The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Tuesday, April 4, 2009 - 7
From Page 1
new University projects were pro-
posed in documents prepared for
this Thursday's Board of Regents
Sullivan said she and other
administrators are also currently
exploring purchasing and out-
sourcing possibilities that would
allow the University to utilize its
size and scale.
Specifically, Sullivan said she
was currently exploring changes to
the University's telephone service,
as many phones on campus aren't
used within the course of a month.
"Twenty percent of the tele-
phones at the University nei-
ther receive nor make a call in a
month," Sullivan said pointing out
that eliminating some phone lines,
especially in residence halls, could
Additionally, Sullivan said limit-
ing vendor options could allow the
University to qualify forlower pric-
ing, saving the University money.
"Why should we let people buy
28 colors of Post-it notes? Couldn't
we get by with just 14 colors of
Post-it notes instead?" she said. "If
we can limit vendor options in that
way, we can typically achieve cost
savings in what the vendor even-
tually charges us."
Sullivan also said a one-year
waiting period for the University's
retirement savings plan would be
implemented for all new hires.
"For new hires there will now
be a waiting period of one year
before the retirement savings
plan begins," she said. "That one
change surprisingly saves about
$6 million a year, which is a lot of
money for the general fund."
Sullivan discussed changes that
From Page 1
ectwould involve a10,000-square-
foot addition to the east side of the
building and would cost about $4.8
million which would be funded by
the College of Engineering. The
project would be completed in the
fall of 2010.
At Thursday's meeting, the
Board of Regents will also review
a revised design for a $15.7 million
addition to the Thompson Street
The addition, which was
the michigan daily
will be made to employee health
benefit plans as well. The mea-
sure, which was discussed last fall
and was officially made public last
month, will increase employees'
expected contribution to health
care plans from 20 percent to 30
Finally, Sullivan said University
administrators would review their
processes and develop a set of best
practices for the use of gifted funds.
Sullivan said that together
these proposals, which will likely
be paired with other cost-cutting
measures, will help to cut expenses
while not interfering with the qual-
ity of education offered to students.
Over the past several years,
the University has made several
similar cost-cutting measures,
which have saved approximately
$135 million. Some measures have
included combining information
technology services to increase
efficiency, implementing more
energy efficient processes and bet-
ter using existing classrooms.
be submitted to the Board of Regents
at its June meeting. Last year was
the firstcyearthebudgetwas submit-
ted in June. Previously the budget
had been submitted in July.
get in June, incoming freshmen will
know what tuition will be earlier in
the summer, but that the University
will thenbe put atcgreater risk.
"That was a change I initiated,
because I thought it was funda-
mentally unfair to freshmen for
them not to have any idea what
they were going to be paying until
sometime towards the end of July,"
she said. "The trade-off is that our
freshmen will know sooner what
their tuition will be, but we'll
be less certain about what state
appropriations will look like."
approved by the Board of Regents in
April2008, needed tobe redesigned
in orderto receive constructionbids
that would fit the approved budget.
According to an action request
submitted to the Board of Regents by
Slottow, the project would include
both a 365-space parking structure
addition to the west end of the park-
ing structure and a 9,000-square-
foot addition for office spaces for the
departments of Parking and Trans-
portation Services and the Office of
Budget and Planning.
The construction for the project
would be completed in the fall of
2010, according to the proposal.
From Page 1
ethnic cleansing and rape.
Audiences members said the
nuances of the term as defined by
Stavropoulou - despite its preva-
lence in everyday vernacular -
were initially confusing.
"It's slightly confusing because
it doesn't have to involve killings,"
said LSA junior Alissa Ng. "The
general consensus has been is that
it only involves killings and wars,
people don't seem to know the
When warning signs of genocide
arise, such as hate speech, the U.N.
Department of Political Affairs, of
which Stavropoulou is a member,
becomes responsible for monitoring
the situation and deciding whether
or not genocide is taking place.
Stavropoulou noted that coun-
tries nearly always find themselves
in denial in such situations, greatly
slowing down the system and lead-
ing to inefficiency.
"The firstcthing that kicks in from a
country is denial," Stavropoulou said.
"Countries also act in denial because
they don't want to commit troops or
funding. The entire discussion starts
to revolve around whether or not it's
a genocide, instead of what should be
done to stop it."
