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Members of the Michigan State University marching band are braving below freezing temperatures to take part in "Sparty Watch" — a more than 50-year-old protection scheme devised to fend off attacks on MSU's beloved mascot, The Spartan, in advance of their rivalry football game on Saturday.

It's 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and 22 degrees. Twenty members of the MSU marching band and color guard are huddled outside in the snow flanking the 9-foot bronze statue.

two football players on a football field
Matt Radick / The State News / Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

This Saturday, for the 112th time, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University will fight over a football for 60 minutes.

During the year’s other 364 days, the two schools’ coaches, players, and fan bases produce enough adolescent sniping and sophomoric stunts to fill a book— in fact, several.

DCI

A new University of Michigan facility will be at the heart of a new development on the edge of downtown Detroit, thanks to expected contributions from two billionaire donors.

The proposed Detroit Center for Innovation will be home to a $300 million university outpost for teaching and research in emerging high-tech fields like cybersecurity, mobility and artificial intelligence, said University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan Board of Regents heard from students enrolled at the Flint and Dearborn campuses, who complain they are not being treated as equals to Ann Arbor students. 

The regents met in Flint Thursday.

Tyrice Denson is a recent U of M-Flint graduate. He says, from instructor pay and scholarships to health services, the Flint and Dearborn campuses don’t get the financial support the Ann Arbor campus does.

The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan has released a draft umbrella policy to address the problem of sexual and gender-based misconduct. 

It expects to implement the policy in early 2020 after a comment period.

U of M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said a significant change from previous policies is that the definitions of prohibited conduct are consistent across the university community. 

"That way there's no confusion about what is considered inappropriate," said Fitzgerald.

The Crisler Center
Andy Piper / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The University of Michigan will host the second of three presidential debates on October 15, 2020. 

The Commission on Presidential Debates made the announcement Friday. The debate format and moderators are yet to be announced. The other two debates will be held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on October 7 and Belmont University in Nashville on October 22.

University of Michigan sign
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan saw an increase in the number of sexual assaults reported on campus in 2018.

That's according to its Clery crime statistics report released this week.

The school reported 45 rapes in 2018 -- up from the 18 cases reported in 2017.

Heather Young is with the University's Division of Public Safety and Security.

university of michigan football coach jim harbaugh
MGoBlog / Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Both the Michigan State and Michigan football teams entered last weekend with something to prove – and one of them proved it.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Legislation regulating free speech policies on Michigan’s university and college campuses moved forward this week.

House Bill 4436 directs college and university administrators to develop free expression policies that allow students and faculty to discuss anything. It would also require that campuses be open to any speaker invited by students or faculty members.

The legislation is in response to past events where liberal student groups disrupted speeches by far-right speakers.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A new study suggests gun violence tends to go down when abandoned buildings are demolished. The study focused on Detroit.

Researchers saw an 11% drop in gun-related violence in areas with more than six building demolitions. They found areas with six to 12 demolitions had the greatest reduction in gun violence.

The University of Michigan and Harvard University team used pre-existing data from the state. Marc Zimmerman of the University of Michigan was part of the study.

Updated Aug. 1 at 8:14 p.m. ET

Opera star David Daniels has been indicted in Texas on a felony charge of sexual assault.

A grand jury indicted Daniels in Harris County District Court on July 25. Also indicted on the same charge is Daniels' husband, William Walters, who goes by the name Scott. In Texas, sexual assault of an adult is a Class 2 felony; if convicted, Daniels and Walter could face between two and 20 years in prison.

The University of Michigan Union
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New research from the University of Michigan shows a lack of transparency when it comes to demographic data within environmental organizations.

This comes from a study of more than 12,000 environmental organizations around the country, ranging in size. The researchers say historically, these kinds of organizations have lacked racial diversity, and little information has been made available to the public regarding the demographic composition of these organizations.

http://vets.umich.edu/prospective-students/vetcore/

A University of Michigan program wants to prepare military veterans for college life. It’s called VetCoRe. It stands for "veteran college readiness."

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel at podium
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge says the University of Michigan is wasting public money and shielding its president from appearing in court in a sexual misconduct case.

Judge Arthur Tarnow called for U of M president Mark Schlissel to appear for a public settlement conference in a case involving a U of M graduate student.

