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February 26, 2010 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, February 26, 2010 - 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, February 26, 2010 - 7


The Brehm Tower at the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center yesterday. The brand new center, which cost $132 million to build, will open on Monday, according toa press release dis-
tributed yesterday. The building will house clinical facilities like suites for refractive surgery as well as laboratories used to study both diabetes and ophthalmology.


From Page 1
Hage's endeavor, despite that it
means her office will be losing a
great colleague.
"It's a terrific career move for
her," Scarnecchia said. "I knew
that Eastern Michigan was look-
ing for a new general counsel and
it makes perfect sense that they
are hiring Gloria because she
is so talented, - a great leader,
very talented attorney and she
has really helped to build the
strength of our office and so she
will bring all of those experienc-
es with her to Eastern."
University President Mary Sue
Coleman echoed Scarnecchia's
sentiment, saying while she will
miss Hage, she is excited for the
opportunity Hage will have at
"I really regret that she's going
because she's been just such a
wonderful person to have at the
University, but EMU is really
lucky," Coleman said in an inter-
view earlier this month. "They're
getting someone who is extreme-
ly knowledgeable and I'm thrilled
she has that opportunity, but I'll
really miss her."
Hage - who earned both her
bachelor's degree in English lit-
erature and her juris doctorate
from the University - described
her decision to move to Eastern
as "the opportunity to move to a
great school, be a general counsel
at a real good school."
According to Eastern Univer-
sity spokesperson Walter raft,
Hage's responsibilities as gen-
eral counsel will include over-
seeing the University's entire
legal department and all its legal
"I am delighted to welcome
Gloria as a critical addition to
the Eastern Michigan University
leadership team," Eastern Michi-
gan University President Susan
Martin said in a press release.
"Gloria has an outstanding repu-
tation in the education and legal
community, and we know she
will make a strong contribution."
Hage's new appointment came
following an extensive search
by Eastern Michigan's Execu-
tive Council, a team comprised
of presidential cabinet members
and other University adminis-
tration officials. The search was
prompted by an announcement
made in November that East-
ern Michigan's current General
Counsel Ken McKanders - who
has served EMU since 1987 -
would be leaving effective Febru-
ary 28, 2010.
In the Office of the Vice Presi-
dent and General Counsel at the
University, Hage's primary role
has been managing the legal

affairs of the University with a
special focus on employment law
and staff benefits. In her capac-
ity as deputy general counsel,
Hage advised the University on
legal issues affecting its schools
and colleges, the University of
Michigan Health System and
regional and off-site facilities.
Hage's role at the Univer-
sity leaves big shoes to fill, and
according to Scarnecchia, the
Office of the General Counsel
has already begun its search for a
"It's a loss for us, but we have
a lot of talent in this office and I
will be appointing a new deputy
general counsel from within
most likely," Scarnecchia said.
"I'm going through that process
right now and then we'll probably
hire a new staff attorney to take
over some of the substantive legal
work that Gloria had in her area
of responsibility."
Despite the loss, officials from
both schools agreed the strong
relationship between the Univer-
sity of Michigan and EMU would
yield opportunities for Hage to
work with her former colleagues
again in the future.
"The universities are in align-
ment," Kraft said. "It also helps
us to have someone who is from
the area, familiar with this
region, certainly familiar with
Michigan and the issues that
Michigan faces."
Scarnecchia agreed, adding
that she's pleased Hage will still
be "a neighbor down the road" at
"think there'll be a lot of back
and forth phone calls between
the University of Michigan and
Eastern at least for a while,"
Scarnecchia said.
Hage said she's also looking
forward to continuing to work
with her University of Michigan
"I anticipate that there will
be many opportunities to col-
laborate with the University of
Michigan and the other public
universities in the state in the
future," she said.
Prior to serving as Associ-
ate Vice President and Deputy
General Counsel, Hage served as
interim vice president and gen-
eral counsel before Scarnecchia
was hired about two years ago.
Hage has also served in the role of
assistant general counsel for the
University and as interim chief
human resources officer in 2004.
Before coming to the Univer-
sity in 1992, Hage was an asso-
ciate attorney at Butzel Long, a
law firm with offices throughout
Michigan and in Washington,
D.C. and New York.
- Daily News Editor Kyle
Swanson contributed to this report.

University researchers say package of bills
could put big limits on stem cell research

