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April 19, 2011 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-19

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

events draw big
crowds in Detroit
Scores of baby boomers in the
Detroit area are looking to start
second careers as small busi-
ness owners during a tough local
economy and lingering national
Officials at the TechTown busi-
ness incubator at Wayne State
University say nearly a third of
the people attending recruitment
events are older than 46. Ten per-
cent are over 56.
More than 5,000 people
attended entrepreneurial events
over the past year and organizers
have trained about 1,200 people
on what it takes to start a small
business and succeed.
Executive Director Randall
Charlton tells The Associated
Press that baby boomers, like
younger small business hopefuls,
are looking for success as their
own bosses.
After Katrina
damage, hospital
to break ground
Despite funding worries,
ground has been broken on a $1.2
billion hospital in the heart of
New Orleans to replace one shut-
tered by Hurricane Katrina flood-
The groundbreaking was held
yesterday in a parking lot where
part of the hospital will be built.
It will serve as a teaching hospital
for medical students and a pri-
mary health center for the New
Orleans region.
The ceremony was overshad-
owed by questions over whether
the state had the funding to build
the mammoth project to replace
Charity public hospital. Repub-
lican U.S. Sen. David Vitter also
raised new opposition that the
expansion was too costly.
Residents have pushed for
Chare tu.4 pen, btbofficials'.
Dominican court
jails ex-wife of
reputed drug lord
A Dominican court has jailed
the ex-wife of a reputed Caribbe-
an drug kingpin for at least three
Leavy Nin Batista has been
detained on suspicion of laun-
dering money for her former
husband's alleged trafficking net-
work. No charges have been filed,
but the Dominican legal system
allows for preventive detention.
Five Spanish agents escorted
the 33-year-old Batista from
Madrid to the Dominican capital
over the weekend. She was jailed

Batista's ex-husband is Jose
Figueroa Agosto, captured last
year in Puerto Rico on suspicion
of shipping Colombian cocaine
to the U.S. mainland.
Batista allegedly fled to
Europe in 2009 with a fraudu-
lent passport.
40 Mediterranean
fish species likely
to face extinction
A new study suggests that
more than 40 fish species in the
Mediterranean could vanish in
the next few years.
The study released today by
the International Union for Con-
servation of Nature says almost
half of the species of sharks and
rays in the Mediterranean and at
least 12 species of bony fish are
threatened with extinction due
to overfishing, pollution and the
loss of habitat.
Commercial catches of blue-
fin tuna, sea bass, hake and
dusky grouper are particularly
threatened, said the study by the
Swiss-based IUCN, an environ-
mental network of 1,000 groups
in 160 nations.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Director of multicultural From Page1A

program.at U' to retire

Robbie Townsel
has been with
'U' for 25 years
After 25 years of dedicated
service, Robbie Townsel, the
director of the Multicultural
Affairs Program within Univer-
sity Housing, is retiring.
In her current position,
Townsel played a pivotal role in
developing the Diversity Peer
Educator program that provides
support and counseling for stu-
dents and organizes various
events in University residence
The program is a branch of
Cultural Awareness and Diver-
sity Education within Univer-
sity Housing and was developed
under Townsel's guidance.
Patricia Griffin, associate direc-
tor of Residence Education and
a colleague of Townsel's in the
Cultural Awareness program,
said Townsel has always made
it a priority to be attuned to stu-
dents' needs.
"She really took that program
from the early '80s and trans-
formed it based on the experi-
ences and needs of students on
campus," Griffin said.
Townsel began working at the
University in 1986 as a duplicator
operator - which involved mak-
ing reproductions of documents
before they were computerized
- before taking a job as a Univer-
sity Housing program assistant,
which eventually led to her role
as supervisor of multicultural
Townsel's constant passion
for her work is evident in the
support she provides for stu-
dents of diverse backgrounds on
campus, Griffin added.
"The thing that I think is most
memorable about Robbie is her
passion and advocacy for stu-

