University Research Corridor in the news

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University of Michigan, Michigan State, Wayne State boosted state’s economy by $19.3 billion in 2019

Three of Michigan’s top research universities combined to boost the state economy by $19.3 billion in the 2019 fiscal year, according to an independent analysis. This is more than 20 times the funding University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University receive from the state, according to a report by Anderson Economic Group released Monday, June 7. The three universities make up Michigan’s University Research Corridor (URC). While the report doesn’t account for losses during the pandemic, the billions in net economic impact demonstrate their continued importance to Michigan’s economy, said Patrick Anderson, CEO and president of AEG. “Over the past dozen years, Michigan went through the Great Recession, saw an extended period of job and income growth, then entered the pandemic year of 2020,” he said in a statement. “This report is based on data from just before the pandemic started, so it does not capture pandemic-related losses. But it does demonstrate conclusively the importance of the URC to jobs and income in this state, through good times and bad.” The economic impact includes providing qualified graduates for the workforce, innovating through research and local community contributions, according to the AEG release. The $19.3 billion is a 50% increase from $12.8 billion in 2007, when AEG first conducted its analysis for the three universities. The URC increased the state’s tax revenue by $640 million, and Michigan households earned about $10.8 billion more through university operations and capital spending, the report stated. There were 141,000 students enrolled in the URC in the 2019 fiscal year, which constitutes a growth of 16,600 over the last decade. With 70% of those students staying in Michigan, the state economy has benefited from the talent retention, the report stated. The three universities almost completely made up for all federal funding spent on their research, attracting 94 cents for every federal dollar spent in 2019, according to the report. URC schools conduct $2.7 billion in research and development annually, the release stated.
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Business, education leaders blast House cuts to big universities

Business leaders from across the state and the University Research Corridor (URC) of Wayne State University, Michigan State University and University of Michigan say that the House budget plan for higher education “picks winners and losers.” House Republicans passed House Bill 4400 last week that would better fund universities with more in-state students for Fiscal Year 2022 using a per-resident student formula, leaving two of the state’s larger research universities with budget cuts. U of M-Ann Arbor would see a 12.2% budget cut, $39.5 million less, and Wayne State University would see a 4% budget cut, or $8.2 million less, from the FY ‘21 budget. MSU would see a 1.2% increase. The three universities in the Upper Peninsula will not see any change to their state funding and the other nine universities will see an increase in funding ranging from 1.2% to 10%. The funding will largely be redistributed among universities, as the total House Higher Education budget will not see an increase. During a press conference Monday, business leaders and the URC shared support for the GOP Senate-passed plan, which mirrors Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive budget recommendation, to increase one-time funding by 2% for all of Michigan’s state universities. “It’s a budget under which all students at all 15 universities benefit and would set up businesses and our state to benefit. Unfortunately, the budget passed by the House is very different. It picks winners and losers and will have a negative effect on students, businesses and Michigan’s economic future,” URC Executive Director Britany Affolter-Caine said. 
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Opinion: COVID-19 vaccine is a game-changer that can stop the pandemic

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.,  and University of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel wrote an op-ed regarding the COVID-19 vaccine as a means to stop the pandemic. “As presidents of the three major public research universities that make up Michigan’s University Research Corridor — Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University — we’ve been on the front lines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic. URC researchers have worked to develop tests, treat the virus and create vaccines. We’re training thousands of physicians, nurses and other health care workers in dealing with the virus. We’re helping educators, business owners and government officials deal with the challenges of COVID-19. As COVID-19 case counts continue to rise across the United States, getting everyone possible vaccinated as soon as enough doses are available is vital to stopping this pandemic, reviving our national economy and getting children and college students back to in-person school. The alternative is what we have now: high caseloads that are overwhelming our hospitals and health care workers, and millions of students able to attend classes only online. Our economy will continue to falter and layoffs will increase as the coronavirus makes it unsafe to shop and dine as we normally do. Family gatherings and large meetings will remain off limits or, if held, become potential superspreader events.”
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Spotlight on the News: How Michigan leaders of UM, MSU & WSU are confronting COVID-19 through their URC