From Page 1
Morrison wrote that one
example of this is in the case of
embryos that carry the gene for
Huntington's disease.
"Patients always elect to dis-
card embryos that are found to
carry the Huntington's disease
gene rather than using them for
fertility treatment," Morrison
wrote. "However, these embryos
would not meet the restrictive
new standard for 'unsuitable for
clinical use' in these bills because
the embryos probably implant
and develop normally."
He continued: "As a result,
Michigan families would be
forced to discard these embryos
rather than having the option to
donate them for research to cure
Huntington's disease."
But according to State Sen.
Tom George, chair of the Senate
Health Policy Committee, oppo-
nents of the bill are misinterpret-
ing what the bill would actually
"All of the hyperbole is simply
untrue," George said.
The bills seek to clarify the Ian-
guage used in Proposal 2, espe-
cially the phrase, 'unsuitable for
clinical use,' so that everyone is
on the same page before mov-
ing forward with the research,
according to George.
"If you have confusion that
doesn't serve anyone," he said.
George said the legislation
wouldn't ban the use of embryos
that carry genetic diseases for
research. Instead, the proposed
legislation limits the ability to
discard embryos based on non-
disease characteristics like hair
or eye color.
"All of the provisions are less
stringent than what they have in
Massachusetts and California,"
he said. "The penalties that we
have for violating the act are in
From Page 1
person," send or receive texts or
verbal messages, use the internet
or view an electronic map.
Driving or biking while using
a cell phone would be a primary
offense, meaning a violator could
be pulled over for that reason
alone. Anyone found in violation
of the ordinance would be subject
to a $125 fine or a $300 fine if the
driver caused an accident.
Exemptions from the ordi-
nance include using a hands-free
device or using the device to talk
to police, fire or medical person-
nel during an emergency. Police
officers and firefighters are also
At the meeting, Rapundalo said
there is a large body of research
suggesting that using electronics
behind the wheel is dangerous.
Rapundalo said the reason
behind excluding hands-free
devices from the proposed ordi-
nance is because it would be diffi-
cult to enforce, not because those
devices are any less dangerous.
"There certainly are studies
that clearly show that there is
no difference with handheld and
the level of distraction and that
of hands-free, so they're pretty
equivalent there," he said. "But


line with the penalties that are
used in other states that have
similar laws."
George also said opponents of
the bill didn't show an interest in
the writing of the proposed legis-
lation when input was welcomed
during various public hearings
and meetings.
"If they don't like the defini-
tion, then they had the oppor-
tunity to change it," he said.
"However, their response was to
do nothing."
If passed, the bills would also
mandate that researchers dis-
close information to the state
about decisions patients make
when seeking fertility treatment,
like what they want the embryos
to be used for and whether their
current children have any birth
Morrison wrote that forcing
researchers to release this infor-
mation would discourage people
from using state-run fertility
"I suspect that many patients
would be uncomfortable knowing
that their doctors would be forced
by these bills to make detailed
reports to the state government,"
he wrote. "Patients who are
uncomfortable with the govern-
ment tracking their reproductive
decisions might end up going out-
side of the state for fertility treat-
But George said the bill cre-
ates a reporting requirement that
involves a one-page summary
submitted annually that shows
the total number of embryos
being used for research.
George said the reporting
requirement would be an aggre-
gate count, and would thus be
"blind data."
"It is ludicrous to think that
someone would not seek treat-
ment because of a one-page
reporting requirement," George

George also said all state-sup-
ported institutions are already
required to submit stem-cell
research reports to the federal
government, and therefore there
wouldn't be any new reporting
required from the University. Pri-
vate institutions, though, current-
ly don't have to send such reports,
and would then be required by
the state to do so if the bills pass
through the state government, he
State Sen. Liz Brater (D-Ann
Arbor) expressed concern that
if passed, the restrictions would
negatively affect the state's stem
cell research industry.
"The bills seem to be intended
to harass researchers," Brater
said. "We have the potential to
be a world leader in stem cell
research. The proposals are
already embedded in the consti-
tutional amendment, and they are
totally unnecessary."
Brater went on to say that the
University of Michigan has the
facilities necessary to attract
researchers to the state. But
restrictions in the bills - like
placing researchers in prison for
something as minor as not fil-
ing paperwork properly - would
dissuade out-of-state researchers
from coming to Michigan, reduc-
ing job opportunities in the state,
she said.
"Health care is one of the most
profitable sectors in the Michigan
economy," Brater said.
But George said if passed, the
measures in the bills wouldn't
discourage researchers from
coming to the state.
"Researchers will come if
they're paid," he said.
George said the proposed
restrictions are similar to those
placed on tattoo parlors in the
state. Tattoo industry regulations
like mandating the use of clean

needles and licensing don't cause
tattoo parlors to be outsourced to
different states, he said.
"If we invest the money into the
industry and pay our research-
ers, they will be attracted to the
state," George said.
The University's chapter of
the Student Society for Stem
Cell Research recently vocalized
its opposition to the proposed
restrictions by participating in
Capitol Day on Tuesday, when
advocates for stem cell research
met in Lansing to protest the bill.
"The citizens of Michigan were
able to voice their opinions when
Proposal 2 came on the ballot,"
Engineering sophomore Shwetha
Suresh Maddur, political advo-
cacy chair of SSSCR, wrote in an
e-mail interview. "These restric-
tions are slowing down the efforts
of scientists to cure diseases."
Morrison wrote that though
some proponents of the bill have
said they respect the measures
that the 2008 ballot initiative
allow, he is skeptical about their
true intentions.
"When proponents of these
bills say they accept the results of
Prop. 2 and just want to regulate
the research, that's like me say-
ing that I accept we need an auto
industry but just want to regulate
it by making it illegal for cars to
have wheels in Michigan," Mor-
rison wrote.
But George disagrees, saying
both researchers and politicians
need to read the proposed legisla-
tion to better understand the pro-
visions outlined within it.
"Any industry has an automatic
response to oppose oversight,"
George said. "I am very disap-
pointed with this response, which
has portrayed legislators as cave-
men thinking in the past."
The bills now await votes in the
State Senate Health Policy Com-

