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December 10, 2013 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-12-10

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


firm or not,
faculty want

Business junior Sumana Palle speaks during the Student Union of Michigan's protest against the Administrative Services Transformation
project at the Fleming Building Monday
Protest voices staff qualms

Students march with
staff across campus
against shared services
Daily Staff Reporter
Through bitter winds and the frigid
snowfall,echoes of"chop fromthe top"
and "noAST cuts"resonated across the
Marching from Rackham Audito-
rium to the Fleming Administration
Building, almost 5o students, faculty
and staff gathered Monday to deliver
a letter to Rowan Miranda, associate
vice president for finance. Miranda is
one of the administrators involved in
the implementation of the proposed
Shared Services Center -but has come
under fire because of his previous rela-

tionship with the consulting firm that
designed the initiative.
The center, a component of the
Administrative Services Transforma-
tion project, would consolidate some
University departmental staff mem-
bers into a central location on State
Street near the University's Wolverine
Tower, creating an estimated savings
of $5 to $6 million per year. The tran-
sition would move almost 300 cleri-
cal employees to the new location and
would require that they re-interview
for their new positions.
While University administrators
announced that they will delay the
transition due to a slew of faculty con-
cerns and a 1200-signiture strong peti-
tion, the group assembled Monday to
demand a full rollback of the AST ini-
Rackham student Brian Whitener,
a member of the Student Union of

Michigan, said the letter delivered to
Miranda includes a job application for
him to fill out to be evaluated by the
group of protesters. The gesture comes
after staff members affected by the
Shared Services Center were required
to re-interview for their jobs with the
Along with the Student Union of
Michigan, members of the Graduate
Employee's Organization and Lectur-
ers' Employee Organization also par-
ticipated in the march.
Whitener said the mixed group
of student and faculty participants
reflect the importance of halting the
AST initiative by demonstrating how
it negatively affects the majority of the
campus population.
"We think that the University should
be run in a different way and it should
be run with the priorities of students,
See PROTEST, Page 5

Senate Assembly
discusses concerns over
faculty involvement in
staffing decisions
Daily Staff Reporter
The last meeting for the Senate
Assembly's calendar year brought
about 60 faculty members to Palm-
er Commons Monday afternoon.
Ultimately, the group decided to
endorse two resolutions related to the
Administrative Services Transfor-
mation initiative that the Senate Advi-
sory Committee on University Affairs
drafted at their meeting last week.
To start off the meeting, SACUA
chair Karen Staller provided a time-
line for the University's actions lead-
ing up to the AST, beginning with the
use of Hackett consulting company in
2009. Hackett conducted a survey and
analyzed data before suggesting the
AST and IT Rationalization as poten-
tial cost management strategies by
consolidating staff positions found to
be redundant.
Discussing AST, Staller acknowl-
edged that the University is experienc-
ing "tough times of belt tightening"

LSA faculty, staff
hope to suspend
project until 2016

and that the painless parts of budget
cuts, or "low-hanging fruit" like con-
solidating information technology,
have already been implemented. She
added that even after the administra-
tion officially postponed any AST-
related action until April of next year,
the faculty still has concerns about
the program's transparency and who
makes the final decisions.
"Last week the provost told the
deans of all the schools to talk with
their faculty (about AST), and we
had our meeting in Social Work on
Wednesday," she said.
This comes after department heads
were originally told not to discuss
changes with affected staff mem-
bers-characterized by some as a gag
order-which caused rumors and fears
to grow about the AST initiative.
The first resolution addressed the
AST process, criticizing the use of an
outside consulting firm - Accenture
LLP - and claimed there was not
"a meaningful participation of and
evaluation by the faculty, resulting in
inadequate considerationofthe conse-
quences and effects of this program."
The Senate Assembly endorsed the
"suspension of the implementation
of AST until its impact on the educa-
tional and teaching missions of the
University can be fully considered and
Study: Even
normal noise
exposure can
be dangerous
Researchers linkloudness
to highblood pressure
and heartproblems
Daily Staff Reporter
Does danger lurk in your iPod?
Thursday, Public Health Assistant
Prof. Richard Neitzel and a team at the
School of Public Health published find-
ings related to the dangers of prolonged
exposure to noise. Neitzel said noise is
often overlooked as a potential health
hazard, both in occupational settings
and daily life. While people often asso-
ciate loud noises with hearing loss,
prolonged exposure to even moderate
noise levels may have other serious
health consequences, including high
blood pressure and heart attack.
Following his research appearing
in the journal Environmental Health
Perspectives, Neitzel said he hopes the
paper will reenergize the conversation
about noise as a health hazard - a topic
that has seen little research over the
last several decades.
"(Noise) is something almost no one
thinks about, compared to something
like air pollution," Neitzel said. "In a
way, it's like the wild west of exposures
in that we tolerate it being there and
haven't looked into it much, really since
the 1970s."
Neitzel conducted the first portion
of his research in New York City, where
he studied environmental factors that
contribute to hearing loss. Surpris-

