U-M maintains ranking among world’s top universities

The University of Michigan maintained its ranking as the 15th top university in the world for the fourth year in a row, according to the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings. The 2020 World Reputation Rankings, released Nov. 3, are based on the results from an invitation-only survey of more than 11,000 academics. Institutions are ranked according to their data on their reputation for research and teaching. U-M is one of three U.S. public institutions in the top 20. The others are the University of California, Berkeley (6) and the University of California, Los Angeles (9). The invitation-only survey was distributed in 14 languages this year. This Times Higher Education ranking is one of two released annually by the organization. The more comprehensive World University Rankings were released in September. U-M ranked No. 22 on that list. View the full 2020 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.

University announces temporary winter parking closures

In colder winter months, significant resources are required to maintain parking areas, performing activities like pre-salting, deicing, snow removal, and hauling. In order to optimize parking staff resources, Logistics, Transportation & Parking will temporarily close currently underutilized areas within the parking system. Identified areas would close around the first snowfall and remain closed with no winter maintenance during the snow season.  All open parking areas will be maintained as in previous years. View a full list of surface lots and structures affected by the temporary winter closures.

Virtual events scheduled to celebrate annual Veterans Week

A full week of largely virtual events is planned on the Ann Arbor campus for the 2020 Veterans Week celebration starting Nov. 9. Educational and inspirational panels, lectures, stories and discussions are scheduled each day, and a flag-raising ceremony is set for 8 a.m. Nov. 11. All events are free and open to the university community and the general public unless otherwise noted. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, and out of concern for the health of the U-M community and veterans, most of the events are virtual. Email Philip Larson, program director for U-M Veteran and Military Services, at pnlarson@umich.edu with any questions about this year’s events. View a full list of activities and additional information. For live streams of the events, visit vets.umich.edu/VETSWEEK/.

Museum of Natural History reopens for U-M community members

The U-M Museum of Natural History has reopened to U-M students, faculty and staff with an Mcard. The museum will be open to U-M community members with a valid Mcard from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays and Fridays. Everyone in the party must have their own valid Mcard. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. The museum occupancy is reduced to 25 percent capacity, and safety protocols have been instituted in accordance with University of Michigan requirements. Sign up for news alerts for updates and the Museum@Home newsletter at lsa.umich.edu/ummnh/about/eNews.html. Email questions to ummnh.info@umich.edu.

Negative thoughts about aging can be detrimental to elderly spouses

Elderly husbands and wives can expect their health to decline — as well as that of their spouse — when their self-perceptions about aging become negative, a new study suggests. Led by researchers at U-M and Zhejiang University, the study found that health effects differ by gender among elderly couples. The husband’s self-perceptions about aging are associated with his wife’s depressive symptoms, whereas the wife’s views correlate with her husband’s physical disability, functional limitations and chronic diseases, the findings indicated. Previous research has focused on how individuals’ aging self-perceptions affected them, but not the detrimental spillover effects on their spouses. In general, negative aging beliefs among the elderly can become a self-fulfilling prophecy affecting psychological, cognitive and behavioral processes, the researchers said. Read more about this study.

The dangers of assuming students are great with technology

The concept of “digital nativism” has an intuitive appeal that’s hard to deny. Unlike previous generations, today’s young people have lived their entire lives in a world shaped by the internet and digital technologies, and because of this inescapable immersion, they’re naturally great at using all forms of technology. Or so the theory goes. But in recent years, educators and researchers have called into question whether generation is really the most relevant indicator of technological literacy. UM-Dearborn instructional designer Autumm Caines says one obvious problem with this idea is technology is hardly a monolith. “Just because a young person is skilled at using social media doesn’t mean they intuitively know how to use an academic research database or a learning management system like Canvas,” she says. Read more more on “digital nativism.”

Compiled by Hanna Quinlan, Public Affairs; and Jeff Bleiler, The University Record

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