From Page 1
according to the press release.
"A large part of what we do
at the University of Michigan
really relates to collecting data
and making that data accessible,"
Jackson said.
In addition to renovating
those spaces, Jackson said ISR
officials hope to add conference
rooms and a 220-seat auditorium
with two floors of research space
above it.
"One of the important things
we do in the social sciences is to
bring people together for confer-
ences and scientific meetings,"
Jackson said. "So we're going to
increase our capacity to do that
by having meeting room space
and a major auditorium that will
be on the first floor."
Jackson said the award will
also give the ISR an opportunity
to start updating the facility with
video conferencing and other
communication technologies.
"ISR was built in 1955, and
there has been a lot of progress
made with regard to how we
communicate, so we're going to
be upgrading our facility," Jack-
son said.
In addition to enhancing the
facility, Jackson said the con-
struction will provide opportu-
nities for employment for local

"We're expecting to create
temporary and 'long-term jobs
because construction's going to
create opportunities for people
to work," Jackson said.
Jackson added that with the
new space the institute will be
able to employ more researchers.
Currently the staff of ISR con-
sists of research scientists who
generally have a Ph.D. in one of
the social behavior disciplines,
research assistants and associ-
ates who are involved in data
collection and administrative
support staff, according to Jack-
"The new building and new
opportunities will mean we'll
probably be hiring people on all
those levels," Jackson said.
Dingell praised the grant and
wrote in his press release that
it will help bring more jobs to
the area in an important area of
"ISR's expansion provides a
unique potential for job growth:
opening up new positions for the
unemployed in Michigan and
solidifying opportunities for tal-
ented college graduates," Dingell
The next step in the process
will be for the University's Board
of Regents to approve the award
and construction plans, which
could take anywhere from 14 to
18 months, Jackson said.

it's a matter of, can you enforce
one or both?"
A 2006 study by the University
of Utah found that talking on a
cell phone - even with a hands-
free device - is just as dangerous
as driving with a blood-alcohol
level of 0.08 percent, the legal
limit in Michigan.
Another study done in 2005 by
the Insurance Institute for High-
way Safety found that talking on
a cell phone made a driver four
times more likely to get into an
At the meeting, some council-
members called into question the
provision prohibiting the use of
GPS devices. Repaundalo defend-
ed the provision by explaining
that many cell phones have GPS
"I think this simply identifies
the fact that it's as much a dis-
traction as use of a cell phone," he
Councilmember Tony Derezin-
ski (D-Ward 2) said he's hopeful
that the ordinance might serve
as a model for a future statewide
"Sometimes the local commu-
nities are the laboratories for laws
the state usually adopts, some-
times long after," he said.
Seven states have laws banning
talking on a cell phone while driv-
ing and 21 states and the District

of Columbia ban texting while
President Barack Obama issued
an executive order last October
banning federal employees from
using a cell phone while driving
on official business. This was
part of a larger campaign by the
U.S. Department of Transporta-
tion to curb distracted driving,
according to distracted.gov.
Legislation banning texting
while driving has passed both
houses of the Michigan Legisla-
ture, but hasn't yet been signed
into law by Democratic Gov. Jen-
nifer Granholm, though she has
vocalized support for the ban.
At the meeting, Ann Arbor
mayor John Hieftje said the city
shouldn't wait for the state to
pass a law similar to the city ordi-
nance. -
"If anyone had the idea of wait-
ing for the state to do something
on this all we have to do is take
a look at what happened with
smoking," he said, referencing the
statewide smoking ban in indoor
public places, which will go into
effect May 1.
Councilmember Stephen Kun-
selman (D-Ward 3) suggested
an age restriction of 16 or above
to prevent police from detaining
children for using a cell phone
while biking, but councilmember
Margie Teall (D-Ward 4) coun-

tered by saying young people
should be warned against this
kind of behavior.
"I would hope that the messag-
es are still getting out to young-
sters that this is not a good idea,"
Teall said. "If it takes a police
officer to give a gentle reminder
that this isn't the smart thing to
do, I think we'll all be the better
for that."
Rapundalo said police officers
would have to make a judgment
call on an individual basis.
Many students said they sup-
port the proposed ordinance
and they feel using an electronic
device while driving or biking is
often hazardous.
LSA freshman Meredith
Luneack said there have been sit-
uations in which she felt endan-
gered by distracted drivers and
thought the ban was a good idea.
"Maybe if I had a car or was
more active on a bike I would
feel differently, but I feel it would
keep me a little safer," she said.
LSA sophomore Amira Belwa-
fa said she supports the ban and
even thought higher fines would
be a good idea, but didn't think it
would be popular with the major-
ity of students.
"I think there's a lot of people
who are attached to their cell
phones who are going to think
this is a terrible idea," she said.

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