Santa Ono sits at the end of a long table full of glasses and papers.
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The University of Michigan Board of Regents met at the U-M Dearborn Fairlane Center South on Thursday to approve faculty promotions, a land purchase for the expansion of the University’s campus and housing and ratify the 2025-26 academic calendar. The regents also discussed the current state of contract negotiations with the Graduate Employees’ Organization and University House Officers Association.

University President Santa Ono began the meeting by thanking Domenico Grasso, chancellor of the U-M Dearborn campus, and the staff at U-M Dearborn for hosting the meeting. The meeting continued with University Provost Laurie McCauley recommending promotions for 279 faculty to acknowledge their contributions to the University’s educational mission. The regents unanimously approved all promotions.

“The University of Michigan’s essential work of challenging the present and enriching the future is only possible through the efforts of our faculty who create, preserve and pass on knowledge to the next generation of citizens and leaders,” McCauley said. “Today we are bringing forward 279 recommendations for promotion. This includes 153 instructional track promotions for (the board’s) review and approval. In addition, there are 118 recommendations for promotion for clinical faculty and eight for research faculty. Each of these has been carefully reviewed at the department, school, provost and presidential level.”

Geoffrey Chatas, U-M executive vice president and chief financial officer, officially proposed that the University purchase 1100 Catherine Street — home to Ann Arbor’s classic brunch spot, Angelo’s, as well as two residential apartments — for $4.5 million to expand the University’s campus. Chatas acknowledged the impact of Angelo’s on the Ann Arbor community and the family’s decision to close the business.

“The University has been presented with an opportunity to purchase property from the Vangelatos family who for decades have been running Angelo’s, a beloved icon in Ann Arbor,” Chatas said. “When the family approached the University about the possibility of selling (the property), they explained that they want to close the business on their own terms. We appreciate them trusting us with the property. They have made an incredible contribution to the Ann Arbor community and we respect their decision to close the business now.”

The regents approved the purchase unanimously. They also unanimously approved the purchase of 49 properties from Regent Ron Weiser (R), at no profit to him, to carry out phase two of the University’s residential development program. Chatas said the University will honor the current leases for these properties and continue to rent them out until construction begins.

“The University intends to minimize the disruption to the housing market by honoring the existing contracts of any tenants currently living at any of the 49 properties and continuing to lease to tenants as long as reasonably practicable until the future Phase Two construction is underway,”Chatas said. “The University will acquire the properties as described for up to $75 million.”

The regents unanimously approved the Ann Arbor campus’s academic calendar for the 2025-26 academic year. The calendar follows the same model as the 2020-21 through 2024-25 academic calendars and includes the new extended winter break, which was approved by the regents at their February meeting.

McCauley then provided an update to the regents on the current state of contract negotiations between the University and the Graduate Employees’ Organization. According to McCauley, the University offered a 12.5% raise, making the complete set of counterproposals one of the largest ever offered to GEO .

“Last week, the University’s negotiating team delivered a comprehensive package to GEO in response to all outstanding issues,” McCauley said. “This package includes the fourth salary proposal from the University: 12.5% over three years on the Ann Arbor campus and 6.75% in total raises at U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint. This is one of the largest packages proposed to the union in its 50-year history. The union has yet to make a counter offer on salary.”

McCauley also said the University has filed for the Michigan Employment Relations Commission to begin the process of fact finding. In the fact-finding process, a state-appointed official investigates the labor dispute and offers non-binding recommendations to both parties in order to settle the dispute. McCauley said the University hopes to come to an agreement that is beneficial to both parties through this process.

“The University filed for fact finding yesterday,” McCauley said. “We hope (it) will aid in coming to a mutual agreement. Over our five-decade relationship with GEO, we have consistently arrived at agreements that support grad student career success. We hope that more frequent and collaborative bargaining will result in a mutually beneficial contract soon.”

Marschall Runge, the University’s executive vice president for medical affairs, shifted the discussion to the contract negotiations between the University and the  House Officers Association, which represents residents and fellows at Michigan Medicine. Runge said while the parties are still divided on salary, he is hopeful for future negotiations.  

“The parties were successful in closing out non-economic issues and are moving to just economic wages and benefits,” Runge said. “The parties met with the mediator for a second session on Tuesday, May 16, and exchanged updated proposals but remained far apart on salary proposals. … We are eager to finish finalizing the contract. We look forward to getting back to the negotiating table next week.”

Kyle Johnson, HOA president and resident physician at Michigan Medicine, addressed the regents during the public comment portion of the meeting. Johnson said HOA wants to come to a fair contract with the University, but is prepared to go on strike if negotiations stall. 

“We would like to work out our differences at the bargaining table, but our membership is united, informed and ready to act should the regents fail to do so,” Johnson said.

Rackham student Amir Fleischmann, GEO contract committee chair, also spoke to the regents during public comments. Fleischmann said he believes the University’s actions during the contract negotiation process, including entering missing grades, harm its academic reputation. 

“(The administration is) bringing this great institution into disrepute and likely threatening its accreditation,” Fleischmann said. “This is shameful. It doesn’t have to be this way. You, the pro-labor democratic regents, have the power to end this fiasco. Our proposals are in fact no-brainers. Give us a fair contract, and get us back into classrooms where we belong.”

Summer News Editor Miles Anderson can be reached at