Demolition of South Fifth Avenue property underway

U-M has begun demolishing old lumber yard sheds on the southern section of university-owned property on South Fifth Avenue. Demolition is expected to continue through August. The university purchased 6.54 acres of land from Fingerle Lumber in December 2018. Site preparation for additional permit parking will follow the demolition. Approximately 250 yellow permit spaces are anticipated this fall. Long-term uses for the property are still being considered. At a presentation given at the July 18 Board of Regents meeting, University Planner Sue Gott indicated the area could be a future site for a residence hall that would replace Mary Markley Hall. The Westside BBQ, AA Builders and the former Fingerle Product Showcase buildings will remain while university officials continue to evaluate the structures, and to provide time for the BBQ and Ann Arbor Builders to consider alternatives.

DPSS concludes Michigan Medicine incident not a hate crime

Following an extensive investigation, the Division of Public Safety and Security has concluded that the rope resembling a noose found at University Hospital was not the result of a hate crime. On June 20, DPSS received a report that a Michigan Medicine employee found a spool of rope with a knot in it resembling a noose sitting on a shared workspace in University Hospital. During the investigation, it was learned that a spool of rope used for medical procedures was being used by a person on a break to practice tying a “uni knot,” which is a type of knot used for fishing. When the spool was returned to the storage area, the knot was still in place and discovered the following day by an employee.

New charter, leadership and name for IT governance group

The Unit IT Steering Committee recently adopted a new charter and began meeting under a new name — the Strategic Technology Advisory Committee. The revised charter incorporates the group’s experience and growth, as well as how the larger U-M technology environment has evolved over time. Originally formed eight years ago, the new charter formalizes the strategic role the group provides to the vice president of information technology and chief information officer. The charter also establishes the committee’s responsibility in shaping the strategic direction for technology across U-M. After serving as chair for three years, Dan Maletta, executive director of information technology at the College of Engineering, passed the chair leadership position to vice chair Kerry Flynn, chief information officer at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. The membership, which already included the Ann Arbor and Michigan Medicine campuses, has been expanded to include representatives from UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn. For more information, visit

Eight LSA Collegiate Fellows named

LSA has selected eight new fellows for its third cohort of LSA Collegiate Fellows. The eight fellows were chosen from among 812 applications for their outstanding research accomplishments and agenda, as well as their sustained commitments to working on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. The selection process included review and evaluation by LSA departments, the National Center for Institutional Diversity, a college faculty review committee, and the LSA dean’s office. LSA Collegiate Fellows are anticipated to join the faculty at U-M following completion of their two-year fellowship. This year’s new fellows, along with their LSA departments and Ph.D.-granting institutions, are: Emmalon Davis (philosophy, Indiana University, Bloomington); Adrian Deese (Afroamerican and African studies, University of Cambridge); Luciana de Souza Leão (sociology, Columbia University); Jennifer Hsieh (anthropology, Stanford University); Mostafa Hussein (Judaic studies, Brandeis University); Ungsan Kim (Asian languages and cultures, University of Washington); Niloofar Sarlati (comparative literature, University of Minnesota); and Daniel Valella (English, University of California, Berkeley). The eight new fellows will arrive at LSA in the fall.

Proposals sought for Propelling Original Data Science grants

The U-M Institute for Data Science has announced its next round of funding for innovative data science. The institute is particularly interested in funding pioneering work based on innovative concepts that promise high reward, major impact, promotion of public interest, and potential for major expansion. Twelve to 15 projects will be awarded for a duration of 12 to 18 months, based on a competitive process. For more information, visit

— Compiled by Safiya Merchant, The University Record