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April 11, 2014 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-11

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c Illicloan 41F 4466F

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Friday, April 11, 2014


'U' appoints
first shared
services ctr.

Pamela Gabel to
head 275-person
staff after location
opens in August
Daily Staff Reporter
On Thursday, the University
appointed an executive director
to run the Shared Services Center
that will consolidate some Uni-
versity support staff into a central
location near Wolverine Tower.
The center is part of the Uni-
versity's larger Administrative
Services Transformation, a cost
containment measure aiming to
save $120 million from fiscal years
2013 to 2017.
Pamela Gabel, current director
of My Service Center, a division of
the building supplier Masco Cor-
poration that employees 15,000
people, will head the 275-person
staff at the shared services center
when it opens in August. She will
begin her role on April 28.
Al Franzblau, vice provost for
academic and budgetary affairs,

said in a University press release
that over 70 applicants were con-
sidered for the job. He added that
the search and selection processes
included faculty and staff feed-
"Our selection process includ-
ed bringing finalists to campus
to make presentations and take
questions from audiences that
included staff from the project
team, administrators from aca-
demic units and central offices,
faculty members and some of the
future staff members of the Shared
Services Center," Franzblau said.
"Their collective guidance was
very important to the final selec-
tion of our service center's leader."
The Shared Services Center is
slated to open in August with a
small number of staff. The center
will be fully staffed and at opera-
tional capacity by winter 2015.
Over the course of the center's
planning period, there has been
significant controversy regarding
its implementation. In November
and December, staff and faculty
spoke outcstrongly against the Uni-
versity's handling of the project. A
petition that circulated the faculty
See LEADER, Page 3

Rapper 2 Chainz performs at Hill Auditorium as a part of the SpringFest festivities Thursday. Ben Folds and J. Cole were the headlining acts in previous years.
Chainz headlines day-
long SpringFest festivi"tie

MUSIC Matters
presents largest
installment of
annual event
Daily Staff Reporter
In the third installment of its
annual SpringFest celebration,
MUSIC Matters pulled out all
the stops Thursday.

Rain served as an enforced
recess between the afternoon's
activities and the night's cap-
stone concert - which cli-
maxed as rapper 2 Chainz
strolled onto the Hill Audito-
rium stage, bellowinghis moni-
ker to the heavens.
During the day, food
trucks and live entertainment
stretched along North Uni-
versity Avenue from Hatcher
Graduate Library to North Uni-
versity Avenue, while 40 stu-
dent organizations, organized

by themed tents, presented
their year's work. Lasting from
11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the festivities
built up to 2 Chainz: the day's
headlining act.
After his performance, 2
Chainz explained in an inter-
view how he connects to a
diverse set of audiences.
"I just think I'm very trans-
parent," he said. "What you see
is what you get. I'm like this
on and off camera - at home,
chillin' out. I've got a good spir-
it. I'm very blessed and I think

that kind of projects to the
crowd. It's organic. People like
it and I appreciate it."
LSA senior Phil Schermer,
MUSIC Matters president, said
SpringFest as a whole - which
was revamped to resemble
Austin music and technology
festival South By Southwest -
exceeded his expectations.
"My phone was dead for 45
minutes," he said. "I turned
it back on - had 46 texts from
people who were excited about

Council vote
asks to limit
athletic dept.
City calls on 'U' to
consider S. State
Street Corridor plan
during site planning
Daily Staff Reporter
The University is currently
developing more specific plans
for the recently acquired 16.7-acre
Edwards Brothers Malloy prop-
erty on South State Street, but the
city might have a few things to say
about their ambitions.
Ann Arbor's Planning Commis-
sion drafted a resolution that was
passed by city council Monday that
includes suggestions to the Uni-
versity in their usage of the prop-
erty. The Planning Commission
and city council requests that the
University act in accordance with
the city's master plan - specifically
with the "South State Street Cor-
ridor Plan."
The Ann Arbor City Council has
had numerous discussions on the
Edwards Brothers property. A 6-5
menting their right to purchase the
site before the University, allowing
the University to instead take pos-
session of the property.
Some of those in favor of the
purchase argued that if the Uni-
versity was allowed to purchase
the land, future revenue from taxes
would come off the books since the
See COUNCIL, Page 3

UW chancellor
talks inequality
problems in U.S.

