Top accomplishments: Residential Life Initiatives


Living on campus, students form their early and lasting impressions of the university, experience diverse cultures and viewpoints, engage with faculty and staff outside the classroom, and meet lifelong friends. The campus residential experience is an important catalyst in the academic, cultural, intellectual and social development of students.

University Housing’s building inventory totals approximately 4.7 million square feet of floor space, approximately one-sixth of the campus total. A decade ago, many of the residence halls and apartments were badly in need of renewal. The facilities were not meeting the needs of students. At the time, the replacement value of the fixed assets was estimated at more than $1 billion. 

President Mary Sue Coleman and Vice President for Student Life E. Royster Harper host a Fireside Chat with students at North Quad. (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

Preceded by extensive studies, the Residential Life Initiatives were launched by President Mary Sue Coleman in 2004 to improve and expand the residential experience for current and future students.

“I want our university to invest time, effort and funding in expanding and improving the residential experience of our students. We can find a host of new ways to provide a better environment for learning and living in our residence halls,” Coleman announced in 2004.

The RLI has provided a planned approach for the renewal, revitalization and expansion of campus residential and facilities, including both student housing and dining. The work has been transformative — revitalizing campus communities, programs and the dining experience to strengthen the connection between living and learning for present and future students.

An unprecedented commitment among colleges and universities, U-M has invested approximately $650 million in its residential experience, including:

• New fire alarm and suppression systems in all residence halls.

• Construction of Bursley Hall “Blue Apple” retail dining café.

• Wireless and electrical improvements in Markley and Bursley halls.

• Construction of Hill Dining Center with marketplace food service  (2008).

• Construction of North Quad Residential and Academic Complex  (2010).

• Comprehensive renovations of Mosher-Jordan, Stockwell, Couzens, and Alice Lloyd halls, East Quadrangle, as well as South Quadrangle (2014) and West Quadrangle (2016).

• Renewal of student rooms and community spaces, heating and wireless in Baits II.

• Upgraded fire alarms, heating and Internet access in Northwood I, II and III.

Additionally, student housing at U-M has seen an additional $224 million committed to the renovation of the Lawyers Club and the construction of new graduate housing through the generous support of Charles Munger.

 “We are working to truly integrate intellectual pursuits with the living environment — areas that are amenable to group work, faculty engagement, project execution, and the like,” Coleman said.  



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