championships. Prior to his time at Cal, he spent five seasons at Ohio State, helping both the men’s and women’s programs to five combined top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. Bowe graduated from Loughborough University in England in 2009 with a B.Sc. First Class Honours in sports science and management, and received his master’s degree in sport management from Eastern Michigan. Read more about the new coach.

Bonsai collection renamed to honor alumnus’ gift

Since its modest beginnings in 1977, the bonsai collection at Matthaei Botanical Gardens has embarked on a remarkable journey of expansion and refinement. The collection gradually grew in size and stature, blossoming into a distinguished entity that serves as a testament to the passion and expertise that has nurtured it over the years. Now, thanks to U-M alumnus, Melvyn Goldstein, the collection has grown to become one of the most distinguished in North America. Driven by his commitment to promoting the appreciation of bonsai, Goldstein has donated approximately 125 world-class trees to Matthaei Botanical Gardens, transforming the garden into one of the nation’s premier bonsai collections. With this gift, the bonsai garden has been renamed the Melvyn C. Goldstein Bonsai Garden. This donation establishes U-M as a hub for bonsai enthusiasts, offering free and public access to one of the finest collections in North America. Read more about the bonsai garden at

U.S. News rates Mott top children’s hospital in Michigan

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has been recognized as the top children’s hospital in Michigan and among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Mott was the only hospital in the state to be ranked in all 10 pediatric specialty areas evaluated in the 2023-24 Best Children’s Hospital rankings released June 21. The institution was recognized among the nation’s best in cardiology and heart surgery, cancer, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, diabetes and endocrinology, nephrology, orthopedics, neonatology, pulmonology and urology. The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on data and surveys of thousands of pediatric specialists. Read more about the rankings.

Wolverine Access Gateway interface refreshed with more usability

Wolverine Access, the university’s internal system for finding the U-M tools and resources faculty, staff and students use frequently, has a freshened look and enhanced usability. Wolverine Access is used to enter time, check benefits, log in to Concur for expense reports, and serve as a starting point to log in to email, among many other options. It offers the option to personalize a user’s homepage (when logged in) by linking to all the university tools one needs as a member of the U-M community in the “My Favorite Links” section and organizing a user’s layout. Read more about the upgrade.

Astrophysics, nuclear fusion centers receive $27 million

Two Centers of Excellence for studying basic science surrounding how hot plasmas behave, funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration, have been awarded to University of Michigan researchers. One center — which simulates extreme astrophysics, such as exploding stars — is renewed and expanded to $12.5 million over the next five years, having received $5 million in the previous funding cycle. Carolyn Kuranz, associate professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, has led the center since 2019. The other center, which has been running since 2003, focuses on nuclear fusion and X-ray generation using pulsed power. The collaboration has been centered at Cornell University, but longtime leaders David Hammer and Bruce Kusse are passing the torch to Ryan McBride, professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences. That center will receive $14.5 million over five years. Read more about these centers.

Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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