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November 11, 2008 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-11

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ann Arbor, Michigan

michigandaily.com

THE ECONOMY AND THE 'U'
Faculty
focused on
retirement
accounts
Group handling 'U' pensions
says number of callers is up
60 percent from last year
By STEPHANIE BERLIANT
Daily StaffReporter
Despite the massive losses suffered on Wall Street
in the past six weeks, the retirement plans for Uni-
versity faculty and staff have weathered the economic
storm fairly well, officials said.
Faculty members across the country are concerned
about the value of their retirement accounts as the
country's economic state has worsened.
Jennifer Compton, a spokeswoman for TIAA-
CREF, a national financial corporation that handles
retirement investments for faculty members, said
* calls to the company from concerned clients have
increased 60 percent nationwide from last year at
this time.
Here in Michigan, Todd Kephart, a retirement
account adviser for TIAA-CREF based in Ann Arbor,
said he has received several panicked phone calls,
. particularly during the week of Oct. 6, when the Dow
Jones Industrial Average dropped about 11.5 percent.
But he said very few of his clients have asked for
drastic changes to the way the investments that make
up their retirement accounts are handled.
Kephart said he attributes the small number of dev-
astating losses to his clients's retirement plans to the
array of investments that make up their retirement
accounts. A typical client's portfolio, he explained,
contains a combination of stocks, bonds and commer-
cial real estate, with the average portfolio including
about 30 to 40 percent in stocks.
He said that because of this strategy, the stock
market's decline has "certainly made an impact,but it
shouldn't be tremendous."
Kephart said the faculty members most concerned
about the economic downturn were not those who plan
to retire in three or four years or even those who have
been retired for a few years, but instead those who have
just announced their retirement or retired last year.
"A lot of people are asking, 'Did I make the wrong
choice?'" Kephart said.
But Kephart said in every one of these cases that
he's seen, the faculty member was still able to stay
retired or retire as planned, perhaps by slightly tight-
ening their budget for the near future.
He said much of the worry has come from anecdotal
See RETIREMENT, Page 7A

A group of students enjoy a free hypnotism session during a UMix event at Pierpont Commons last month. UMix, which the University has sponsored for the last three years, offers a
tive to bars or parties for students seeking alcohol-free entertainment. Between 400 and 600 students participate in UMix events, which are held roughly once per month.
GOOD CLEAN FUN

Many colleges now have
alcohol-free programs,
like Michigan's UMix
By JILLIAN BERMAN
Daily StaffReporter
On the Friday night before the Mich-
igan-Michigan State football game
three weeks ago, thousands of students
wandered from bar to bar and party to

party, enjoying the start of the week-
end.
Meanwhile, a group of about 500
students was partying in the Michigan
Union at a get-together sponsored by
the University. In the place of alcohol,
there was a movie, free food and kara-
oke.
The University of Michigan's UMix
program serves as an alternative for
students looking for alcohol-free enter-
tainment, hosting between five and six
events per semester from 10 p.m. to 2

a.m. on Friday nights. The program,
which has been running for three years
at the University, draws between 400
and 600 students to the Union for each
event, officials said.
University Librarian Paul Courant,
an expert on higher education, said
programs like UMix are part of a larg-
er trend of colleges responding to an
increase in binge drinking among stu-
dents.
"There is certainly a sense in the
student affairs community that there's

more binge drinking,more heavy drink-
ing and more days on which people
drink. With the advent of cell phones,
the party can move quickly and out of
control," he said. "Education institu
tions are taking more responsibility
for at least trying to give students who
might be uncomfortable with drinking
opportunities that are a good alterna-
tive."
Penn State University was among the
first schools to start offering students an
See ACTIVITIES, Page 7A

SACUA delays vote On perks resolution

Profs on advisory board
given free trips to bowl
games, audit showed
By ANDY KROLL
Daily News Editor
The University faculty's govern-
ing body delayed until next month a
vote on a resolution urging University
President Mary Sue Coleman to stop
the Athletic Department's practice of
offering to pay for bowl game trips for

faculty on a student-athlete oversight
committee.
The resolution, proposed by physics
Prof. Keith Riles, pertains to an inter-
nal University audit from July2007 that
says there "may appear to be a conflict
of interest" with the Athletic Depart-
ment's practice of offering to pay for
airfare, hotel accommodations, ticket
costs and meals for faculty members
who serve on the Academic Perfor-
mance Committee (APC), which rules
on individual student-athlete eligibility
cases.
Riles wrote in an e-mail that the vote

was pushed back to the Senate Assem-
bly's December meeting because little
time had passed since he proposed the
resolution at the Oct. 27 meeting.
He said the Senate Assembly had
invited Athletic Director Bill Martin to
attend the meeting to discuss the prac-
tice.
The audit, recently obtained by
The Michigan Daily, says the Athletic
Department paid the expenses of seven
of the 10 APC members for the 2006-
2007 academic year to attend the 2007
Rose Bowl "as guests of the Athletic
Department."

Although the Assembly's executive
committee, the Senate Advisory Com-
mittee on University Affairs, unani-
mously agreed upon the audit's release
that the practice should be reviewed, no
action has been taken apart from Riles's
resolution.
University spokeswoman Kelly
Cunningham said University Provost
Teresa Sullivan has taken the audit's
findings "under advisement." How-
ever, Sullivan, who oversees all aca-
demic issues at the University, has
no plans to change the practice, Cun-
ningham said.

FOOT SOLDIERS IN THE BLOOD BATTLE

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
In campus talk, congressman will
discuss role of engineers in society

Ehlers to focus on how
math and science can solve
society's problems
By VERONICA MENALDI
Daily StaffReporter
U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Grand Rapids) will
deliver the second annual James R. Mellor Lecture
today at 4 p.m. in the Chrysler Center's Chesebrough
Auditorium on North Campus to discuss the role of
engineering in society and how it can benefit the
public.
Ehlers's speech, titled "Our Planet's Overlooked
Resource: Engineers," will focus on how engineers

and their work can solve problems in today's society.
Kavan Chapman, Rep. Ehlers's press secretary,
said Ehlers "is going to be talking about what engi-
neers do outside of normal workplace activities and
basically saying that (the public) should be benefiting
from them a lot more than we are."
Ehlers has represented Michigan in the House of
Representatives since 1993 and, before that, served
as a state senator and president pro tempore in the
Michigan Senate from 1985 to 1993.
He currently serves on four House committees:
the Committee on House Administration, the Com-
mittee on Education and Labor, the Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure and the Commit-
tee on Science and Technology.
Chapman said Ehlers has been a "long time advo-
See LECTURE, Page 7A

Nancy Choi, an Office of Admissions employee, gives blood at the Union yesterday for the 27th Annual Blood Battle. Michigan
hasn't won the competition against Ohio State in five years. The schools hope to collect 2,400 units this year.

WEATHER HI: 47
TOMORROW LO: 44

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