On Sunday, November 29, Spotlight on the News featured the presidents of Michigan’s three largest public universities. In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, what’s their leadership plan for the University Research Corridor, one of the nation’s most collaborative and prestigious higher educational partnerships. How are they helping their health care workers, public officials, teachers, students, parents and business owners deal with this worldwide health crisis? Guests included Dr. M. Roy Wilson of Wayne State University, Dr. Mark S. Schlissel of the University of Michigan and Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. of Michigan State University.
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Michigan's racial disparity disappears in new virus cases

The disproportionate number of African Americans among newly reported COVID-19 cases has largely disappeared in Michigan over recent weeks, data suggests. Tiffany Brown, a spokeswoman for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, confirmed the reduction in COVID-19 cases among African Americans in a text message late Thursday night. She said more on this issue will be coming next week. Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson referenced the turnaround during a presentation Thursday to the Lansing Economic Club. Wilson, who sits on a gubernatorial task force created to examine racial disparities, appeared with the presidents of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. "One thing that is not being talked about enough is this huge racial disparity that we saw at the beginning has now been completely eliminated," Wilson said. The university presidents attributed the lowered toll on African Americans to a variety of interventions, although other factors might also be at work. But Wilson warned the African American community should not get complacent and must continue wearing masks, maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings. "It is still worth pointing out the remarkable turnaround," said Wilson, adding he has worked in the field of racial disparities for a long time, and it's unusual to see efforts have an impact so quickly. "It allowed targeted intervention to make a big difference." Wilson attributed the close to many efforts created as a result of Whitmer creating the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities in April, the group on which he sits. The group has been reviewing weekly COVID-19 reports prepared for the Michigan Economic Recovery Council, he said.
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Opinion: Don’t let other health care issues slide during pandemic

Dr. Mark Schweitzer, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president of health affairs at Wayne State University, co-wrote an op-ed about the need to address personal health issues that may have been neglected during the pandemic. “As we’ve watched our state battle to reduce the toll of COVID-19 on Michigan residents, we’ve understood — and supported — the sense of caution that has kept people home rather than visiting their doctors or going to the hospital if they think they need medical help. But as health care specialists trained as medical doctors, we also know the risks of getting medical attention too late. Strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and cancer don’t take a break just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. The danger of hospitals being overwhelmed by the need to treat COVID-19 patients required us to limit access this spring so patients could receive the treatment they needed and caregivers could get the personal protection equipment critical to protecting their health. But the situation today is much different. The doctors affiliated with our three universities that make up Michigan’s University Research Corridor — Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University — along with our clinics and Michigan Medicine, UM’s medical center, are taking the steps to help their patients through telemedicine, where appropriate.”
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Commentary: Michigan's research universities involved in COVID-19 fight

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson co-wrote an opinion piece with University of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel and Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. The article highlights the three research universities’ efforts to fight COVID-19. “Michigan needs its great public research universities more now than ever. And we are bringing all of our resources to this fight. Our medical and nursing schools, our engineers and economists, our public health and environment researchers, our psychologists and social workers — we are in this together. It is imperative that the three major state universities that make up Michigan's University Research Corridor — Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University — are at the front lines and in the laboratories battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Michigan State, Wayne State planning for online fall classes

It’s only spring, but the presidents of Michigan’s three largest universities are already planning for how their campuses may look in fall 2020, once the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down. For Michigan State University and Wayne State University, that likely means online classes, their presidents said Thursday, April 23 during a tele-town hall meeting. But University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel remains hopeful of having in-person classes, while taking advice from public health officials. At Wayne State University, President M. Roy Wilson said online classes are being developed now assuming it won’t be possible to conduct face-to-face teaching. “(We) would love it if we could open our campus up and have in-person classes. The reality is that that’s unlikely,” Wilson said. “We’re going to plan for having to do it online, and if for some reason something happens and we’re really surprised and we can do it in person, we’ll pivot.” It takes a lot of preparation to put together a strong online course, Wilson said, adding that what was done in the second half of this past semester was not online classes but “remote teaching.” Compared to MSU and UM, Wilson believes WSU will do a little bit better in terms of its risk exposure because it doesn’t have a large hospital like UM or large Division I athletic programs, both of which are major economic sources for UM and MSU. However, that doesn’t mean Wayne State won’t be affected. “There’s no university in this country that is not going to be affected, and many affected severely by the pandemic,” Wilson said.
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UM hopes for students on campus in fall; Wayne State, Michigan State lean online

