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November 15, 2011 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-15

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

T g m nTuesday, November 15, 2011 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
JEFFERSON, Iewa
GOP focus on
economy has
made Gingrich
stronger

Faculty to
receive health
incentives

His public support growing,
Republican presidential candi-
date Newt Gingrich said yester-
daythatvotersaretakingasecond
look at his candidacy because he
proved during recent debates that
he understands the enormity of
the nation's problems.
But he didn't really have to
make the point. Lillie Anderson
made it for him.
"I didn't enter this campaign
a Gingrich fan," the 76-year-old
Des Moines Republican told Gin-
grich after he addressed more
than 100 employees of a Des
Moines-area insurance com-
pany. "I'm closer than I was. I'm
more interested now."
Gingrich would have GOP vot-
ers like Anderson in Iowa and
other early voting states believe
he is on the verge of an astound-
ing rebound, after losing most of
his campaign staff in June after
a spiral of bad news, including
embarrassing financial revela-
tions and awkward comments
about the House Budget Com-
mittee chairman.
OAKLAND, Calif.
Oakland raid is
latest in 'Occupy'
camp crackdowns
Police decked in riot gear and
armed with tear gas cleared
out Oakland's anti-Wall Street
encampment early yesterday, the
latest law enforcement crack-
down amid complaints around
the country of health and safety
hazards at protest camps.
The raid at the Occupy Oak-
land camp, one of the largest and
most active sites in the move-
ment, came a day after police in
Portland, Ore., arrested more
than SO=people while -shutting
down its camp amid complaints
of drug use and sanitation issues.
Police in Burlington, Vt., also
evicted protesters after a man
fatally shot himself last week
inside a tent.
PARIS
Captured French
aid workers freed
after 6 months
Three French aid workers
captured by al-Qaida militants in
Yemen six months ago returned
home yesterday night, hours
after being freed thanks to help
from the sultan of Oman and a
possible ransom payment.
Kidnappers linked to al-
Qaida's offshoot in the region
had demanded $12 million in
exchange for the three and had
threatened to kill the hostages if
ransom wasn't paid imminently,
according to Yemeni officials.
The hostage ordeal came amid
an uprising against the 30-year
reign of President Ali Abdullah
Saleh that has unraveled security
in Yemen, the Arab world's poor-
est country. Al-Qaida-linked
militants have taken control of
entire towns in the country's res-
tive south.

ROME
New Italian prime
minister rushes to
build government
Italy's premier-designate
Mario Monti began talks yester-
day to create a new government of
non-political experts tasked with
overhauling an ailing economy
and keeping market fears over
the country from threatening the
existence of the euro.
Investors initially cheered
Monti's appointment, following
quickly on Silvio Berlusconi's
weekend resignation, though
concern lingered about the sheer
amount of work his new govern-
ment will have to do to restore
faith in the country's battered
economy and finances.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

TEmovRAMLNGRM/Daily
University Athletic Director Dave Brandon discusses sports and the economy in Blau Auditorium at the Ross School of
Business yesterday.
Brano:Football team--has
positive effect on economy

University athletic
director discusses
economic power of
Michigan athletics
By BEN SEIDMAN
Daily StaffReporter
As University Athletic Direc-
tor Dave Brandon, a three-time
Big Ten champion under for-
mer Michigan football coach Bo
Schembechler, took the stage,
he was welcomed by the famil-
iar sound of applause.
More than 200 students and
University communitymembers,
packed into Blau Auditorium
last night to hear Brandon and
Sports Management Prof. Rod-
ney Fort address some of the
key economic issues surround-
ing collegiate sports. Speaking
as part of the Phi Chi Theta
Professional Business and Eco-
nomics Fraternity's 7th annual
economic symposium, Brandon,
who became the University's
athletic director in March 2010,
focused mainly on the Michigan
football team and its positive
effect on the local economy.
"If you think of Michigan
athletics as an economic engine,
it's pretty big," Brandon said.
"It's pretty widespread, and we
have a lot of people going, a lot
of people doing a lot of things,
generating a lot of economic
benefit," Brandon said.
Brandon proceeded to
explain that intercollegiate ath-
letics is a highly competitive
and cut-throat business.
"The pressure to win is great
because people don't show up
if the team is losing," he said.
"Ticket sales fall and you lose
your price leverage on trying to
increase ticket price because it's

