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Posted on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

University of Michigan considering raising student fees to fund gym renovations

By Kellie Woodhouse

University of Michigan officials are looking at renovating the school's three recreational centers —upgrades students and faculty have been requesting with increasing frequency— and are considering raising student fees to help pay for construction.


University of Michigan's Central Campus Recreation Building.

Kellie Woodhouse |

"In comparison to the other major universities around here and in the Big Ten, U-M doesn't have up-to-standard facilities," offered social work graduate student Tarkington Newman after he finished exercising at the Central Campus Recreational Building Tuesday.

U-M's gyms are often criticized as aged, crowded facilities with out-of-date equipment and lackluster ambiance. They're meant for use by the general student body and not funded by the athletic department.

During a March 21 Board of Regents meeting board chair Denise Ilitch said the governing board is having a "robust" conversation about ways to fund renovations to U-M's gyms and unions. There is no set revenue stream that pays for U-M's three recreational facilities — which were constructed in 1928, 1976 and 1977 — and that would naturally fund renovations.

"They're pretty bad," U-M Provost-elect Martha Pollack said of the recreational centers during a March 18 meeting with faculty. "There's a lot of discussion about how to improve them and how we're going to find the funds for that."

Ilitch said regents discussed raising fees, which are separate from tuition, to help pay for the renovations. She also said the university was looking at other revenue streams to further subsidize renovations.

U-M students pay an $80 registration fee, about $8.70 in student government fees and an $8.50 legal fee. Pollack said the university has relatively few fees compared with other institutions. Resident tuition and fees at U-M are about $13,000 a year.

Ilitch said during initial discussions she was concerned with raising fees and increasing the financial burden on students.

During the March 21 meeting, U-M student government president Manish Parikh lobbied regents for the renovations.

"In my conversation with students ... they emphasized how important these facility changes are," said Parikh, a senior. "If it did require a student fee, I feel confident in saying most students would be comfortable with it."

After a workout Tuesday, freshman engineering major Carli Oster agreed that U-M's gyms are "definitely lacking," but said she wouldn't want the school to renovate the gyms if it meant raising fees.

"Tuition is already too much for me," she said after exercising at the CCRB Monday.

Finding an adequate funding source is the primary reason renovations have been delayed. U-M President Mary Sue Coleman has repeatedly asserted that she does not want to redirect funds from academics to recreational facilities.


The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has its own membership-only fitness center. file photo

"We know they need work," Coleman said of U-M's recreational facilities during a fall interview. "Funding is difficult."

Over the past decade Coleman has allotted more than a half billion dollars toward dorm renovations, which were funded in part by increasing housing rates at the university. The lack of such a straightforward funding source for the school's aging gyms poses a difficulty for the school.

Victoria Liu, a freshman majoring in business, said she wouldn't want fees to increase in order to renovate gyms. She said, however, that there is "clearly a demand" for nicer gyms at the school.

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business operates a relatively new, spacious fitness center for which membership requires an additional fee. The gym is popular among students, although membership is limited.

As officials consider the logistics, they acknowledge the need for renovations.

"[In the future] I see renovated recreational areas where students will be able to work out in state-of-the-art facilities," Ilitch said.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Oliver Lin

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 5 a.m.

I've been to UCSB, KSU. UM? The worst among them... Did someone see the facility on North Campus of UM Ann Arbor (NCRB)? It's like shxxxxxxxxxt...... worse than the cheapest YMCA or any membership gym. Truly amazing for a place whose students pay over $40,000/yr.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