Stavropoulou named the Inter-
national Criminal Court, estab-
lished in 1998 and independent of
the United Nations, as one of the
most notable developments in fight-
From Page 1
said he discovered that bundles of
fibers in a textile absorb more light,
making the textile more efficient at
collecting energy than a regular, flat
Solar panels are one of the most
common means of obtaining solar
energy. Through the use of photo-
voltaics, solar cells convert sunlight
Though solar panels provide a
way to capture light energy, Univer-
sity scientists are working on new
and improved methods to harvest
energy from the sun.
"The sun is a terrific energy
resource for humanity in general,"
said Stephen Maldonado, as assis-
tant professor of chemistry. "The
output of power that reaches the
earth from the sun is several times
as much energy as people use every
Maldonado and his team of
researchers are studying and
designing systems that convert
solar energy into chemical bond
energy, which can be used to make
"We work with materials that are
similar to what's found in photovol-
taics or the solar panels you see on
people's houses," Maldonado said,
"but those typically operate for solar
to electrical energy conversion, and
we're much more interested in mak-
ing systems that mimic photosyn-
thesis in plants."
One of the disadvantages of solar
cells is that the generated electric-
ity must be consumed immediately
because it cannot be stored for long
periods of time.
Maldonado said plants are good at
converting solar energy into chemi-
cal bond energy for making chemi-
cal fuels. Using plants as a model,
the research team hopes to devise
a system that can store solar energy
in chemical bonds for long-term
storage - similar to how energy is
currently stored in gasoline and fos-
United Solar Ovonic - based out
of Rochester Hills, Mich. - is the
largest producer of flexible solar
cells in the United States. Flexible
solar panels are sometimes more
useful than regular solar panels
because they can be applied to
curved surfaces like dome-shaped
On average, United Solar Ovonic
sells three to four solar panels a
week to customers in Michigan.
United Solar Ovonic Sales Engi-
From Page 1
that he said would likely come in
the form of an early retirement pro-
If the city's budget problems
persist into fiscal year 2011, Fraser
recommended an additional round
of budget cuts that would include
permanently closing the Ann Arbor
senior center - a change that would
save $141,000 - and turning over
She city-owned Mack Pool to the
Ann Arbor Public Schools, which
would save $59,000.
City Council is expected to
approve the city's 2010 budget by
the end of its meeting on May 18.
Ann Arbor's Chief Financial
Officer Tom Crawford told the
Daily in an interview in January
that city officials do not want to
take money from the city's $16
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United Nations official Maria Stavropoulou
Additionally, Stavropoulou said
democratic governments preemp-
tively fend off genocide, though the
long transition period that often
must occur for democratization is
at times conducive to conditions
that lead to genocide.
Stavropoulou said that oftentimes
in international politics enacting
change can be slow a process.
"Although the U.N. is made up
of governments, it takes decades
to advance just a little bit on any-
thing," Stavropoulou said. "It takes
neer George Zaharopoulos said the
company has seen an increase in
sales since President Barack Obama
passed the stimulus package, which
included tax incentives for renew-
able energy investors.
"People are more persuaded to
use solar because they get reim-
bursements and rebates from their
state," he said.
According to a survey conducted
by AltaTerra Research Network last
November, solar energy installation
is on the rise. Results from the sur-
vey showed a 52 percent growth rate
of newly installed solar energy each
year until 2012.
Geological Sciences Prof. Joel
Blum believes there are major
advantages to alternate energy
Blum teaches GEOSCI 344 Sus-
tainability & Fossil Energy: Options
& Consequences at Camp Davis,
the University's Rocky Mountain
field station ngar Jackson, Wyo. The
course - which educates students
about the scientific and environ-
mental issues related to sustainable
and traditional fossil energy sources
- will be offered for the first time
While Blum is an advocate for
using renewable forms of energy,
he said Michigan is one of the worst
places in America to capture solar
"Michigan is a very cloudy place,"
Blum said. "It doesn't mean that
ifs not feasible and shouldn't be
done, but it makes much more sense
in sunny places like the Western
United States where you have much,
much, much greater annual solar
radiation than you have in a place
Despite Michigan's cloudiness,
the University decided to installt
solar panels on the roof of the Dana
Building when it was renovated in
Bill Verge, the associate director
of Utilities and Plant Engineering at
the University, said the University
installed solar energy collectors in
an effort to become more environ-
mentally friendly and reduce green-
house gas emissions.