A student from Lawrence Tech University operates a Lego robot that plays the piano at Robotics Day at the North
Campus Research Complex Thursday. The event showcased robotics advancements from around Ann Arbor.
Annul aevent celebrates
advance-ments inrobotics

Students, local
businesses give
demonstrations of
new technology
Daily StaffReporter
Robots invaded campus
Thursday when government
agencies, businesses and stu-
dents showcased the latest in
robotic and automated vehicle
innovations at adaylongshow-
case for the fourth annual
Robotics Day.
The event highlighted
local advancements in robot-
ics with demonstrations by
students from the College
of Engineering, local high
schools and representatives
from local businesses. The
conference also featured panel

discussions on topics ranging
from the commercial applica-
tions for drones to the future
of robots in aiding health and
Many small businesses
showcased their latest prod-
ucts, including Cybernet Sys-
tems Corporation, an Ann
Arbor business that invented
today's fastest selling robotic
consumer technology, and
SkySpecs, an Ann Arbor
drone-making operation.
Though the event placed
an emphasis on private inno-
vation, it did not ignore the
role that government agencies
have played in the develop-
ment of robotic technology.
In a speech at the event,
state Rep. Gretchen Driskell
(D-Saline) recognized the
state's involvement in develop-
ing robotics at the University
and establishing a partnership
between industry and the gov-

Dawn Tilbury, associate
dean for research and gradu-
ate education at the College
of Engineering, said the Uni-
versity frequently combines
public and private funding to
launch research projects.
She said 75 percent of Col-
lege of Engineering research
is funded by federal and state
governments and businesses
contribute a fraction of the
overall budget as well.
"Sometimes you can't get
the money just from the Uni-
versity, you need to partner
with industry to get the fed-
eral funds," Tilbury said. "It's
complicated, but alot of times
those projects are very suc-
cessful in transferring the
results of the research into
industry because you're part-
nering with the company right
up front."
See ROBOTICS, Page 3

Rebecca Blank
offers her stance on
opportunity gaps
Daily StaffReporter
The national discussion on
income inequality reached
campus Thursday afternoon as
Rebecca Blank, chancellor of
University of Wisconsin-Mad-
ison, gave her interpretation of
the disparity of opportunity in
the United States.
Before her role as chancellor at
Wisconsin, Blank served as dean
and professor ofpublic policy and
economics in the Gerald Ford
School of Public Policy from 1998
to 2008 and as Deputy Secretary
and Acting Secretary of the U.S.
Department of Commerce.
She spoke in Rackham Audi-
torium to a crowd of Public Pol-
icy undergraduate and graduate
students, faculty and commu-
nity members. Blank opened her
lecture by challenging common
perceptions about American
opportunity in the United States.
"New starts may be hard,
but not impossible," Blank said.
"Opportunity for those at the
very bottom maybe very limited,
hard work may not lead to eco-
nomic advancement and it turns
out, not everyone can be presi-
dent or CEO."
She discussed how, in the
developing world competition
with other countries, technologi-

cal advances and the entrance
of women into the workforce all
have contributed to the rising
inequality. However, she said
because these factors have also
played apositive rolein economic
advancement, eliminating them
would not reduce inequality.
"Many of the causes of ris-
ing inequality are not clearly
negative," she said. "In fact, not
just the people in this room, but
many lower- and middle-income
families as well, have benefitted
enormously from the very forces
that also caused some of this ris-
ing inequality."
Effects of inequality such
as residential segregation by
income, family composition and
disparities in enrichment expen-
ditures on children were also dis-
While she suggested legis-
lative solutions that would be
effective - such as wealth redis-
tribution and better education
funding - Blank was pessimistic
about any short-term progress,
pointing to the political gridlock
in Washington.
Public Policy graduate student
Mo Torres said he attended the
event because inequality is one
of the biggest policy issues the
United States is currently facing.
"At the University, we talk
about how after we graduate
we'll have all of these opportu-
nities," Torres said. "We forget
that a lot of people don't have the
opportunities that, as students,
we've had. If we don't care about


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