all about supply and demand.
If you win, donors donate nore
money. It's funny how that
works."
Hockey, men's basketball and
football provide funds for the
rest of the athletic program, with
one football game alone pro-
ducing $15 million in revenue,
according to Brandon. He added
that to remain competitive and
attract recruits, the University
needs to make investments in
infrastructure such as arenas,
stadiums and coaches.
"There is a facility arms race
where young 18-year-old men
and women who want to com-
pete at the next level are being
recruited, and when they make
their visits, (they) ask, 'Where
will I practice? Where will I
compete? What kind of infra-
structure is in place? Is this par-
ticular school serious about the
investment they're making in
my sport?"' Brandon explained.
To meet this demand, Bran-
don said the Athletic Depart-
ment "will continue to invest a
substantial millions of dollars in
the facilities that are required
to kind of feed our athletic pro-
gram to keep it successful."
Brandon closed with a ques-
tion-and-answer session in
which students expressed their
concerns and interests about
the University's apparel spon-
sorship switch from Nike to
Adidas, the use of Michigan Sta-
dium for events beside football
games and the commercializa-
tion of the Michigan brand.
Brandon said though he has
no plans to place advertising in
Michigan Stadium to create rev-
enue, the sponsorship Michigan
currently receives from Adi-
das helps financially. Brandon
added that he hopes to see the
University use Michigan Sta-
dium more innovatively.

"I'm frustrated over the fact
that we have such a terrific
venue that we only use seven or
eight times a year, and we have
to figure out ways to leverage
it," Brandon said. "We will try
to come up with very creative
ways to leverage all of the assets
that we have - particularly
those facilities that we made big
investments in. I still very much
want to do a concert."
Fort followed Brandon by
talking about college foot-
ball revenue from a historic
standpoint. He touched on the
reformation of the football
conferences, the inability of
recessions to affect consumer
interest in college football and
Michigan's athletic budget.
"The athletic departments
are sustainable because they are
a pretty sound investment with
a pretty reasonable return given
the small amount of money the
University actually puts into it,"
Fort said.
Engineering junior Sajan
Shah, secretary of Phi Chi
Theta, and Business senior
Michael Tepatti, the fraterni-
ty's vice president of external
affairs, said they were pleased
with the large turnout at the
symposium.
"(Brandon) addressed a lot of
concerns that the crowd had,"
Shah said. "I think a lot of the
students got their questions
answered about pressing issues
on campus."
Tepatti added that the speak-
ers spoke well to issues that
affect the student body.
"We wanted to pursue a topic
that would touch on current
issues, and we want to promote
an interest in economics to the
rest of the student body at Mich-
igan," Tepatti said. "We thought
that the speakers ... would be
best for this."

