Thursday, September 13, 2007
Board approves new high-performance chemistry computerAt its Sept. 12 meeting, the Oakland University Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a high-performance parallel computer to be used by the Department of Chemistry. Ninety percent of the price of the computer will be covered by a National Science Foundation grant earned by OU’s chemistry faculty. The new high-performance parallel computer, an Altix 450 manufactured by Silicon Graphics Inc., will be used by OU researchers investigating such phenomena as radiation damage in DNA and protein folding, which is applicable to understanding Alzheimer’s.
“Having the best research tools makes OU faculty more competitive for the next grant,” said Virinder Moudgil, vice president for academic affairs and provost. The Altix 450 is five to 10 times more powerful than the chemistry department’s existing parallel computer, an Altix 350. The two computers are fully compatible, and the Altix 350 will be retained for use by students and faculty members.
As part of the consent agenda, a revised Oakland University Student Congress (OUSC) constitution was approved. The new constitution contains an amendment establishing a judicial branch within the OUSC in the form of a congressional court. The court will consist of one chief justice and four associate justices, increasing the number of students afforded opportunities for leadership positions.
The Ad Hoc Nominating Committee appointed Dennis Pawley as chair of the Board of Trustees and Jacqueline Long as vice chair for the current year. Trustee David Fischer was appointed chair of the Finance, Audit and Investment Committee.
Jim Leidel delivered the annual energy report, noting that campus water consumption was reduced by 11.5 percent over the previous year, and electricity consumption was reduced by 4 percent. In the annual purchasing report, Maria Ebner-Smith said that purchases OU made from minority and woman-owned businesses increased 2.8 percent over the past year. Contracts and purchase orders are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder regardless of minority or woman-owned status.
Other board activity included the approval of a 5-year athletics apparel agreement with Nike and the appointment of UBS as OU’s endowment investment management firm. In addition, the board approved a contract to repair the culvert on the north side of Meadow Brook Road between Hamlin Hall and the University Student Apartments. The two-month project will begin as soon as possible.