MSU board set state funding request guidelines; approves endowed chair; accepts $22 million in grants, gifts

Contact: Tom Oswald, University Relations, (517) 355-2281,

Oct 10, 2003

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State University Board of Trustees, in a 2003-2004 appropriation request adopted today, called for the state of Michigan to narrow the gap in per-student appropriation support and to adopt a sustainable approach for allocating scarce resources across institutions.

In the request, MSU is described as a "fiscally responsible steward of our publicly entrusted resources." It outlines how MSU has reinvested in the academic core of the university, used technology for greater effectiveness in instruction and administration, and has adopted a number of cost-savings measures.

The appropriation request guidelines provide the university administration with parameters for development of request materials as they are called for by state government over the course of the appropriation process.

National expert to join MSU Faculty

Lorraine Sordillo-Gandy, one of the nation's top experts on bovine health, will join the MSU faculty as the first Meadowbrook Endowed Chair in Farm Animal Health and Well Being.

The appointment of Sordillo-Gandy, which includes a tenured professorship in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, was approved by the board today. Her appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2004.

Sordillo-Gandy comes to MSU from Pennsylvania State University, where she was a professor of veterinary science and director of the Center for Mastitis Research.

Specifically, Sordillo-Gandy is an expert in bovine mastitis, an inflammation of a cow's mammary gland due to bacterial infection, a malady that results in annual losses to U.S. farmers of more than $1 billion.

The specific focus of her research is to better understand the interaction between the bovine mammary gland and infectious agents that cause mastitis. Her goal is to find ways to enhance the natural immunity of the mammary gland during times of increased susceptibility to mastitis.

Sordillo-Gandy earned a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Tennessee. Prior to her Penn State appointment, she was on faculty at the University of Saskatchewan.

The chair is funded by the Matilda R. Wilson Fund. Wilson served on the MSU Board of Trustees from 1931 through 1937. She left the bulk of her estate to the Matilda R. Wilson Fund, which has supported a number of projects in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

It was recently announced that a new addition to the MSU Veterinary Clinical Center would be named in her honor.

In addition, MSU has honored the Wilson family by naming residence halls - Wilson East and Wilson West - and a thoroughfare - Wilson Road - after them.

MSU earns $22 million in research funding

The board accepted gifts, grants and contracts donated to the university between Aug. 22 and Sept. 23 totaling $22,955,547. That brought the total for fiscal year 2003-2004 to $97,548,967.

Among the grants accepted by the board:
$1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund a health education center designed to improve health care in underserved areas.

$560,698 from the National Institutes of Health to fund a project that aims to improve health care for African children suffering from malaria.

$156,700 from the U.S. Forest Service to study ways to eradicate the emerald ash borer, an insect that is destroying trees throughout the Midwest, including Michigan.

$329,356 from the National Science Foundation to continue funding of the National Gallery of the Spoken Word, a fully searchable, online database of spoken word collections that span the 20th century.

$150,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to continue funding of the Nutrition Education Aimed at Toddlers (NEAT) program, a College of Nursing initiative that teaches young parents how to provide nutritional meals for their children.

$298,050 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a College of Osteopathic Medicine project designed to prevent knee injury.

Bids and contracts awarded

The board awarded a contract in the amount of $462,000 to East Lansing-based Gunthorpe Plumbing and Heating for heating and cooling projects in the Clinical Center and Life Sciences Building. Specifically, the projects involve the replacement of original cooling coils in two air handling units at the Clinical Center, and the replacement of original heating and cooling coils, and one complete air handling unit, in Life Sciences.

The board also awarded a contract worth $373,000 to Kares Construction Co. of Charlotte for the replacement of an electrical sub-station in the Brody Complex.

The board also approved the appointments of two architect/engineers for two separate projects.

Duce Simmons Associates LLC of Troy will serve as architect/engineer for the construction of a new critical care facility at the Veterinary Medical Center. The facility - the Matilda R. Wilson Pegasus Critical Care Center - will provide critical care for horses with infectious diseases.

Two firms - Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architectural and Engineering of Albany, N.Y., and Neumann/Smith and Associates of Southfield - will serve as architect/engineers for a renovation project on Snyder/Phillips Hall. The work will consist of renovations to the mechanical, electrical and ventilation systems, addition of fire sprinkling, and a new fire alarm system, as well as renovation/replacement of the community bathrooms.