Proposed plan
would reduce
monthly premiums
By MARY HANNAHAN
DaiyStaffReporter
Due to steep health care costs
for University employees, the
University's Benefits Office is
coming up with a planto provide
more incentives for faculty and
staff to live healthier lifestyles.
Ted Makowiec, benefits strat-
egist for the University, spoke to
the Senate Advisory Committee
on University Affairs in a meet-
ing yesterday about a three-step
plan that the University would
like to implement in fall 2013.
Makowiec called the plan the
"1-2-3 approach," in which fac-
ulty and staff would receive a
$20 monthly premium reduc-
tion in their health care plan and
another $20 monthly reduction
for their spouses or other quali-
fied dependents. The reduction
plan would span three years.
Under the "1-2-3 approach,"
employees would be eligible for
the $20 monthly reduction in
their first year of employment by
taking an assessment that deter-
minesiftheyare athigh, medium
or low health risk. Second-year
employees would need to under-
go another risk assessment along
with a biometric screening - a
brief health exam that tests cho-
lesterol level, blood pressure and
height and weight to determine
patients' risk for certain diseas-
es and conditions. For the third
year, employees would need to
consult their clinicians regard-
ing health concerns, such as
smoking and hypertension, and
work to decrease their health-
risks to receive the reduction.
Makowiec told the lead fac-
ulty governing body that the
approach would allow faculty
and staff to plan their finances
accordingly and make an easier
transition to an active lifestyle,
while becoming more engaged
with MHealthy programs. The
University has spent $20 million
on MHealthy programs such
as low-cost fitness and dietary
coaching and discounts on
Weight Watchers programs, that
are available to faculty and staff

members.
Laurita Thomas, the Univer-
sity's associate vice president
for human resources, said the
University is hoping the initial
costs will pay off in the long run
through reductions in employ-
ees' health care costs. She added
that individuals would not be
held accountable for not attain-
ing their fitness goals under the
new incentives plan. Rather, the
University will measure change
in the health of the faculty and
staff collectively.
"If there are outcomes associ-
ated with this, it is that we are
trying to increase the health
of our community and reduce
health care costs," Thomas said.
"We are not tracking outcomes
for any individual. We are look-
ing at aggregate data from the
population."
SACUA member Charles
Koopman, associate chair of the
Medical School's Department
of Otolaryngology, said though
MHealthy offers good fitness
programs, the University should
focus more on improving its rec-
reational facilities before they
expect faculty and staff to exer-
cise more.
"We don't have the facilities
to implement this," Koopman
said. "We're at the bottom of
the Big Ten in our facilities, and
if you deny it, then I'm going to
take you to Wisconsin or North-
western or Indiana and say,
'Take a look."'
Koopman estimated it would
cost the University anywhere
from $100 million to $200 mil-
lion to undergo large-scale
renovations of its recreational
facilities. He added that until
renovations happen, the Univer-
sity should subsidize employees'
-cost of using the workout facili-
ties. Membership for the Uni-
versity's recreational facilities is
$80 for the current semester.
SACUA member Rachel Gold-
man, professor of physics and
engineering, said she also likes
that MHealthy offers affordable
fitness classes, but faculty and
staff who are not accustomed to
exercising are at risk for being
injured during these classes. In
order to preventinjury, Goldman
said MHealthy should have pre-
ventative health education clin-
ics in addition to fitness classes.

COLEMAN
From Page _
In her letter, Coleman suggest-
ed that the state use the Carnegie
Classification of Institutions of
Higher Education - a framework
for understanding institutional
differences of universities across
the country - to determine the
appropriate state funding alloca-
tion for the University.
Coleman lauded the Univer-
sity's previous and current cost-
cutting efforts, but said these
reductions will not be possible
if the state continues to limit its
financial support.
With about $268.5 million
from the state for the current fis-
cal year, the University receives
about 30 percent less funding
from the state than it did 10 years
ago. State appropriations for the
University decreased by $47.5
million from the 2011 fiscal year.
Coleman added that contin-
ued investment in the University
will mean success for the state.
In an interview in September
with The Michigan Daily, Uni-
versity Provost Phillip Hanlon
said the University plans to work
closely with the state to over-
come budget challenges. Han-
lon said Republican Gov. Rick
Snyder's two-year budget plan,
which includes next year's bud-
get, allows for University input.