dents, and particularly students
of color," Griffin said. "She is
known on campus as a person
who is passionate about social
justice issues and really helps
students navigate systems."
Griffin said Townsel's dedi-
cation to students, who visit
her even after they graduate,
has allowed her to form lifelong
friendships with them.
"(She) focuses on supporting
students from a variety of eth-
nic backgrounds," Griffin said.
"She educates herself and those
around her to really think about
what does it mean to be in a mul-
ticultural campus like ours."
When Townsel began work-
ing with the program, there
were only four University rec-
ognized minority groups: Afri-
can Americans, Latinos, Asians
and Native Americans. She said
one of her initiatives was to rec-
ognize more minority groups
so that students can "see their
culture represented in the Uni-
versity and to feel a part of the
"It's important for people of
other ethnicities to recognize
and to learn about other groups,"
she said. "... When you bring
functions into the residence
hall, it opens up a new learning
opportunity for students and
After she retires, Townsel
said she plans to do non-profit
work with adolescent girls and
pursue writing. She added that
she will remain in touch with
former students because she
enjoys hearing about their lives
and careers.
"Working with students has
been an absolute learning expe-
rience because as much as I've
shared my thoughts, my expe-
riences and my wisdoms with
them, that flow of conversation
has been positive to me," she
Darlene Ray-Johnson, direc-
tor and resolution officer of
Graduate Student Affairs at the

University, worked with Town-
sel in the past and said Town-
sel's dedication to students and
devotion to tolerance has made
her an important asset to the
"I've never known anyone
more committed to students.
That's what I remember about
her," Ray-Johnson said. "There
was no time, day or night, that
she wasn't accessible and avail-
able for students."
Ray-Johnson added that
Townsel's sense of humor and
creativity helped her succeed
professionally and personally
because it allowed her to have
meaningful relationships with
"Her retirement is a real loss
for the University and for the
program, which she was affili-
ated with for so many years, and
so committed to and connected
with," Ray-Johnson said.
LSA senior Charlynn Bowers
said though she has only known
Townsel for a year, Townsel
encouraged her to get involved
and become a Diversity Peer
"(She is) very open and sup-
portive and just this really great
mentor and support system,
which I was really looking for-
ward to," Bowers said. "On any
given day (she) can make you
smile and just make you feel
good about whatever is going
Bowers said Townsel's lead-
ership style taught her how to
develop professional relation-
ships built on respect. She added
that Townsel's friendly demean-
or made her like a mother figure
to the students who worked with
her on campus.
"You can't replace Robbie's
style and attitude, and every-
thing about her is really special
to us," Bowers said. "She's done
so much and given so much of
herself to Michigan - not just
students, but the campus and
other faculty and staff."

was initially proposed in a 2006
report from the Committee to
Consider a More Flexible Tenure
Probationary Period, a faculty
advisory committee that report-
ed its findings to the provost.
In March, the University Sen-
ate voted 51-66 against endorsing
the extension of the probation-
ary period. Professors offered
opposing viewpoints about the
extension, which some worried
would delay granting tenure to
faculty unnecessarily.
In February, the Senate Advi-
sory Committee on University
Affairs - the leading faculty gov-
erning body on campus - called
for a change that would allow
an extension of the period on an
individual basis. The proposal
highlighted the "check box to
stop the clock" method, which
would make the procedure for
increasing the probationary
period easier than the current
method of filing for individual
SACUA Chair Ed Rothman
said at the time that the body
would be open to revisions to the
Though SACUA members pro-
posed at their meeting last week
to issue a poll to ask faculty about
their views on the probationary
period extension, the motion was
Hanlon's proposal is meant to
specifically help Medical School
faculty, who are often rushed
by the eight-year period. At
the February Board of Regents
meeting, several Medical School
faculty voiced their support
for the extension of the proba-
tionary period, listing research
issues and personal plans as
obstacles in meeting the current
maximum tenure clock of a sev-
en-year probationary period and
one terminal year.
However, during a two-week
period for public comment in
February, a variety of opinions
were received on the issue, with
many comments also in strong
opposition. In his recent e-mail
to University faculty, Hanlon
addressed these opinions and
said he considered their points
while reaching his decision
to propose the changes to the