I'd love it if the University would improve their facilities. I've worked out at several different universities over the years. Michigan is by far the worst in terms of appearance. Still, the CCRB isn't as bad as everyone is making it out to be. I work out there and I've come to really like it. It is extremely well maintained compared to the NCRB or the IMSB or any number of private, fancy gyms I've worked out at. They keep their machines running and in good order. I will take that over the fancy mirrors and TV screens some gyms have but are full of treadmills and ellipticals that barely work. Kudos to the folks who run the CCRB for doing such a nice job of maintaining what they have.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Nothing like the world's most advanced Health Care campus. Beer Pong and cigarettes for the sophmores. Pizza, burgers, and super-gulp sugary drinks for the higherrise class. Graduation stress tests for the jobless seniors looking to pay off $100k tuition loans. Survivor races for the commuting employees. Time to beg "Oh please mister DBAD (Dave Brandon Athletic Department) may we have some more - uh pooraged?" or bully "Well hello Mr. Mayor. So nice of you to return our call. The Regents need another small (ahem) favor from you and your generous townsfolk..."


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.

Students are an endless well of revenue. When all else fails, get them into debt and ensure that the federal government (the taxpayer) guarantees the loan.

Mich Res and Alum

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

Does everyone bringing up the endowment realize that if you take money out of the endowment, then it returns less and therefore you have less money per year to devote to things like scholarships? Removing money from the endowment is an idiotic move financially.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

This fee proposal aside, the purpose of a well-run endowment is produce disbursements for annual use. It is possible to both grow an endowment while earning enough to produce the desired payouts.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

Surely, there must be a few sports-minded alumni that are with us, or those running to reach that goal post in the sky, that have made an endowment contribution specifically for recreation facility improvements at U-M. Students should not be hit with increased fees to fund these proposed renovations.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

The connection between student academics and physical activity was a fundamental priority for Fielding Yost. That's why we have some of the facilities we have -- not just for "athletes", but to pay attention to the physical well-being of the general student population. If Ms. Coleman is serious about academics she might give a thought to training the whole student, providing a non-alcohol based environment for students to gather in, and encouraging the good that comes from activity. The student rec facilities shouldn't be considered an afterthought, but integral to the entire college experience.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

No wonder how students look so frumpy and lumpy in the stands at the games! Their workouts are inefficient due to the 1970s equipment in the gyms. Of course look at footage of football/basketball games from the 70s and you'll see that kids using that same equipment were much healthier looking. So, I blame high fructose corn syrup and texting.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

If someone in the upper administration were to justify the upgrades with the words "inclusiveness", "diversity", and "reparations", it would get upgraded in a heartbeat.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.

hmmm, maybe they could tap into their $7,800,000,000 account to fund it..


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

the point of an endowment is to invest it and then spend the investment earnings, which UM is doing. If you had read the article about it, you'd also know that most of the endowment funds were donated for specific things and can't be spent on just anything.

Current UM Student

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

As a current UofM student who has been involved in the process of working with the University Administration to find a way to finance these renovations, I can say that we have taken every opportunity we can to minimize costs to students, maximize the impact the renovations will have on students, and think critically about what renovations are "luxuries" and what are really needed. In developing plans for the implementation of the student fee, we have been mindful to keep increases below 1% of tuition, and financing of the project includes a proportional increase in financial aid to ensure that students in need will not be unnecessarily burdened. We have included students in the discussion from day one, and thanks to extensive survey data, we know that students are overwhelmingly in support of the implementation of a student fee to make renovations to both the RecSports Facilities and the University Unions a reality. If you compare UofM to our peer institutions, you will see that other schools charge upwards of $200, sometimes as high as $500+ per year to cover costs associated with Student Life facilities. The proposed student fee would be $65/term, implemented over two years. The fact of the matter is that we are in a period where the University's budget is very tight. Both the University Administration and the Regents are mindful of the rising cost of higher education and want to ensure that the University remains accessible to a wide range of students. They are working diligently to minimize the burden placed on students, but the cost of these projects is so large that no single source of revenue available to the University is large enough to cover them all.

Tim Hornton

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Good article woodhouse. This is much needed at UM I see. To many students using the YMCA and anytime fitness(s) now since plymouth one opened and having to pay to use those when they should have nice workout gyms from UM. The kids already pay more then any other public schools so UM should take the money out of their general fund and provide their students something nice. They pay for it already.

