Higher ed briefs


News from other Michigan public universities and U-M peer institutions across the nation.


LSSU selects Pleger as eighth president

Lake Superior State University’s Board of Trustees has selected Thomas Pleger to be the eighth president of the institution. Pleger, who is campus executive officer and dean of the University of Wisconsin, Baraboo/Sauk County, was chosen by a search committee that included members of the campus and Sault Ste. Marie community, led by LSSU Board of Trustees Chair Patrick Egan. On July 1, Pleger replaces President Tony McLain, who is retiring.


The Ohio State University names new president

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Michael V. Drake as the university’s 15th president. Drake, chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, since 2005, is a medical doctor and member of both the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He will begin work as president on June 30. The presidential search committee focused on finding a forward-thinking leader who could further the university’s progress in teaching and learning, innovation and research, outreach and engagement and resource stewardship. As chancellor of UC Irvine, Drake oversaw the creation of the first new public law school in California in more than 40 years, led the launch of several new programs in public health, pharmaceutical sciences and nursing science, and helped establish the UC Irvine School of Education.

University of Illinois honors Ebert

Roger Ebert, a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as an influential and groundbreaking film critic on television, will be honored posthumously with the 2014 Illinois Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. The prize, awarded by the University of Illinois journalism faculty, will be accepted by Ebert’s wife, Chaz, on Feb. 11 at the University Club in Chicago, following a reception and dinner. Ebert, a 1964 Illinois journalism graduate, died April 4 last year.

Indiana University wins grant to study concussions

Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have been awarded a $300,000 grant to study concussions. They will use advanced neuroimaging techniques to study area high school athletes to learn how concussions affect blood flow in the brain. Brenna McDonald and Dr. Yang Wang, at the IU Center for Neuroimaging, were awarded $300,000 for the research, one of 16 grants announced by General Electric and the National Football League, for the first stage of a $20 million Head Health Challenge.

Steele named new provost at UC Berkeley

Regents at the University of California, Berkeley, have approved the selection of Claude Steele, a pre-eminent scholar of social psychology and dean of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, as the next executive vice chancellor and provost of UC Berkeley. “We are all delighted that Professor Steele will join the Berkeley campus,” said George Breslauer, current provost and EVC, who is retiring. Steele will assume his new role March 31.

University of Texas gets $60 million for business and engineering

The Mulva Family Foundation has made a $60 million multiyear pledge to The University of Texas at Austin to support the McCombs School of Business and the Cockrell School of Engineering. The Houston-based foundation’s donation is one of the largest cash pledges made during the course of the Campaign for Texas, scheduled to conclude later this year. With this pledge, the campaign is now poised to exceed $2.7 billion in donations, well on its way to the university’s $3 billion goal.


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