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 3A
At their meeting this week,
the regents will also consider a
proposal to renovate the second
floor of the Michigan Memorial
Phoenix Library and add on to
the facility.
The renovation will update
the laboratory space to sup-
port the Memorial Phoenix
Energy Institute through a
10,000-square-foot renovation
and a 10,000-square-foot addi-
At the September 2010 Board
of Regents meeting, the regents
approved the schematic +design
for the project. The project will
include a replacement of the
building's electrical substation
and is estimated to cost nearly
$11.1 million.
The regents will also con-
sider a proposal to proceed with
the construction of the North
Campus Support Facility, which
will help to provide support for
research computing and data
storage by the University's Infor-
mation and Technology Services.
ITS has recommended a
700-square-foot modular data
center near the University's
Transportation Research Insti-
tute, which will provide neces-
sary repair equipment as well as
mechanical, electrical and data
infrastructure. The estimated
cost of the project is $6.2 mil-
On Thursday, the regents will
also consider an action request
to offer a new joint master's
degree in the School of Infor-
mation and the School of Public
Health, as well as a Graduate
Certificate Program in Health
The objective of the new
joint degree is to train experts
who will be able to approach
health information technolo-
gies through a human-centered
approach. The proposed pro-
gram will require 52 credits and
will be intended to be completed
over for two years of full-time
study. In addition, students will
be able to take six courses for
18 credits to achieve the health
informatics graduate certificate.
If the programs are approved,
enrollment for the master's
degree program would be
scheduled to start in fall 2012,
while the graduate certificate
enrollment would be intended
to start this fall.

From Page 1A
be included in the budget - they
said they expect the increase to
be below 7.1 percent. This rep-
resents the average tuition hike
of state universities and colleges
over the past five years.
In his state budget proposal
for the 2012 fiscal year, Repub-
lican Gov. Rick Snyder included
a 15-percent across-the-board
decrease in higher education
allocations. Schools that don't
keep their tuition increases
below 7.1 percent would receive
a 20-percent funding cut.
The approval of Snyder's
proposed budget would
reduce the University's state
funding by about $47.5 mil-
lion from the present amount
of approximately $316 mil-
lion. Under Snyder's pro-
posed plan, however, a tuition
increase of more than 7.1 per-
cent would cost the Univer-
sity an additional $14 million
cut in funding, which would
result in a total loss of about
$61.5 million.
Snyder's goal is to have
the state budget finalized by
May 31 - about four months
before the state fiscal year
officially begins. Coleman
said in an interview last
month that it would be ben-
eficial for the University if the
plan was finalized in May, so
the administrators can use
actual appropriation numbers
instead of projections when
they develop the University's
budget for next year.
"We're very hopeful that
the Legislature will act and
that everything will get
resolved in May, which is
what the governor had hoped
to have happen, but since we
don't have any certainty from
the state yet ... we are model-
ing the 15 percent," Coleman
After the regents meeting
in June, Coleman and Hanlon
said their schedules will be
less busy and they'll be able to
work on other projects. Cole-
man said she'll continue fun-
draising in preparation of the
opening of the new C.S. Mott
Children's and Von Voigt-

lander Women's Hospital in1
November. Coleman added that
will also spend time working on
projects for the North Campus
Research Complex.
"It'll be a very busy and very
active summer, but it'll be won-
derful, and I'm really looking
forward to it," Coleman said.
Hanlon said though he hadn't
figured out exactly what his
office's summer projects will be,
things should be less hectic than
"We're just now compiling
our list of summer projects we're
going to do around here, but it's
a time to be more thoughtful
when things aren't flying at us

right and left," he said.
Coleman and Hanlon said
they also plan on taking some
time off for themselves to pur-
sue their own research and to
"I have several days marked
off for research," said Hanlon,
whose research is in the math-
ematical field of Combinatorics.
"I will go on vacation at some
point for a few weeks."
Coleman also said she has
plans to have some time away
from Ann Arbor.
"In August, I'll take a little
time off and go visit my grand-
children," Coleman said. "So
that'll be great fun."


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