Rob Pollard

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

I find the sentence "The lack of such a straightforward funding source for the school's aging gyms poses a difficulty for the school" disingenuous. There is a straightforward funding source - the athletic dept - but the university chooses not to utilize the money it generates for the students at large. It's a CHOICE, and not a complicated one. UM chooses to pay asst coaches $1 million a year, to spend over $250 million to renovate the facilities for non-revenue generating sports, etc. It's up to Mary Sue & the regents to decide what the athletic dept does or does not fund. Those leaders set it up the way it is now (the athl dept is not given the responsibility for funding athletic facilities that service the entire student body); they could change it if they wanted to. Without the university, as a whole, there is no athletic dept. They are not a semi-pro team (technically, any way). Instead, it seems more likely they'd rather impose a fee ($50 a semester? $100) on everyone, when the money is already there. Use it for the university, of which the athletic dept is a part.

Rob Pollard

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

Without the university, there would be no athletic department. It's that simple. If the athletic department went away (or at least the super-sized one that currently exists) UM would still exist and still be one of the top public institutions in the land. The ath dept is a part of the university, not the other way around. Plenty of people at UM are the best at what they do - 99.9% don't make $1 million. The reason that money is there to spend on coaches is b/c it all has to go somewhere. Instead of it going to ever-larger and more opulent stadiums and bigger salaries, a little bit of it can go back to the university, who actually needs the money, for other athletic endeavors such as the IM building and the CCRB. And it's very big of you to compare your working at UM and to a student. The difference is you get money from them; they--already--pay $20,000-$50,000 a year to go there, with no guarantee in this job market that even a UM degree will lead to a significant payoff. There is no need to make it any more, even $100 a year, when the athletic dept has the money.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

The athletic department funds itself. It is greatly arrogance of you to tell a department that is self-sustaining to fun facilities for people who largely are indifferent to athletic events. Quite a few students do not support athletics in any way. So why then should athletics support them? It seems unjust to require of the athletic department to subsidize people who do not support athletics. Greg Mattison makes $900,000 a year because he is one of the very best at what he does. The money he receives is generated by ticket and apparel sales to fans--affiliated and non-affiliated alike--from all across the country. You are saying that these people should be forced to subsidized students, who often do not support UM teams, just so UM's largely affluent student population does not have to pay an extra $50-100. I work at UM. I paid $37 a month for a locker and use of the facilities. This on a stock keeper salary. I could afford that. I think the offspring of the upper middle class can afford a little extra per month.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

The CCRB definitely needs an upgrade. Half the time you go there, it's way too crowded. Some common issues: - Not enough rooms for stretching/classes/group workouts - The one stretching room is often occupied by classes so they have a room separator to block off a tiny area for about 5-10 people. Then the other stretching room only holds 5-10 people. Sometimes you'll encounter ROTC or a campus group in the space so it's tough to find areas to workout. These rooms are also multipurpose so you'll have people doing dance workouts across the room or kickboxing in the corner while you're trying to stretch. It'd be nice if they could be more spaced out and classes could be put in a designated room. -Poor air quality & temperatures - It's really dusty in the gym and often the heat/air conditioning is not on. In fact, I'm not even sure if the whole building is air conditioned. It's pretty uncomfortable in the spring/summer especially on the track. They do put fans out but that really just blows the hot air and dust around. -Track is too crowded & dirty - There is a machine that is used to clean the track that has a sign on it stating that it should not be on the track, but no one ever moves it so it occupies one of the corners that a stretching mat could sit in. The track is also really dirty and not often cleaned. It's also too small and should be made wider with more padding. -Air conditioning is needed in the cardio machine rooms. It's always super hot and there aren't enough fans. -


