Campus briefs


Feedback sought on diversity of thought and freedom of expression

An advisory committee on diversity of thought and freedom of expression is seeking feedback from faculty, students and staff on U-M’s Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses and Michigan Medicine about how well the university is living up to a set of principles adopted by the Board of Regents in January. The goal is to gather information on the university’s climate for freedom of expression and diversity of thought, and to seek opinions as to whether the university should adopt a policy of institutional neutrality, akin to the University of Chicago’s 1967 Kalven Report, in order to foster freedom of inquiry and maintain independence from, as Kalven notes, “political fashions, passions, and pressures.” Valid U-M credentials are required to access the survey. The call for input does not collect user name information or other metadata, and responses will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. It will remain open until June 30. The survey can be accessed here.

MHealthy seeking Champions to foster workplace well-being

Active, benefits-eligible employees can apply through July 31 to become MHealthy Champions for their department, unit or area. “MHealthy Champions impact both individual and community well-being by helping to enhance their work environments and enrich our campuses at large,” said Karen Schmidt, MHealthy’s senior director. Champions serve a two-year term and commit to working approximately two hours per month toward their duties. With MHealthy’s support and guidance, Champions will work with an MHealthy wellness coordinator to tailor activities for their area; help their area achieve its health and well-being goals; communicate MHealthy programs and resources to co-workers; encourage participation in well-being activities; have the opportunity to apply for a wellness grant to support their area’s well-being; and foster connection in today’s work environment. Learn more or apply.

Library offers free borrowing privileges for Native and Indigenous people

The U-M Library is extending free borrowing privileges to Native and Indigenous people not already affiliated with the university. Members of these communities can obtain guest cards, normally available for a $250 annual fee, at no cost, and then check out items from the library’s circulating collection. Cards can be obtained at the Hatcher North Information Services Desk. The new policy emerged from conversations connected to the library’s new territorial acknowledgement and is one small step in the library’s efforts to honor the intent and spirit of the treaty upon which the university was founded.

Grants address PFAS pollution, wave energy, road durability

Three new sustainability catalyst grants offered by the Graham Sustainability Institute will support novel research projects beginning this summer to address vexing sustainability challenges. Each project is designed to identify, engage and respond to the needs of external partners who are positioned to apply the project’s outputs in real-world decision-making and practice. The new projects, which received $10,000 each, include “Plast-ick,” which leverages AI and satellite data to predict pollutants like PFAS in water bodies; “Catching the Waves” focuses on deploying wave energy converters to power remote coastal communities; and “Mussel Roads” uses biomimicry to enhance asphalt durability by developing materials inspired by mussel-binding proteins. Read more about the project details.

IRWG awards 26 grants for gender research projects

The Institute for Research on Women and Gender has awarded 26 grants in support of faculty, postdoctoral and graduate student research projects related to women, gender and sexuality. Included in this spring’s funding cycle were Faculty Seed Grants, Feminist Publication Support, IRWG/Rackham Community of Scholars fellowships, and Boyd/Williams Dissertation Grants for Research on Women and Work. IRWG awarded 10 seed grants in support of individual and collaborative research projects across disciplines, schools and colleges on the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses. Two IRWG Feminist Publication Support Grants were awarded in support of scholars’ ability to share research findings beyond academic audiences and through non-traditional formats. Two students received Boyd/Williams Dissertation Grants for projects on women and work, and 12 students were awarded IRWG/Rackham Community of Scholars summer fellowships. View a full list of projects.

Eight U-M teams post perfect multiyear scores in NCAA’s APR report

Eight U-M varsity athletic teams achieved perfect multiyear scores in the latest Academic Progress Rate data released by the NCAA national office June 4 as part of the annual NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program. The data covers the 2019-20 through 2022-23 academic years. All 27 Michigan teams included in the report scored well above the threshold required by the NCAA for good standing, highlighted by the eight with perfect multiyear scores of 1,000: men’s cross country, women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, softball, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball and wrestling. In addition to the perfect multiyear scores, 23 U-M athletic teams recorded perfect scores for the 2022-23 academic year.

Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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