Electronic consent process open for 2021 Form W-2
University of Michigan employees can provide consent to receive an electronic version of their Form W-2 for the 2021 tax year as well as for future years. Those who consented to receive an electronic PDF copy of their 2020 Form W-2 do not need to take further action. Their 2021 Form W-2 will be available for viewing and printing in early January. A reminder email will be sent at that time. Those who have not previously consented to receive an electronic PDF copy of their Form W-2 can do so by going to wolverineaccess.umich.edu and searching for and opening the Payroll Tax Forms (W-2, W-4) link. Employees will be prompted to provide consent. For employees who choose to receive their Form W-2 in the mail, hard copies will be mailed by Jan. 31. To ensure prompt delivery of tax forms by the U.S. Postal Service, an employee’s current home address must be correct in U-M records. They can be updated online by going to wolverineaccess.umich.edu and searching for and opening the Campus Personal Information link, then selecting Addresses.
Registration now open for 2022 Kids Kare at Home
Registration for Kids Kare at Home, a backup child-care service for the U-M community, is now open. This service is for times when regular care is unavailable. For example, when a child needs to stay home due to illness, but the parent must be on campus or at work, a Kids Kare caregiver may be available to provide backup care in the home. To use the Kids Kare at Home program, faculty, staff and students must first register online. Registration is free, and there is no obligation to use the service. Register online.
Community violence, views of police drive youth firearm carriage
In an effort to reduce firearm injuries and deaths, a U-M research team is partnering with hospitals and communities to better understand what motivates young people to carry firearms. A new study led by Patrick Carter, co-director of the U-M Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, demonstrates a strong correlation between firearm carriage, youth perceptions of police bias and community violence exposure. Study findings, published recently in the journal Preventive Medicine, reveal that youth are more likely to carry a firearm if they have been exposed to a higher level of community violence. This association was found to be even stronger if the individual does not trust the police to protect them against such violence. This study is one of many community-engagement projects being led by the institute, which launched last summer as part of a $10 million university commitment to generate new knowledge and advance innovative solutions to reduce firearm injury, while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens to legally own firearms. Read more about the study.
$1.5M study to explore human-centered engineering instruction
Does the way educators talk about engineering influence who chooses to enter the field? A U-M research team is asking that question in a $1.5 million project funded by the National Science Foundation. It aims to examine how engineering is taught, and how a greater focus on human and social aspects in engineering education could support more diverse engagement in the field and ultimately lead to better engineering solutions. Shanna Daly, associate professor of mechanical engineering and the principal investigator on the project, said the engineering field’s traditionally tight focus on math and technical information may discourage engineers from considering how the solutions they design will affect people, or how they might harm the planet, for example. Daly said this isn’t the fault of individual engineers but of a system that teaches engineers they can solve problems without recognizing the cultures and contexts in which those solutions will be used. This narrow representation of engineering also tends to shut out women, minorities and marginalized populations who want to solve big problems but don’t see themselves fitting into a field focused solely on technical information and math.
Faculty and staff salary report for 2021-22 now available
Faculty salary increases at the U-M Ann Arbor campus for 2021-22 averaged 3.6 percent, according to figures for the university’s salary report, which was released Dec. 17. Salary increases for staff averaged 3.3 percent. Merit salary increases for executive officers averaged 2.5 percent. Merit increases for deans averaged 2.6 percent. The 2021-22 Faculty and Staff Salary Disclosure Report is available on the Human Resources website.
Graham Institute names next round of Dow Sustainability Fellows
The Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, administered by the Graham Sustainability Institute, will award more than $800,000 in tuition and project funding in 2022. The funds will support more than 40 outstanding graduate students from 12 U-M schools and colleges, including two large, international student projects funded by Dow Distinguished Awards. Each Dow Sustainability Fellow will receive a $20,000 stipend, along with supplementary project funding, sustainability professional development opportunities, and practical experience working on a team with an external organizational partner. The two Distinguished Awards teams will receive $40,000 to implement schematic designs at a self-managed housing site in Brazil and $20,000 to help advance urban policy analysis in Columbia, respectively. More about the fellows and a full list of recipients.
