Campus briefs


U-M leadership expresses support for global researchers

In an email to faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students, President Mark Schlissel reiterated U-M’s support for international researchers and collaborations amid heightened pressure and greater scrutiny around potential conflicts of interest in research and confidentiality of proprietary information. The email was co-signed by Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Martin Philbert and Interim Vice President for Research Rebecca Cunningham. They wrote that U-M’s excellence is inextricably linked to its status as a global university. The Office of Research will continue to help faculty and students comply with new and existing guidelines. The office has developed a resource that highlights best practices for international research and scholarship. Read the full message.

Nominations sought for Goddard Power and Dumas awards

The Academic Women’s Caucus is accepting nominations for the 2020 Sarah Goddard Power Award and Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award. Nominations for both awards are due Nov. 1. Honorees will be recognized at a Feb. 12, 2020, award ceremony. The Sarah Goddard Power Award recognizes people who have made significant achievement in contributing to the betterment of current challenges faced by women in one of the following areas: distinguished leadership, scholarship or other activities related to their professional lives. Eligible candidates include U-M faculty including instructors, lecturers, primary researchers, librarians, curators and senior administrative staff. The Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award recognizes a U-M academic unit’s progress in establishing and maintaining a concurrent ethnic/racial and gender diversity at the full professor and associate professor ranks, both tenured and non-tenured, and concurrent ethnic/racial and gender diversifying in junior faculty ranks. For more information or to nominate someone, go to or

Study: Microsatellite data can help double impact of agricultural interventions

Data from microsatellites can be used to detect and double the impact of sustainable interventions in agriculture at large scales, according to a new study led by U-M. By being able to detect the impact and target interventions to locations where they will lead to the greatest increase or yield gains, the data can help increase food production in a low-cost and sustainable way. Microsatellites are small, inexpensive, low-orbiting satellites that typically weigh 220 pounds or less. According to the team of researchers from U-M, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, and Stanford and Cornell universities, finding low-cost ways to increase food production is critical given that feeding a growing population and increasing the yields of crops in a changing climate are some of the greatest challenges of the coming decades.

School of Dentistry gets redesigned website

The School of Dentistry’s website has been redesigned to help patients, prospective students and the general public more easily find the information they need. The new website was launched in September and represents the first overhaul of the school’s web presence in more than five years. Application programmer Corin Cody and web designer Steve Kopera, from the school’s Dental Informatics unit, redesigned the site and rewrote the content in collaboration with the Marketing and Communications team. The revamped site at includes video, larger photos and a simplified navigation system that works well on both mobile devices and computer desktops. Features include an easy-to-use keyword search function and a section devoted to the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry.

Public policy professor and colleague launch podcast

Shobita Parthasarathy and a colleague have launched “The Received Wisdom,” a podcast that will explore the potential of science and technology by challenging commonly held wisdom. The podcast debuted Sept. 23 and is available on all major outlets, including Google Play and Apple Podcasts. It is co-hosted by Parthasarathy, professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, professor of women’s studies in LSA, and director of the science, technology and public policy program; and Jack Stilgoe, a senior lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London. Throughout the series, the hosts investigate opportunities to realize the potential of science and technology by challenging received wisdom. The podcast engages with thinkers and doers from around the world about developing and governing science and technology to make the world a better place.

Research: Environmental orgs reluctant to release gender, race data

New research conducted by Dorceta E. Taylor shows that environmental organizations are still reticent to release data reporting on the gender, race and sexual orientation of their staffs.  Taylor, the James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Professor of Environmental Justice, professor of environmental sociology, and professor of Program in the Environment in the School for Environment and Sustainability, and her team studied 12,054 nonprofit environmental organizations of varying sizes in all U.S. states and territories to find out whether they reported information about the demographic characteristics of their staff and leadership on public platforms such as GuideStar. Among the findings: 3.7 percent of the environmental organizations studied released any demographic data at all. Taylor published an article called “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Salience of Public Disclosing Demographic Data in American Environmental Nonprofits” in the journal Sustainability that reveals the results of the study. In 2014, Taylor released a report in which she and Green 2.0 called for increased transparency around the reporting of demographic characteristics of environmental organizations.

Compiled by Ann Zaniewski, The University Record


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