Regents’ Roundup


The University Record, May 6, 1998

Regents’ Roundup

Editor’s Note: The following actions were taken by the Regents at their April meeting.

Parnes named associate vice president for research

Marvin G. Parnes will serve as associate vice president for research and executive director of research administration and interim director of the Technology Management Office (TMO).

His appointment, effective May 1, was approved by the Regents at their April meeting. He had been assistant vice president for research, director of the Division of Research Development and Administration and TMO interim director.

“Mr. Parnes’ many years of experience and extensive knowledge of the University research environment uniquely qualify him to assume the multiple roles of this new position,” said Frederick C. Neidhardt, vice president for research.

“Mr. Parnes will have primary responsibility for the day-to-day administrative and operational issues of central importance to OVPR [Office of the Vice President for Research], especially the administrative infrastructure for research, such as sponsored research programs, research compliance, technology transfer, liaison to industry and schools and colleges, and budgetary and administrative oversight of units reporting to OVPR.

“Additionally,” Neidhardt said, “he will assist the president, provost, the vice president for research, and the associate vice presidents and provosts in the coordination of tactical and strategic support to special research initiatives. As needed, he will serve as the vice president’s spokesperson for issues related to research administration and technology transfer.”

Parnes was appointed assistant vice president for research in 1993 and director of the Division of Research Development and Administration in 1996. He has served as TMO interim director since 1997.

He received his B.A. in English from the City College of the City University of New York in 1970 and his M.S.W. from the U-M in 1975.

$14 million in gifts accepted

The Regents accepted $14,438,251 in gifts received during March. The total included $6,693,638 from individuals, $2,772,807 from corporations, $3,686,844 from foundations, and $1,284,962 from associations and others.

Tenure appointments approved

Tenured faculty appointments approved included:

William G. Axinn, from the Pennsylvania State University, will be professor of sociology, effective Sept. 1.

James B. Grotberg, from Northwestern University, will be professor of biomedical engineering, effective May 1.

Zoltan Szabo, from Princeton University, will be associate professor of mathematics, effective Sept. 1.

Administrative appointments OK’d

Administrative appointments approved included:

Lincoln B. Faller, professor of English and LS&A associate dean for undergraduate education and long-range, will serve as chair of the Department of English, effective Sept. 1, 1999Aug. 31, 2002.

Tobin A. Siebers, professor of English, will be interim chair of the Department of English, effective Sept. 1, 1998-Aug. 31, 1999.

James C. Steward, of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, will be director of the Museum of Art, effective July 13.

Joseph Tabory named Frankel Professor of Rabbinic Literature

Joseph Tabory has been appointed as the Jean and Samuel Frankel Professor of Rabbinic Literature, Aug. 15, 1998May 15, 1999.

“Prof. Tabory will be teaching courses in the Center for Judaic Studies and the Department of Near Eastern Studies,” said LS&A Dean Edie N. Goldenberg. “He is an excellent teacher and a superb public lecturer. He has published widely in the most distinguished journals in rabbinic literature and has written and edited several volumes.

“The Frankel Professorship in Rabbinic Literature was established in 1997 from a gift from Samuel and Jean Frankel and J. Ira Harris.”

Tabory was educated at Bar Ilan University (B.A., 1969; M.A., 1973; Ph.D., 1978), where he began his career as a lecturer. He was promoted to senior lecturer in 1981, associate professor in 1991, and professor in 1997. In 199297 he served as a visiting professor at Touro College.

Six faculty members retire

Six faculty members were given the emeritus title.

Those retiring are Robert G. Carter, senior associate librarian; Thomas S. Cohn, professor of psychology at U-M-Dearborn; Izzeddin S. Habib, professor of mechanical engineering at U-M-Dearborn;

Evelyn L. Smith, head of technical services and librarian in the Law Library; Paul K. Trojan, professor of metallurgical engineering at the Dearborn campus; and Gregory S.Y. Yeh, professor of materials and metallurgical engineering.

Carter joined the University Library in 1957. “From 1960, when he was named the exchange and gift librarian, Mr. Carter devoted his career to enriching the library’s collections through the acquisition of materials not available through the usual purchasing channels,” the Regents noted. “He was instrumental in establishing, negotiating and maintaining exchange agreements with more than 3,000 institutions from around the world, bringing to the library materials from Eastern Europe and China when purchasing from these areas was almost impossible.”