Proposals sought for CAI’s Pandemic Pedagogy Research Symposium
The Center for Academic Innovation is co-sponsoring with Duke Learning Innovation and other university partners for the 2022 Pandemic Pedagogy Research Symposium: From Innovation to Transformation. The one-day virtual event will be May 11 and brings together researchers and instructors for presentations and discussions on the latest research and lessons learned from nearly two years of online and hybrid instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early data and research suggest that these pandemic-born pedagogies and practices are resulting in positive outcomes such as more inclusive and equitable learning experiences, better student-centered course design, and more robust assessment practices. The driving question of the symposium is how to move innovative and creative teaching practices developed during the pandemic into real transformation in higher education. Presentation submissions on that topic are being accepted through Jan. 18 and may represent completed research or works in progress with preliminary findings. Submissions using innovative pedagogies, technologies and practices in-person and online are encouraged. Read more about this symposium.
Exercise & Sport Science Initiative now part of School of Kinesiology
The Exercise & Sport Science Initiative has moved to the School of Kinesiology in order to expand and further translate innovative exercise and sport science-related activity at U-M. The transition of ESSI from its current home in the Office of the Vice President for Research to its new home in Kinesiology took effect Jan. 1. ESSI is led by Ronald Zernicke, professor of kinesiology in the School of Kinesiology, and professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering in the Medical School. It will continue to be a multidisciplinary unit with strong collaborations across campus, including with Michigan Athletics, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in Michigan Medicine, the School of Information and the College of Engineering. As a result of this strategic move, the team at ESSI will have greater access to a wide range of resources within Kinesiology, including laboratories, faculty and students. Being embedded in the school will create a more sustainable funding environment to attract and retain faculty and staff at ESSI, while also helping strengthen connections with industry partners across the exercise and sport science landscape. Kinesiology faculty, students and research will benefit from the additional opportunities and collaborations created by the partnership.
$4M to aid research into comparing effectiveness of NSAIDs, opioids
A new study led by U-M researchers seeks to identify the most effective and safest prescribing strategy to relieve acute pain after a patient heads home after surgery. The CARES study — Comparing Analgesic Regimen Effectiveness and Safety After Surgery — will compare how well prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioid treatments relieve acute pain after surgery, the harms of each treatment option, and the effects of each treatment option on additional post-surgery outcomes. The study has been approved for more than $4 million in funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The clinical trial will enroll 900 adults undergoing one of three common low-risk surgical procedures — gallbladder removal, inguinal hernia repair, and breast lumpectomy — in a randomized study to receive either an NSAID plus acetaminophen or opioid plus acetaminophen regimen to manage pain following their procedure.
$1.5M award helps researchers see inner workings of cells
The precise shapes of proteins at work inside our cells offer essential clues about the processes that drive health and disease. Structural biologists determine the forms of molecular machines, in atomic detail, to better understand how they function or what happens when they malfunction. Now, with the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Sample Preparation for Cellular Cryo-ET Award, U-M researchers will open new windows into the cell, transforming how biologists can see and learn from these atomic-level structures. The $1.5 million award supports the expansion of a cutting-edge structural biology technique called cryo-electron tomography — or cryo-ET — at U-M. Read more about the study.
New Taubman College faculty grant supports research on Pressing Matters
The A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning has announced the inaugural recipients of its Pressing Matters grants. The new research incentive funding program will support work that advances the state of knowledge or practice in architecture, planning, urban design and urban technology; addresses societal priorities of our time; and forges new interdisciplinary opportunities. A central criterion for the Pressing Matters grant program was relevance to one or more core Taubman College disciplines and one or more of U-M’s “big picture” multidisciplinary themes. In addition, Pressing Matters grant applicants had to demonstrate that their project would activate collaboration between fields within the college, with another U-M unit, or with an external partner and show their work would empower constituencies to improve their quality of life. Another factor was the project’s ability to garner future external funding and leverage this award with funding, data, resources, or capacities from other sources. Read more about the grants and recipients.
Michigan auto insurance still high; racial disparities persist
Michigan’s auto insurance reform law has contributed to an 18 percent drop in average premium costs from 2019-20, the steepest decline in the country over that time period, according to a new analysis by Poverty Solutions at U-M. However, Michigan still has the most expensive auto insurance in the United States, and a 2019 law has failed to reduce disparities in cost by race and geography. A new policy brief, “Building on Michigan’s auto insurance reform law,” offers recommendations to further reduce premiums and address the unintended consequences of reform that led to some catastrophic accident victims losing access to medical care. The policy brief also includes recommendations on how to further lower rates and ensure Michigan’s auto insurance system does stand as a barrier to economic mobility. Read more about this analysis.
— Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record