Campus briefs


Harris family endowment names women’s basketball head coach position

Michigan Athletics has announced a $3 million gift on behalf of Nicki Harris and the late J. Ira Harris. Shortly before his death Feb. 21, Ira Harris committed to a transformative gift to the athletic department with the desire to advocate for equity among women’s sports programs. By virtue of this gift, the head coach of the Michigan women’s basketball program, currently Kim Barnes Arico, will formally hold the title of the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach. The endowment follows the program’s extraordinary 2020-21 season. Barnes Arico led the Wolverines to two firsts in program history: a 10-0 start to the season and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. “I am honored to hold the title of J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach,” Barnes Arico said. “The Harris family’s generosity in supporting Michigan Athletics is amazing, and I am especially grateful to serve in the first endowed coaching position for a Michigan women’s sport.”

Sixth annual RNA Center Symposium to explore future of RNA therapeutics

The success of mRNA vaccines in preventing severe disease and death from the coronavirus has many wondering what other biomedical applications might result from RNA research. U-M’s Center for RNA Biomedicine will explore this question March 25 at its sixth annual symposium titled “Towards our Future of RNA Therapeutics.” Five keynote speakers will address the emerging future of RNA therapeutics. The symposium also features six mini-talks by U-M researchers and concludes with a panel discussion. The event will be in person and livestreamed via Zoom, but not recorded. It begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Kahn Auditorium of the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Research Science Building. It is free and open to all, although registration is required. Register at A boxed lunch will be provided.

Non-Senate faculty nominations sought for police oversight panel

Nominations are being sought for a lecturer, active emeriti, adjunct or clinical faculty representative to serve in the non-Senate faculty seat of the U-M Police Department Oversight Committee. The PDOC includes two student members, two faculty members (one Senate faculty and one non-Senate faculty), and two staff members (one union and one non-union representative), who are nominated and elected by their peers for two-year terms. The committee considers grievances against any police officer or the U-M Police Department and reports its findings and recommendations to the executive director of the Division of Public Safety and Security. Non-Senate faculty members may nominate themselves or other lecturers, active emeriti, adjunct or clinical faculty members by completing a form at Nominations are accepted through March 18. Only submissions from those eligible to vote in the election will be considered. The new member’s term will start in May. For questions about the PDOC, call Staff Human Resources at 734-647-7292.

Free online teach-out covers various aspects of Russia-Ukraine conflict

With casualties mounting and more than 2 million Ukranians fleeing the country in the wake of a Russian invasion, a new U-M online event aims to create a dialogue about the history, the consequences and the need for de-escalation. The Russian Invasion of Ukraine Teach-Out is free and offered by U-M’s Center for Academic Innovation. It invites people all around the world to learn from experts on the history of Ukraine-Russian tensions, the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the escalating conflict, how the world is responding in real-time, the potential global economic impacts of war and responding sanctions, how the conflict serves as an example of cyber and disinformation warfare, and what people can do to support people in the growing humanitarian crisis. There also will be a Live Town Hall via Zoom from 1-2 p.m. March 23. Registrants can attend the free virtual event and submit questions for the panelists about the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its impacts. Learn more and register for the teach-out and town hall.

President Coleman issues message regarding invasion of Ukraine

President Mary Sue Coleman sent a message to the U-M community March 7 condemning the invasion of Ukraine, suggesting ways to help and offering learning opportunities related to Ukraine and Russia. “I condemn this invasion and the ruthless attack on freedom. The grief, anger and hurt are devastating, and I feel such sorrow for the many members of our community whose loved ones and communities are in harm’s way,” Coleman wrote. She said U-M’s International Center will share information about Temporary Protected Status benefits directly with Ukrainian students and scholars on F or J visas as soon as details on the application process become available. U-M supports advocacy efforts that would designate Ukraine for Special Student Relief for F1 visa holders to allow for greater flexibility with enrollment and employment. Read Coleman’s full message.

Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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