Cohn joined the U-M-Dearborn faculty in 1961. “As a member of a relatively small faculty body, by necessity Prof. Cohn taught a great variety of courses,” the Regents said. “He later became best known for his courses in group dynamics and the psychology of leadership. In addition to his distinguished faculty career, Prof. Cohn made substantial administrative contributions to the growth and development of the Dearborn campus as it made the transition from a small, two-year, senior college to a comprehensive four-year undergraduate institution with an expanding curriculum and a growing faculty body.”

Habib joined Dearborn as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in 1969. He was promoted to associate professor in 1970 and professor in 1973. He served as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 197175 and as interim chair in 199092. Before coming to the Dearborn campus, he was a research assistant at the University of California, Berkeley, in 196668, a group leader at Chrysler Corp. in 196466, and a design engineer in Beirut, Lebanon, in 195760. “Prof. Habib has been involved in engineering education for more than 30 years and has lectured nationally during his career,” the Regents said.

Smith joined the Law Library in 1964. “Librarians in academic and research libraries consider Ms. Smith to be an expert in all types of cataloging,” the Regent noted. “Under her guidance, the cataloging and related records at the U-M Law Library became nationally known for carefulness, completeness and intellectual thoroughness. As libraries were able to use each other’s computerized records, Ms. Smith’s work became accessible to ever more libraries, first in the United States and now, via the Internet, around the globe.”

Trojan joined the U-M in 1956 as an instructor in chemical and metallurgical engineering, and moved to the Dearborn campus in 1960. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1961, associate professor in 1964, and professor in 1970. He also served as chair of the Engineering Division in 196264, acting dean of the School of Engineering in 198082, and interim dean in 198890. “Since 1956, he has conducted sponsored research on the Ann Arbor campus, and many of his publications have resulted from such research cooperation,” the Regents said. “He has also lectured nationally throughout his career.”

Yeh joined the faculty in 1967. “His work, documented in 80 scientific publications and numerous invited presentations at scientific meetings all over the world, spanned a wide range of timely topics, with emphasis on the morphology and kinetics of single and multiple polymeric systems and on solid state polymer processing and deformation,” the Regents said. “He also made seminal contributions to the morphology and kinetics of strain-induced crystallization of polymers and to the elucidation of chain conformation in amorphous polymers.”

Facility name honors Margaret Towsley

Towsley Center for Children will be the name of the University’s facility at 710716 S. Forest Ave., in honor of Margaret Grace Dow Towsley.

“Margaret Towsley was an Ann Arbor civic leader, philanthropist and generous supporter of the University,” said Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin. “She was the founder and director of the Children’s Play School in Ann Arbor, which opened in 1936 as the Towsley Nursery School with six students.”

In 1945 the Children’s Play School was incorporated and moved into the building located at 716 S. Forest Ave. The program stressed the role of play in child development and its value in developing self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. In 1957 the adjoining property at 710 S. Forest was acquired and the two houses were connected and licensed for 100 children.

“By her contributions to the school,” Kasdin noted, “families continued to pay a minimal amount for nursery school care as compared to the cost of similar services at other facilities. During its years of operation, the school provided a practicum site for University nursing and education students.”

In 1985 Mrs. Towsley and her husband, Harry Towsley (a retired pediatrician and Medical School professor who died in 1993) donated the 710716 South Forest property to the University. The University then rented the property to Mrs. Towsley for the continued operation of her program until her death in 1994.

“The University has relocated two of its children’s programs into the renovated facility, Pound House and the Children’s Center,” Kasdin explained. “It is a tribute to Margaret Towsley that such a facility has been established and made available for young children and their families on the U-M campus.”

Renovation projects approved

The following renovation projects were approved:

• The Athletic Campus steam line replacement project will continue, replacing the buried line up to the Canham Natatorium and to the Track and Tennis Building, with new underground lines in a conduit system, at an estimated cost of $725,000.

The existing lines have been failing consistently during the last few years. New leaks have been detected and it is apparent that the patch repair jobs are expensive and inadequate.

• In a recent survey of wastewater systems, the University discovered a significant cross-connection problem between the storm and sanitary wastewater systems in the G.G. Brown Building on North Campus.

The building originally was constructed as a hydrology laboratory, using large quantities of storm drain-quality water. Over the years, conversion of the building has resulted in many labs that produce wastewater that must be disposed of through the sanitary sewer system. The project will correct these cross-connection problems. The project is estimated to cost $550,000.


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