"I'm a firm believer in the fact
that global warming is occurring
and that we have to move away from
fossil fuels," Verge said. "And I think
that solar energy is one of the best
opportunities, even in the state of
dinator of the Center for Sustainable
Systems in the School of Natural
Resources and Environment, wrote
in an e-mail interview that the solar
million in reserve funds to relieve
the financial deficit because it
would use a one-time source of
funding for recurring expendi-
While it is possible that the
city could receive stimulus fund-
ing from the federal government,
Fraser said the city does not have
plans to depend on federal funding
for the 2111 budget.
"It's notsomethingthat's turning
around quickly as everybody envi-
sioned," Fraser said of the stimu-
lus bills approved by Congress in
At last night's working session,
Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje
said that based on the state of Ann
Arbor's economy, it is unlikely the
city will see additional revenue
from stimulus funds.
"If money is handed out based on
need, we will be the last on the list
because so many communities have
a very long time for the U.N. to act
on these atrocious situations."
Despite namingthe manyhurdles
in combating instances of genocide,
Stavropoulou stressed the U.N.'s
commitment to such situations and
the importance of maintaining a
presence in at-risk areas, beyond
when the subjects disappear from
"Any individual with sufficient
power to commit or incite others
to commit genocide is, for us (at the
U.N.), somebody to be stopped."
panels on the Dana Building don't
generate enough electricity to sus-
tain the entire building. The angle of
the sun and cloud conditions affect
the photovoltaic output of the solar
panels, and the power demand of
the Dana Building varies by occu-
pancy and the use of equipment and
However, the system has shown
positive results, Hunscher wrote in
"In 2005, the solar panels gener-
ated 35,000 KWh (kilowatt-hours)
of energy which is enough to light a
100-Watt bulb for about 40 years,"
She added that on a sunny day in
May 2005, the panels met 23 per-
cent of the power demand of the
Although the solar panels are
not providing an immediate reduc-
tion in utility costs, Verge said the
University will seea payback in cost
reductions in 15 to 20 years.
She added that the main value
of the technology is to use it for
educational purposes by involving
students from the School of Natu-
ral Resources and Environment in
monitoring the system and evaluat-
ing its effectiveness.
In spring 2008, the University
also installed a solar collector on
the top of the University's Central
Power Plant that helps heat water
in Central Campus facilities. The
collector is the first of its kind to be
installed in the United States and
can heat water up to more than 200
degrees Fahrenheit. Its estimated
25-year lifespan will offset the costs
from future fuel increases.
Verge said the University is look-
ing into installing more alternate
energy sources like solar panels and
solar collectors down the road.
"However, the price needs to
come down quite abitbefore we can
utilize it in a large scale," he said.
Another group on campus is
investing in solar energy - not for
powering a building, but for run-
ning a car.
The University's Solar Car Team
is the largest student project on
campus. Involving about 100 stu-
dents from different schools on
campus, the team works together to
build a car to race in competitions
held every two years.
This year's car is as tall and long
as a normal car and can reach a
top speed of 87 miles per hour. The
one main difference from a regular
car is its six square meters of solar
cells on the roof, which are used to
charge the vehicle's lithium ion bat-
teries. Additionally, the car is only
greater need than we do," Hieftje
At the county level, Washtenaw
County Administrator Robert
Guenzel gave a bleak forecast for
the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years in
terms of the county's property tax
"I don't know when we'll hit the
bottom," he said. "That's almost a
weekly or monthly observation."
Property taxes currently make
up 66 percent of the county's gen-
Washtenaw County Commis-
sioner Mark Ouimet, District 1, said
because property values contribute
to so much of the county's revenue,
there's no way around cuts in order
to balance the budget.
Departmental reductions and
reorganization are part of the coun-
ty officials' strategy to increase rev-
enue,but the plan won't be finalized
until Sept. 1.
However, Stavropoulou said that
the U.N. does not use watch lists
due to the fact that if some regions
are watched too closely, there is an
inherent risk of forgetting about
"What is not on the radar tends
to be forgotten, and that's usually
where the problems are," Stavro-
poulou said. "If you look at various
watch lists from the past few years,
it's the underreported situations
where problems really tend to
600 pounds - driver included.
Engineering senior Steven Hech-
tman is the project manager of the
Solar Car Team. He said while solar
energy is useful for charging the
car's batteries, the amount of energy
obtained from the sun is very limit-
"Our solar cells only pull in as
much power as you use for a hair
dryer," he said. "So if you compare
it with the horsepower of a regular
car, there's not enough energy com-
ing from the sun to power a real
Hechtman said the next genera-
tion of consumer cars will probably
include solar cells on the roof - cit-
ingthe nextToyota Prius as a vehicle
that will use solar energy to charge
a certain percentage of its battery.
