Campus briefs


Nicholas Kotov named Distinguished University Professor

Nicholas Kotov
Nicholas Kotov

Nicholas Kotov, has been appointed the Irving Langmuir Distinguished University Professor of Chemical Sciences and Engineering. His appointment was approved at the Sept. 17 Board of Regents meeting, and took effect Sept. 1. The Distinguished University Professorship is one of U-M’s top faculty honors. It lasts throughout the recipient’s period of active service at U-M and may be retained after retirement. Each recipient is invited to give an inaugural lecture early in their appointment. In his recommendation letter, Rackham Graduate School Dean Michael Solomon said, “Professor Kotov’s path-breaking understanding of chemical, physical, and mathematical rules of self- assembly have inspired researchers and industries around the world, and has enabled the development of new energy technologies, soft electronics, biomimetic membranes, biomedical implants, and ex-vivo drug discovery models.” Kotov is also the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, and professor of chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering in the College of Engineering.

Reminder: Open Enrollment available through 5 p.m. Oct. 30

Faculty, staff, retirees and benefits-eligible graduate students can change their benefits during Open Enrollment, running now through 5 p.m. Oct. 30. Changes can be made to health, dental, vision and legal plan enrollments. Faculty and staff may also add eligible dependents and enroll in a flexible spending account. Besides existing health care plans, Michigan Care has been added to the available options for 2021 coverage for eligible faculty, staff and retirees. No action is required to keep current benefits as long as eligibility is maintained, with the exception of flexible spending accounts. Changes and new rates go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. Complete benefits plan and enrollment information is available at For questions, call the SSC Contact Center at 734-615-2000 or 866-647-7657.

U-M donated one of two shuttles used for its driverless shuttle research project to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. (Photo by Roger Hart, Michigan Photography)
U-M donated one of two shuttles used for its driverless shuttle research project to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. (Photo by Roger Hart, Michigan Photography)

U-M donates shuttle used in driverless research project to Henry Ford

U-M donated one of two shuttles used for its driverless shuttle research project to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. The Henry Ford announced the donation Oct. 15. Results from the nation’s first driverless shuttle project to focus primarily on consumer acceptance and data collection showed high levels of trust and satisfaction among both riders and nonriders of the Mcity Driverless Shuttle. Manufactured by French firm Navya, the shuttles were fully automated, all-electric and carried 11 passengers. Mcity’s research wrapped up in December 2019 with a safety record free of major incidents. Read more about the study.

December pay date moving to end of month for employees paid monthly

U-M is moving the monthly pay date for December to the last workday of the month, Dec. 31, according to an Oct. 16 email sent to employees paid monthly on the three campuses and Michigan Medicine. This change goes into effect in December and aligns the December pay date with the pay dates for the other 11 months in the year. The practice to pay monthly employees prior to the end of the month in December began more than 40 years ago when direct deposit was rare. Today, nearly 100 percent of employees use direct deposit. Questions regarding this change can be directed to [email protected] for campus employees and [email protected] for Michigan Medicine employees.

Projects awarded $3.3 million by Frankel Innovation Initiative

Fast Forward Medical Innovation, a unit of the Medical School Office of Research, has awarded a combined $3.3 million in funding to four biomedical research projects in the inaugural round of the Frankel Innovation Initiative — a $20 million gift from the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation to support the research and development of life-saving therapies at Michigan Medicine, in collaboration with other institutions. The winning projects are U-M faculty-led, cover a range of disciplines, and have the potential for rapid clinical application and groundbreaking impact. The projects focus on biomedical innovations that could quickly advance cutting-edge therapies and bring novel approaches to improving health into the hands of clinicians and scientists. Read more about the projects.

— Compiled by James Iseler and Jeff Bleiler, The University Record


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