Juwan Howard
Bentley Historical Library / University of Michigan

Juwan Howard, former member of the Fab Five, will be the University of Michigan’s next men’s basketball coach.

U of M officials have been looking for a new men’s basketball coach since the sudden departure of John Beilein to the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

First image of a black hole
Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al.

It was considered impossible. It was said to be like taking a picture of a grapefruit on the moon but with a radio telescope.

That’s how 29-year-old computer scientist Katie Bouman explained an international effort to capture an image of a black hole. She finally made history Wednesday morning after she and a team working on an Event Horizon Telescope project were able to accomplish that very goal.

Car accident
Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Michigan has two intertwined problems when it comes to car insurance rates, according to a new University of Michigan report: overall high premiums that place the biggest burden on the poorest communities.

A police officer talks to a student on the scene.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

On Saturday March 16,  at 4:35 p.m., in the middle of a vigil on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus for the victims of the mass shooting in New Zealand, two police officers ran through the event, shouting for the students to move.

Police vehicles line up on State St. near the scene.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Updated 3/16/19, 11:07 p.m.:

The University of Michigan's Public Affairs office released a statement late Saturday evening regarding the day's earlier emergency alert. In it, they noted the spread of misinformation "outside of DPSS channels" contributing to the confusion about what was happening on the Ann Arbor campus.

The University of Michigan Union
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A University of Michigan professor and his husband were arrested in January on charges of sexual assault. Professor David Daniels is accused of drugging and raping a man in 2010, as well as soliciting sex from students.

Now, U of M is being criticized for keeping Daniels on its payroll, although he has been on administrative leave since August 2018.

Here's what you need to know about the latest sexual assault case to affect a Michigan university.

Protesters gathered outside the home of University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Protesters with National Action Network Michigan rallied outside the University of Michigan President's house Monday.

They challenged a claim filed against Wayne State University last fall by UM-Flint professor Mark Perry.

The Old Main building at Wayne State University
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating two complaints of discrimination against men: one at the University of Michigan, and one at Wayne State University.

Mark Perry is a professor of economics at U of M Flint. In June 2018, he filed a complaint against the University to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

The University of Michigan has ended its relationship with former USA Gymnastics executive Rhonda Faehn, three days after she agreed to work as a coaching consultant for the women's team.  

Athletic director Warde Manuel released a statement Sunday, saying:

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan will pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit with a former university employee who says she was wrongfully terminated.

That's according to the confidential settlement agreement, which was recently obtained by MLive through a Freedom of Information Act records request.

Danny Ducat

University researchers in Michigan are concerned that if the federal government shutdown drags on, it could affect future scientific projects.

On their first day in the majority, House Democrats passed a plan to re-open the government without funding President Donald Trump's promised border wall.

The largely party-line votes Thursday night came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room, pledging to keep up the fight for his signature campaign promise.

The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan's updated sexual misconduct policy is expected to include a ban on faculty members having romantic or sexual relationships with undergraduate students. The policy also would prohibit faculty from having romantic or sexual relationships with any graduate or professional student in the same discipline or academic program as themselves.

Rick Fitzgerald is a spokesman for UM.

Someone shooting a gun at a gun range.
Peretz Partensky / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new website hosted by the University of Michigan brings together research from across the country on firearm safety among children.

The site is the product of a research consortium made up of scholars from U of M and 12 other academic institutions called Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens, or FACTS.

UM revising sexual misconduct policy following court ruling

Oct 25, 2018
The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan is revising its student sexual misconduct policy after the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court ruled that students accused of sexual misconduct must have the opportunity to question their accuser in an in-person hearing in cases where credibility is at issue.

The "Diag" on the University of Michigan's main campus in Ann Arbor.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan has seen sexual misconduct complaints against faculty, staff and third parties shoot up 161% in one year, according to a new university report.

The report covers complaints made from July 2017 through June 2018. U of M policy defines sexual misconduct as a range of behaviors, ranging from inappropriate comments to sexual assault and stalking.

U of M President announces new carbon neutrality goal

Oct 4, 2018
The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons

"Human-influenced global climate change is the defining scientific and social problem of our age,"  University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel told a gathering of U of M leaders Thursday. "And a significant component of this growing crisis is due to the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy."

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