ingly, he found that most people were
"driving their own exposure" through
See NOISE, Page 5

Faculty debate AST at
special meeting called
by interim dean
Daily News ditor
In a special forum called by interim
LSA Dean Susan Gelman at last week's
regularly scheduled faculty meeting.
About 250 LSA professors and faculty
members met in Rackham Auditorium
Monday evening to debate the contro-
versial Administration Services Trans-
formation project - which would
consolidate some University staff in a
central location and save the Univer-
sity an estimated $5 to $6 million per
The group of faculty passed a
motion that calls for AST to be delayed
for two years. Its implementation
would then be reevaluated pending "a
more thorough" examination of alter-
natives, determination of costs and
benefits, and consultation with the
affected schools, colleges, faculty and
staff members.
American Culture Prof. Gregory
Dowd, the chair of the American Cul-
ture Department, brought forth the
motion. He hopes it will open fur-
ther discussion on the consultation
between faculty and top administra-
tors, negating any consequences of a,
rushed implementation. Additionally,
faculty members hope to increase the
transparency of the decision-making
process between administrators and
the rest of the campus community, a
common complaint of the administra-

tion's handling of the project thus far.
A copy of the resolution will be sent
to University President Mary Sue Cole-
man; University Provost Martha Pol-
lack; E. Royster Harper, vice president
for student life; and Timothy Slottow,
executive vice president and chief
financial officer.
AST was developed through an
$11.7 million contract with Accen-
ture, a major consulting firm, signed
earlier this year. Since the University
announced the plan, it has garnered
criticism from diverse campus constit-
uencies. Almost 1,200 faculty members
have signed a petition against the tran-
sition, and multiple departments have
sent letters directly to top administra-
. Earlier Monday, about 50 students,
faculty and staff delivered a letter to
Rowan Miranda, associate vice presi-
dent of finance and one of the leaders
in implementing the proposed Shared
Services Center initiative, demanding
that Miranda should resign and reap-
ply for his position. Miranda previ-
ously worked for Accenture's higher
education practice - which some have
viewed asa conflict of interest with his
current position.
University administrators
announced last week that they will
delay the transition to the Shared Ser-
vices Center until after April and con-
tinue to reevaluate the extent of the
initiative in the wake of faculty outcry.
Astronomy Prof. Sally Oey, a mem-
ber of the Senate Assembly Committee
on University Affairs, brought forth
an amendment clarifying that the
implementation would be reevaluated
See PROJECT, Page5

Engineering senior Stacie Desousa makes a pancake for the Pantanal Partnership at the
Duderstadt Center Monday.
Affordable Care Act
could be costly forU

Young adults will have
big impact on future of
health law, experts say
Daily Staff Reporter
Come Jan. 1, many Americans will
receive health insurance - some
for the first time - under the provi-
sions of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, also known as
Obamacare. However, as the Dec. 23
enrollment deadline for health cover-
age in 2014 approaches, questions and

uncertainty abound, both at the, Uni-
versity and around the nation.
Of particular concern for health-
care providers are reimbursement
rates - the amount of money a hos-
pital receives from insurance compa-
nies for providing care - which will
likely change as individuals enroll in
or switch insurance plans.
In preparation for these impend-
ing financial adjustments, the Uni-
versity of Miphigan Health System
has been performing extensive sen-
sitivity analyses, which allow admin-
istrators to estimate potential shifts
in coverage within the population it
See ACT, Page5

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