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

When there's a funding issue, it's so often the case the University will raise the student's fees or rates. The University has an about tapping it, or "finding" the funding within existing programs, or scaling back something else to do this? There SHOULD be some uneasiness among University administrators over why what is really just or should be routine maintenance / renovation, was not planned for and funding in an annual program review. Too easy to foist this off on the students; what a shame, but typical for the University.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

When I was a student, I thought the CCRB and IM building were in desperate need of repair. I ended up - I think my junior year - joining the YMCA and so did my roommates. We chose to walk or bike to the Y instead of walking right across the street to the IM building. It was SO unbelievably hot in the IM building in the summer, and the machines are oudated, and you can forget about going at any "rush hour" period. Also - it is filled with male college students in the weight room. I mean....very few females. One thing that was nice about the facilities was that they did offer exercise classes (at a charge, which I believe is through MHealthy?) I took spinning on Monday nights!

Chuck Saltpeter

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

I can't blame any woman for not wanting to enter the CCRB free weight room. Nothing like a hundred bros studying your every move. It's a shame. I was so frustrated with the cramped conditions, especially the dumbbell room with weights all over the floor, I got a membership off campus.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

" It was SO unbelievably hot in the IM building in the summer" --- You're right about that. " it is filled with male college students in the weight room. I mean....very few females." -- And that's a bad thing because ... ?

Peter Adamczyk

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

Such a dilemma. Thankfully, the elusive solution was described just yesterday by this very same news organization: "The University of Michigan has one of the largest college endowments in the country..." "The endowment is on track to reach at least $8 billion when this fiscal year wraps up..." " 'The point of having an endowment is not to grow it, it's to spend it,' [U-M's chief investment officer Erik] Lundberg said... " Done. Next problem?


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:59 p.m.

It's pretty clear that people on this forum didn't read the endowment article/don't undersand how an endowment works. They spend a large chunk of it every year, but it's been donated for very specific purposes. The rest they invest, so that they can keep using the earnings from their investments to spend. I suggest you re-read the article.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

Now this is funny after just reading how U of M has billions of dollars stashed away.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Which comes from donations, not from student tuition. There is a huge difference.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

I don't know if I'd call an endowment "stashed away." Much of the endowment is earmarked for specific purposes. And remember, the university is distributing a chunk of money from the endowment each year. Last year the amount distributed was roughly equal to state appropriations.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

Seems anthing even with the appearance of being green has unlimited funding, but things like student health is lacking for years. Priorities are rather lopsided at best.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

It seems odd to me that no one from the University was interviewed for this article. Surely they've conducted studies as to how much these projects would cost and how students feel about it.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Yes, since this is all in the preliminary discussion phase I don't have figures on exact cost of renovations or even how much they're thinking about raising fees. I think those things are in flux.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

I think right now all of this is in the discussion phase as opposed to getting renderings and expenses from architects and building supervisors. If anything, as another person who posted on this discussion, there needs to be a reassessment about what the student fees pay for. Maybe things could be readjusted so that things used by most students get the bulk of the dollars (Legal fees vs. Rec fee). Then, the university must factor in logistics and planning. It's a huge hassle when they close either the IM or CCRB during the summer for maintenance, etc. Just imagine if it has to close a large amount of time (I'm thinking more about the fitness and weight areas). Again, it goes back to my other post: what specifically do people want at the gym. Finally, I agree with the person who said that the locker rooms need upgrading/updating because too often there are times when there's no hot water.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

You're right, BGSU_Falcon, they do have those quotes. I guess what I meant is that it seems weird that the regents are seriously considering these projects but we have no idea how much they're going to cost. I want to know how much this fee we're talking about here, I'd imagine there's a big difference between $50 and $500 to students.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

You're right! How dare Kellie use quotes from Martha and Mary Sue ("no one") about already knowing how Rec officials and students feel about these gyms rather than going elsewhere. SMH


