Campus briefs


Proposals being accepted for MIDAS Symposium

The Michigan Institute for Data Science is inviting the submission of abstracts and proposals for mini-workshops, research talks and posters for the 2020 U-M Data Science Symposium. The symposium will be Nov. 10-11 with virtual presentations and the possibility of in-person networking. The deadline to submit mini-workshop proposals is July 31. The deadline to submit talks and poster abstracts is Sept. 18. The mini-workshops can be research discussion sessions, tutorials or hack sessions that build strengths across multiple U-M research units. The research talks should discuss exciting research ideas, provide vision and context for challenging data science questions, and lay out collaboration opportunities. The posters can be used as technical reports of projects. For more information, visit

Mott Foundation grant helps UM-Flint students complete degrees

A new pilot program aimed at helping former students complete their college education is launching at UM-Flint. The Pathway to Completion program, funded in part by a $750,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, will offer incentives to individuals with some UM-Flint college credits to return to the university to complete their degrees. UM-Flint will match the grant, bringing the total investment in the program to $1.5 million. “Supporting people who are close to degree completion benefits the entire community,” Chancellor Deba Dutta said. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions at UM-Flint at 810-762-3300 or

Three elected to Police Department Oversight Committee

Representatives from the Senate faculty, non-Senate faculty and non-bargained-for staff were elected during three separate elections in May and June to serve two-year terms on the U-M Police Department Oversight Committee. The committee receives and makes recommendations regarding grievances against any police officer deputized by the university. The newly elected committee members are:

  • Sarah Peitzmeier, assistant professor of nursing, School of Nursing, for the Senate faculty seat.
  • Nora Krinitsky, lecturer in the Residential College, LSA, for the non-Senate faculty seat.
  • Rachel Dawson, managing director of Precision Health, for the non-bargained-for staff representative seat.

The six-member oversight committee includes two student members, two faculty members (one Senate and one non-Senate) and two staff members (one union and one non-union) who are nominated and elected by their peers. The union staff representative election will take place in spring 2021.

IES grant supports doctoral student training

The Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education has renewed a five-year, $4.6 million grant to support U-M’s Education Policy Initiative Training Program in Causal Inference in Education Policy Research. First funded in 2015, the program prepares doctoral students to design, implement and analyze research to causally evaluate education programs and policies in collaboration with educational agencies. Working closely with U-M’s foremost faculty experts in this field, the interdisciplinary program engages students from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the School of Education, the departments of economics and sociology in LSA and Rackham Graduate School. The grant will support 20 Ph.D. students for three- or- four-year fellowships that include tuition and benefits, a stipend and a small research fund. Fellows who complete the program will earn a Certificate in the Education Sciences, jointly sponsored by the School of Education and the Ford School.

Revised COI in Research policy expands disclosure requirements

U-M implemented a policy update July 1 that aims to strengthen research-related disclosure and reporting processes. The revised Conflict of Interest in Research, Sponsored Projects, and Technology Transfer policy — COI in Research — expands the requirement to disclose outside activities, relationships and interests to all investigators listed on a proposal approval form or award for any sponsored project. In addition to this policy change, the university also enhanced its M-Inform disclosure system. The enhancements apply to all employees required to disclose activities. Previously reported outside activities will need to be updated to answer new disclosure questions and detail options. Read the updated policy, and read more about the M-Inform changes.

UM-Dearborn students take top prize in energy competition

A 53-member team of students, faculty and staff at UM-Dearborn won the top prize in the statewide E-Challenge competition sponsored by DTE Energy and the Engineering Society of Detroit. The team evaluated buildings across campus and put together an energy savings plan that could save the university $200,000 a year. Overall, the plan would reduce electricity usage by 8 percent and natural gas consumption by 10 percent over five years, a big step toward getting UM-Dearborn to meet the U-M system’s carbon neutrality goals. The E-Challenge award earned UM-Dearborn a spot in DTE’s Strategic Energy Management program, a one- to two-year partnership that helps the campus identify low or no-cost improvements, provides technical support from DTE Energy experts and offers additional incentives. 

Compiled by Ann Zaniewski, The University Record


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