Wayne State University is "unlikely" to have in-person classes in fall, Michigan State University is planning online classes, but University of Michigan is hoping to bring students back on campus with measures that will lower students' risk with COVID-19. The fall semester projections for Michigan's three largest public universities came Thursday during a Detroit Regional Chamber tele-town hall with WSU President M. Roy Wilson, MSU President Samuel Stanley and UM President Mark Schlissel. Wayne State is looking at opening laboratories for research soon, Wilson said, but having in-person classes is looking doubtful. "All of us, and I am pretty sure I speak for the three of us, would love it if we could open our campus up and have in-person classes," Wilson said. "The reality is that that is unlikely ... so we are going to plan for having to do it online."
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Universities team up to fight COVID-19

Three Michigan universities are coming together to fight COVID-19 together. The presidents from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University came together Thursday afternoon for a town hall meeting online. These institutions make up Michigan’s University Research Corridor which is working to find a coronavirus vaccine, treatment, and recommendations to flatten the curve. Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said he’s proud of setting up mobile COVID-19 testing sites in Detroit. “Where we have a number of cars that are equipped to be able to go to hot spots sites around the city and actually test in those areas,” Wilson said. All presidents are also now looking at what the fall semester will look like for students. there is a possibility of having only online classes.
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Opinion: Michigan's three research universities fight the opioid crisis

Michigan’s three research universities presidents, M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State, Mark S. Schlissel, University of Michigan, and Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Michigan State, co-wrote an opinion piece about efforts among the University Research Corridor (URC) institutions to address the opioid crisis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 2,033 people in Michigan died of overdose deaths involving opioids in 2017, a rate of 21.2 deaths per 100,000 persons, higher than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000. Michigan now ranks in the top third nationally for drug-related deaths, with over half due to synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl. If Michigan is to reduce those numbers and save lives, it must continue to look for innovative and research-driven ways to take action. That’s why the three major state universities that make up Michigan’s URC have won millions of dollars in competitive federal funds and other grants to train more physicians and counselors statewide to become addiction medicine specialists who can treat patients. Researchers at the three universities also are investigating new ways to keep opioid users who have kicked the habit from taking up the drug again; addressing opioid addiction in jails; finding better ways to treat chronic back pain to lessen reliance on opioids; working with the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to develop a medical provider toolkit to help doctors follow safer opioid prescribing practices; and launching a free online course for health and social services professionals and graduate students examining ways to deal with the opioid epidemic through prevention, intervention, education and policy. As medical doctors and researchers, this is a cause we must win. We are pledging our three URC universities to the fight. 
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Roundup: OptimizeRx, Parabricks, URC

The University Research Corridor (URC), a partnership between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University, has released its 2017 economic impact report. According to the report, the three universities contributed $18.7 billion to the state’s economy last year, up from $16.5 billion in 2015. The organization says that marks a 46 percent increase since 2007, the year it was formed and began benchmarking its impact on the state of Michigan. The URC also reported that it generated 78,845 jobs in 2017. Last year, the report says, the URC spent $2.3 billion on research and development, an increase of 54 percent since 2007. The URC also attracted 94 cents of every federal dollar spent on academic research in Michigan, and accounts for 92 percent of all R&D conducted at higher education institutions in the state.
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University leaders want higher ed on Schuette, Whitmer's agenda

M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State, said he wants the next governor and Legislature to scale back the performance-based funding model created under Gov. Rick Snyder that rewarded universities with more money for a higher percentage of undergraduate degrees and penalized more research-focused universities. It's one reason why Wayne State has not recovered nearly as much funding as UM and MSU, its counterparts in the University Research Corridor.  With medical, law and other graduate schools, Wayne State gets penalized for having too many graduate degrees and too few bachelor's degrees awarded each year, Wilson said. "If we weren't a research institution, we'd be getting much more (state funding)," Wilson said in an interview. "That doesn't make much sense.