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

I guess I'd like to know what specifically students/users would like to see at these gyms to make the experience better. Yes, the weight room can get crowded at times, but they could easily renovate another space at CCRB for the surge. I've seen and been to crappy gyms (in Michigan, Ohio and California) and none compare to U-M's gym. Could these campus gyms look more pleasing? Sure. But it's not worth raising fees. Also, to Kellie W.'s point about the facilities use for the student body, I disagree on two points: 1) They hold summer camps in the IM and CCRB building, which is NOT meant for the general student body. These are run by the athletic department, so why shouldn't they kick in money? 2) You're assuming that if the athletic department kicks in money that athletes will automatically go there for workouts. The athletes have their own locations to workout, so you're not going to get a large influx of them adding the three gyms for their workouts. Thus, you wouldn't expect to see a football player in the North Campus Rec Building getting a workout when he has access to a better location at Schembechler Hall.

Mich Res and Alum

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

Actually, the athletic department DOES pay facility rental fees to Rec Sports for the camps they put on in the summer.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

The locker rooms, equipment and layout of the CCRB, NCRB and IM facilities are poor at best. The showers are disgusting, some work, some don't. Tiles and plumbing have been repaired so many times it's a patch work of mistakes. At one point even hot water was a luxury. I gave up the convenience of campus for a cleaner, more inviting facility years ago. I can only imagine how bad it is now.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:28 a.m.

Everything you've said is true. I remember not having hot water.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Yes, it is absolutely imperative we have "state of the art" facilities. I can't be expected to hop on a treadmill in anything less. Feng shui is the most important thing, otherwise I can't concentrate on correct weightlifting posture. Get it done. Real soon.

Audion Man

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

Hey, UM students are paying "state of the art" tuition... And it isn't just the design of the buildings and the quality of the equipment. They are not in any way properly maintained and they are often filthy. If you aren't going update the facilities, run a broom over them once in a while.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

Your comment made me laugh! Remember when people just ran outdoors and used encyclopedias for body building. Wait, remember encyclopedias? I get your point, but facilities are becoming increasingly important to students. They can be the deciding factor for prospectives and many U-M facilities -housing and academics and even athletics- are among the nicest in the Big 10. The gyms are definitely an exception to that rule.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

...good one. I like your sense of humor.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

I agree with 'America. Also, I wonder why continue the disconnect between the athletic department and the health and fitness of the student body? It seems logical that the two should be connected. One way to do this is for the athletic department to show their support through funding of facilities that benefit the health and wellness of the entire student body.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

Many students do not support the athletic teams that represent the university. Why, then, should athletics operate facilities for people who care not a wit about UM athletics? Point of fact, a great chunk of UM athletics funding comes from fans buying apparel and tickets. All that revenue from advertising and licensing is directly related to the massive fan support UM has.(Over a million according to a recent survey.) Why should these people be forced to subsidized students??


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

As to the relationship with the Athletic Department, it is worth noting that until a few years ago, the recreational facilities were run by the Athletic Department and part of their budget. Then when the Athletic Department begun their upgrade spree for he intercollegiate athletic facilities, it was clear that that would not do anything similar for the recreational facilities as they simply don't care about the general student body. So it was decided to move recreational sports out of Athletics to have any chance at all to invest in them.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:26 a.m.

@eagleman: That makes no sense. If athletics turns a profit what should it be used on and why? You do know that many athletes would not be attending the U if it was up to their grades alone. So *THIS* is how you justify that. A trade off.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

Bad decision, huh ? Seems logical for Athletics to support General Recreational Fitness Centers on Campus ....


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

UM athletics mission is to fund and field teams of student-athletes, not run recreational facilities for the general population of the university.(Staff and faculty also use these facilities) The university is wealthy enough to renovate and operate these facilities on their own.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

It is odd the health and wellness isn't a priority. Actions speak louder than words and the actions indicate that while the general culture supports the notion of health and wellness money always goes elsewhere. With the huge amount of money going in and out of the university it seems obvious that nobody considers health and wellness enough of a real priority to let their funding support it. The kids are just learning the lesson of the real world. Lots of talk about begin fit but no actual support.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Well, you haven't even seen how Obamacare will affect all of this.