He added that University admin-
istrators are happy to discuss the
budget with state officials.
"We're giving whatever input
we can, and we're watching and
waiting," Hanlon said.
Hanlon also said Nixon and
other state officials have been
open to listening to the sugges-
tions and concerns of University
administrators.
"We expect that there will be
a lot of discussion however they
decide to do the appropriation,"
Hanlon said.
REGENTS TO REVIEW
RENOVATIONS TO TWO
RESIDENCE HALLS
The regents will also discuss
the details of planned renova-
tions to East Quad and Baits II
Residence Halls.
The regents approved the $116
million renovation of East Quad
at their July meeting. At their
meeting this Thursday, they will
review the proposed schematic
design of the project, which aims
to improve the infrastructure of
the 300,000 gross square-foot
residence hall.
In a communication to the
regents, E. Royster Harper, vice
president for student affairs, and
Timothy Slottow, executive vice
president and chief financial offi-
cer, wrote that the Residential
College uses spaces in East Quad

that are not designated for aca-
demic purposes. The communi-
cation suggests that the project
will remedy this - making East
Quad a more suitable home for
the approximately 860 residents
and allocating more space for the
Residential College.
The regents will also review
the renovation of Baits II, which
is projected to cost about $12 mil-
lion.
If approved, the renovation
of Baits II would update the
175,000 gross square-foot com-
plex, which houses about 575 stu-
dents. The new building would
have updated fire safety devices,
high-speed Internet, refurnished
rooms and environmentally
sustainable windows and roofs.
University officials expect that
the project will be completed in
summer 2013.
Last week, University Hous-
ing announced that Baits I Resi-
dence Hall will close its doors
to the approximately 571 stu-
dents it houses after winter 2012.
According to University Hous-
ing spokesman Peter Logan, the
building's boiler systems need to
be replaced, which would cost $6
million. Additionally, the resi-
dence hall fails to meet the stan-
dards prescribed by University
Housing's Residential Life Ini-
tiatives, according to University
Housing Director Linda New-
man.

MSA
From Page 1
ter relationship with graduate
students. Watson also said he
would like to see more involve-
ment from graduate students.
"There is this self-perpet-
uating dilemma where gradu-
ate students look at MSA and
say we don't address gradu-
ate student issues, but part of
the reason why that percep-
tion exists ... is because we
don't have graduate student
representation to bring up the
issues," Watson said. "We need
to figure out a way to stop that
cycle from spinning itself out
of control."
Watson said one way to do
this is by implementing more
lenient attendance policies to
entice graduate students who
may be too busy to act as MSA
representatives. He added
that graduate students should
have "more flexibility" in their
involvement in the student gov-
ernment. However, the idea has
not been addressed during an
assembly meeting.
There are 10 open Rackham
student seats on the assembly
for this election. Watson said
he expects the two current
Rackham representatives to
retain their seats as write-ins.
Patrick O'Mahen, a member of
GEO and a former columnist for
The Michigan Daily, is the only
Rackham student running in
the upcoming election.
O'Mahen wrote in an e-mail

interview that graduate stu-
dents don't typically partici-
pate in MSA because of their
demanding academic schedules
and different lifestyles from
undergraduate students.
"We're at a different point in
our lives than undergrads," he
wrote. "Many of us are married
and have children."
Still, O'Mahen wrote that
MSA can positively affect grad-
uate students.
"MSA has an ability to lobby
University administrators to
better the University communi-
ty," O'Mahen wrote. "I'm look-
ing forward to working with
MSA to make sure that admin-
istrators respect the rights
of graduate student research
assistants."
MSA passed a resolution at
its meeting last Tuesday in sup-
port of GSRAs' right to hold a
vote to determine their union-
ization status.
Another issue that gradu-
ate students currently face,
O'Mahen wrote, is attaining
subsidies for child care for stu-
dents who have children.
Watson said he would like to
see more than 4,000 students
come out to the polls, achiev-
ing a "minimum threshold" of a
10-percent student voter turn-
out. There was an 11-percent
voter turnout for the student
government elections in March.
The candidates come from
MForward, the Defend Affir-
mative Party and the Michigan
Vision Party. The polls close
Thursday night at midnight.

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