Campus briefs


Board of Regents to meet Feb. 16 in University Hall

The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Feb. 16 in University Hall in the Alexander G. Ruthven Building. Members of the public also will be able to watch a livestream of the meeting at Those wishing to make comments during the meeting must attend in person. An agenda will be posted at noon Feb. 13 at To offer public comment at the meeting, sign up before 9 a.m. Feb. 15 at People with disabilities who need assistance should contact the Office of the Vice President and Secretary of the University in advance at 734-763-8194. For more information, go to

Matthaei-Nichols receives funding to expand urban agriculture work

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum is one of seven botanic gardens receiving support to build capacity and leadership in urban agriculture through a partnership of the United States Botanic Garden, the American Public Gardens Association and Chicago Botanic Garden. The Urban Agriculture Resilience Program Capstone program will award each garden $50,000 along with one-on-one mentoring support to sustain and institutionalize each garden’s urban agriculture work. Additionally, the group will meet quarterly as a cohort for training throughout 2023, including a two-day, in-person training at CBG’s Windy City Harvest program.

Nominations sought for James S. Jackson and Harold R. Johnson diversity awards

Nominations are being sought for two awards honoring faculty efforts to promote diversity service and scholarship at U-M. The James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship is a biennial award that recognizes the important scholarly contributions made by a senior faculty member to understanding diversity and addressing disparities in contemporary society. Recipients receive an honorarium of $10,000 and deliver a public distinguished lecture or performance. Nominations from U-M faculty, staff or students will be accepted until March 31. Information is available online. The Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award is awarded to regular instructional and research faculty, librarians, curators and archivists on the Ann Arbor campus, including the Medical School, whose service goes above and beyond their regular duties and contributes to the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community. The nomination deadline is April 3, and information is available online.

U-M Debate Program receives $1 million gift

The U-M Debate Program has received a $1 million gift from a former standout debate participant and his wife. The endowed fund created by Lee Hess and Irene Joyce Levine, is the largest gift in the program’s 120-year history and will also have his name attached to the director’s title: The Lee H. Hess Director of Debate “Lee’s generous gift will certainly be transformative for the debate team in the coming years,” said Aaron Kall, the Lee H. Hess Director of Debate. “There is no doubt that continued support from our wonderful alums has been integral to our recent competitive success. Michigan’s Debate Team, which began in 1903, is one of the oldest debate programs in the United States. The program has been the National Debate Tournament runner-up six times: 1989, 1991, 2014, 2015, 2021 and 2022. They also made it to the Final Four of the NDT eight other times.

Medical, Law schools withdraw from U.S. News & World Report rankings

The U-M Medical School and Law School will no longer participate in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings. The criteria used by USNWR to rank medical schools has long been a concern at U-M and many medical schools across the country, the school said in its Jan. 30 announcement. The decision was made after discussion and review with U-M and Medical School leaders, faculty and students. Medical School Dean Marschall S. Runge, CEO of Michigan Medicine and executive vice president of medical affairs, said he and other medical school deans have worked for some time to encourage USNWR to change its ranking process, but the discussion yielded only minor revisions to the methodology. Read more about the decision online. Law School Dean Mark D. West announced a similar move for the Law School in November. West’s letter to the Law School community can be found online.

Big Heart Blood Battle underway to collect lifesaving blood donations

The annual winter blood-donation competition against Michigan State and Penn State universities and the University of Wisconsin, known as the Big Heart Blood Battle, is running through Feb. 22. To make an appointment to donate or a list of blood drives, visit and click the “Donate” link on the homepage or visit the American Red Cross’s website,, and insert the sponsor code “goblue.” The Red Cross asks donors to use Rapid Pass, which allows them to complete their donation quicker by completing some steps before arriving at the blood drive. Visit for more information.

Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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