Audion Man

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

Another lesson: "be a 'student athlete'."


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

"Finding an adequate funding source" they said while sitting on $8B in endowments.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:24 a.m.

I agree, this is a perfect use of endowment money. But the students are getting stuck with it....


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

Much of the DONATED endowments are directed towards specific programs, capital initiatives, or trusts by those making the GIFTS though aren't they Brad ?

Audion Man

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

University funding is a lot like Hollywood funding. No matter how much a movie makes, it loses money 'on paper'- which benefits the studios because they can get out of paying people. The University is sitting on seas of money, the Athletic department is sitting on seas of money, and yet they continually cry "Poverty!". The Athletic campus hums with new contstruction and state of the art facilities. Regular students? Bend over and prepare for more fees.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

A fuller discussion of fees charged by U of M is relevant. From our latest tuition bill: - $80 for registration. Keep in mind that in the old days, they had to staff a building with people and students had to wait in lines to sign up for each class they wanted, get overrides, etc. Now, students go online and complete their Backpack, then when their registration time comes they convert it to a schedule. No additional staffing needed, yet an $80 fee. - $7.19 for Central Student Government (used to be called Michigan Student Assembly) - $1.50 for Student and College Government - $8.50 for Student Legal Services (was $6 not long ago). How many students use legal services? When our son lived in the dorms, we also were charged (in addition to Room and Board): - $75 for Rescomp Activiation/Support. Computers in the dorm public areas, and support of the network connections in the dorms. - $26.17 for Residence Hall Government Many of these "services" are used by a small subset of the student body, yet all pay for them. Our son hasn't been in the Rec Buildings more than a handful of times a year (neither was our older son). If they are going to have fees to renovate them, charge the users of them - i.e. $X per semester for access or you can pay $Y to enter each time. At least the PIRGIM costs of the old days are gone, but I think it took lawsuits to make that happen. Students are also charged fees for certain courses, like a Physics lab. Upper classmen pay more in tuition than lower classmen (determined by credits, not years), and students in some schools (like Engineering) pay more tuition than LSA for example. With in-state around $25,000 a year and out of state $50,000 a year, the nickle-and-diming needs to stop.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 4:12 a.m.

Jay--my roommates and I used student legal services when our landlord tried to charge us extra money for repairs that he was clearly responsible for according to the lease. They were extremely helpful. I got the impression while working with them that most of their work is landlord/student disputes, not students who are in trouble as you suggested. They're there to protect the students.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:22 a.m.

"Student legal services." Sounds like the kids who stay out of trouble end up paying for the ones who don't. Collectivism is one of the reasons everything is so damn expensive today.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

Aggatt, I am glad it worked for you. You of course, are the exception, most kids don't get PhD's in the hard sciences. Physics, Chemistry, etc. are sought after skills. Sorry I didn't make that clear in my original response.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

Tom--I have an LSA degree in the hard sciences. I wouldn't have gotten into the PhD programs that I did with a degree from a not so great school. It was definitely worth the cost for me, since now I'm being paid to work on a PhD at an even better school that UM. An LSA degree is worth what you make it. I studied with world class researchers and was able to participate in very good scientific research, which wouldn't have been possible at a lesser school.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 3:26 p.m.

