Campus briefs


Donald Freeman chosen to fill position on SACUA

Donald Freeman
Donald Freeman

Incomplete information in an online directory has led to a change in the 2021-22 membership for the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs. Donald Freeman, professor of education, and Frank Pelosi, associate professor of medicine, tied for fourth place in the election March 15-16. Freeman deferred to Pelosi, who accepted the seat. However, the Faculty Senate Office learned after the election that Pelosi has a clinical appointment in the Medical School. Clinical faculty members are not eligible to serve on SACUA. The seat will now go to Freeman, whose term starts May 1. He will serve for one year, finishing the remainder of the term held by Vice Chair Annalisa Manera, who is stepping down. Pelosi’s information in the MCommunity online directory did not reflect his clinical appointment, nor did an eligibility list prepared by Faculty Senate Office staff last year, Faculty Senate Office Director MaryJo Banasik said.

Michigan Union hours extended through April

Hours at the Michigan Union will be extended until midnight during the month of April to accommodate student needs for studying, access to WiFi and printing, and informal gatherings in a safe, access-controlled way. The new hours, effective April 3 through May 2, are 7 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to midnight Sundays. On May 3, spring term hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. There are no changes to building access, and a valid Mcard is required for entry. For more information on the unions, visit

Design challenge encourages students to envision anti-racist world

How would you envision an anti-racist world where diversity, equity and inclusion pave the way for a better future? The Center for Academic Innovation has asked that question and is turning to the U-M student body for answers. The Envisioning an Anti-Racist World Design Challenge encourages students to research and share ideas about racial inequality and how this can be changed — not just at the university, but across the world, all while approaching the topic from the cross-sections of the arts, XR (physical, augmented, mixed and virtual reality) and design-thinking. Students from 17 schools and colleges at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses will present their outcomes at the Design Challenge Summit, with the winners being announced during the Student Showcase on Gathertown at 3 p.m. April 9. Showcased work by the winning teams will be awarded over $25,000 in prizes for their achievements. For more on the challenge.

UM-Dearborn researchers land $475K automotive cybersecurity grant

Questions about the safety of autonomous vehicles typically revolve around whether the car’s system of sensors and AI-powered algorithms can perform as well as a human driver. But as vehicles become as much computer as car, there’s a new safety threat looming: vehicle hacking. It’s a challenge that’s already upon us, said UM-Dearborn Associate Professor Hafiz Malik and Assistant Professor Alireza Mohammadi. Malik and Mohammadi were recently awarded a three-year, $476,490 National Science Foundation grant to develop a cybersecurity system robust enough to defend against a wide range of anticipated attacks. Malik says it’s a particularly difficult challenge because many tried-and-true approaches to computer security, like encryption, aren’t always applicable to vehicle networks. For more on the grant.

XR @ Michigan 2021 Summit involves entertainment, tech, academic leaders

The XR @ Michigan 2021 Summit will bring an audience from around the world onto a virtual events platform to hear leading researchers, higher education innovators and business leaders discuss the potential and challenges of extended reality in the classroom, in homes and on the big screen. The free virtual event, set for 1-5 p.m. April 6-7, is open to the public, but registration is required. Faculty innovators at U-M who work with the XR Initiative to bring virtual reality technology into their classrooms are among those scheduled to speak at the event. For more on the summit or to register.

First Michigan Ross Sports Tech Conference set for March 31

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business has scheduled the 2021 Michigan Ross Sports Tech Conference for March 31. The event, hosted by Business + Tech and the Ross Sports Business Association, is a one-day virtual conference, consisting of networking opportunities, panels, fireside chats and a keynote speech on a variety of topics from industry leaders in sports technology from the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, collegiate teams, academia, media, and top technology companies, sharing insights and presenting best practices. The conference starts at 9 a.m. with sessions throughout the day until closing remarks at 4:35 p.m. For a full schedule and a link for tickets, visit

— Compiled by Jeff Bleiler and Ann Zaniewski, The University Record


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