However, he said it's unlikely
there will ever be a car that runs
solely off the power of the sun.
"If you want a carthat's the size of
a normal car, the weight of a normal
car, with all the features of a normal
car, there's no way you can power it
completely by the sun," he said.
Even though solar energy may
never be able to generate enough
power to fully run vehicles, it has
the potential to greatly reduce fossil
fuel consumption around the world.
Moreover, the developments
made by University researchers
shows that solar energy could pro-
vide at least a part of the solution
Michigan's economic troubles.
Shtein and Maldonado agree
that a concerted effort to produce
solar cells in Michigan could have
a huge impact on the state's eco-
Shtein said Michigan is well-
suited for large-scale production
because of the automotive industry.
"You have a highly trained work
force, you have very good manu-
facturing capacity and here people
know howto scalethings up," Shtein
said. "In solar cells a big problem is
scale up. We're not making enough
of them fast enough."
Maldonado said if researchers can
create an alternative energyresource
that's more uniformly distributed,
they could potentially restructure
the way society operates.
"If that technology can be devel-
oped here within the state of Michi-
gan and cultivated here, that would
give Michigan an insight in terms
of being a major player in that sort
of energy redesigning," Maldonado
He added: "Getting involved in
solar energy is really a sort of hot
ticket itemthatncould really have a lot
of financialgain if it's done right."
Ouimet said in addition to
departmental changes, the county's
financial situation could improve if
the state's economy rebounds from
its recession quicker and if property
values start to rise.
However, Ouimet stressed that
the countywould nottryto increase
revenues by dipping into the coun-
ty's approximately $8 million fund
balance, a sortofemergency reserve
fund. He believes that would only
be a short-term fix.
In order to replenish the fund
balance, future cuts would need to
be made, Ouimet said.
"Unless you change the way
you're doing business, you're stuck
with the same problem next year,"
County and city officials have
also looked into joint projects to
reduce costs on both levels - for
example, combining computer sys-
tems or streamlining fire services.
discusses the ways her office works to prevent genocide.
For Wednesday, April 15, 2009
1March 21 to April 19)
You're very idealistic today. You feel
sensitive and particularly tuned in to the
wants and needs of others. (This makes
you a very sympathetic companion to
(April 20 to May 20)
You find it easy to put the interests of
others heforee your own today. You'll do
things for people that others consider to
be selfless on your part. To you, it's per-
(May 21 to June 20)
You'll enjoy working with groups to
help others. Charitable causes or organi-
zations like Amnesty International,
Greenpeace or trade unions will appeal.
(June 21 to July 22)
You can be a role model for others
today. People look to you for direction
whether you're aware of this or not.
Therefore, be kind and compassionate to
set a worthy example.
(July 23 to Aug. 22)
Vacation fantasies and dreams of
travel to exotic places fill your thoughts
today. Others have great ideas about
higher education, publishing, the media,
medicine and the law.
(Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
Either someone will be generous to
you today or you'll be generous to oth-
ers. You might have an opportunity to
raise funds or use the wealth of others to
(Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
Your sympathies with loved ones and
partners are so in tune with them that all
your relationships are copasetic today.
It's easy to get along.
(Oct. 33 to Non. 21) .
Co-workers are helpful today because
you're extra sensitive to their needs and
wants. You find it easy to pay attention
to what they're saying. Naturally, they
(Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
Use your creative talents today!
You're in touch with your muse. You'll
enjoy creating anything with your hands.
Relations with children ore sweet and
(Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
samnily relationships are mutually
symnpathetic today. IThis is anm excellent
day to entertain family. Some will
indulge in the luxurious purchase for
(Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)
Don't worry if you spend time day-
dreaming today. Your imagination is in
overdrive, and you need to mentally
indulge yourself. (We all need days like
(Feb. 19to March 20)
Don's give away she frmt oday. If'
shopping, keep your receipts,ecause'
you're tempted to go overboard on luxu-
rious items. However, you also feel gen-
erous to others, which is a good thing.
YOU BORN TODAY You're always
interested in a wide variety of things.
Fortunately, because you're well-
organized, you often achieve skills in
many areas. You can create and manage
organizations. You also can create
themes in a physical sense. You're not
only creative; you're practical and full of
common sense. A valuable combination!
An important choice awaits you this
year. Choose wisely.
Birthdate of: Leonardo da Vinci,
artist/inventor; Bliss Carman, poet; Alice
)2009 King Features Syndicate, Inc.