I feel your pain just having had a son graduate with an Engineering Degree - but it is simply supply and demand. My advice is before your kid goes to college, shop around and buyer beware. There are a lot of good value schools around with excellent teachers. As a business owner, I am more interested in "what skills do you have and what can you do for me" and the indiviudal's attitude rather than a prestigious University name where they came from. Pick a college that gives them the skills they need. No sense in paying big bucks if your major is LSA or general studies, I think you get my point. U of M is simply not worth the steep costs despite being a state college. Go to a 2 year Community College and then transfer to U of M if you want that prestigious name. Many credits are transferrable. You are miles ahead.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

I used to work out at the CCRB. Sure, it wasn't glamorous, but it was more than adequate (in my humble opinion). Unless there are dangers from old equipment or building disrepair, I have to wonder if standards have just changed dramatically in the last 5-10 years. Students paying current tuition might expect more for their money as well. It's too bad that tuition isn't enough to cover renovations, and students who were fine with the facilities might have to pay for upgrades anyway.

Mich Res and Alum

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:27 a.m.

I've been to many campus rec buildings (CMU, WMU, Oakland, Iowa, OSU, Dayton, Texas are some) and the CCRB is the worst facility among them. Even UM-Flint has a better rec center. This is something that is long overdue and the students have been clamoring for for a long time. It is annoying the U is dragging its feet. Maybe if there were serious private sector competition (like there was with the dorms) MSC would say something more than 'won't somebody think of the academics.' They were awfully willing to redirect many from academics to student life with the dorms, why can't this get done?

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Brad- For students it's $45 per month or $160 per semester. I believe the monthly fee for non students is around $65 per month.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

And what do WCC students pay to use that facility?

Audion Man

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:06 p.m.

Washtenaw Community College has a recreational facility that puts UM's to shame. I worry that even with a fee, they will just try to slap a fresh coat of paint on the facilities they have, when in reality, they need to be *replaced*. Yeah, the IM probably stirs nostalgia in old alumni, but really- it is a dark, dank, musty dump. The CCRB was tired years ago, and has not been helped by various half-hearted attempts at renovation. Replace 'em!

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:07 a.m.

These three facilities are not run or funded by the athletic department. Their meant for use by the general student body, not athletes.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

I should add that as a former Michigan athlete, I did use the student gyms every once and awhile when the athletic facilities were closed. But for the most part, athletes don't use those gyms.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

Bonsai--they aren't. Student athletes have separate gym facilities that are not open to the general student population. The gyms they want to renovate are for the general student population. In addition, the athletic department is financially separate from the main university, so they would have no part in regular campus renovations.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

Indeed- early morning grogginess.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

They're. They are.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:45 a.m.

Plain and simple, UM is generating tons of additional revenue from TV contracts, seat licenses and athletic donations. The rundown condition of the recreational facilities stems from years of neglect at the hands of the atheltic unit. Tax the athletic unit to do the job they were trusted with for many decades and neglected to do and bring the maintenance of these facilities up to the standards of other community colleges and big ten schools. We don't need to give bozzo the clown a huge raise for entertaining us while his predecessors neglected the health and well being of the UM community. Take back the University!

Jay Thomas

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

This would not be an unreasonable use of the surplus the athletic department operates under.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

The athletic department squarely owns the mess they created in recreational sports facilities. Back when athletic directors were people of vision and honor that extended to the University as a whole, Michigan led the nation in recreational sport facilities with construction of the IM building. Many, many decades ago, that leadership extended to construction of the CCRB and NCRB, all under the direction, supervision, and commitment of athletic directors who were dedicated to being leaders and best at everything they did within the athletic department. After that, the dark ages set in. Other Universities maintained and constructed state of the art wellness facilities while Michigan's fell into ruin and neglect. Finally, after decades of failed leadership and failed maintenance, the crumbling ruins of the recreational sport facilities were removed several years ago from the management of the athletic department who clearly had become preoccupied with building their own salaries and varsity sports while neglecting their JOB of running and developing the recreational sport facilities for the entire University. You can look around the country at countless other athletic departments that developed state of the art facilities for their campuses. What the University pulled from its athletic department were facilities that lacked commitment and vision for four decades.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

And to add to what rs said, it actually says that in the article too.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

You can take your foot out of your mouth now. The student recreation buildings are not connected with the athletic department at all.