The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.

The Physical Plant

The decade of Fleming's years will probably not be noted for growth of the physical plant of the University, but was far from being a decade of inaction. His administration was involved with five new libraries on campus. The Hatcher Graduate Library, financed through federal grant and the $55 M campaign, was constructed. The Bentley Historical Library was an early addition in his administration, and before he left construction had begun on a new Medical Library and a magnificent addition to the Law Library. The first was partially financed with private donations, and the latter was completely so financed. The presidential library for Gerald Ford's papers had been approved and construction would start the year following his resignation. The splendid Power Center Page  27for the Performing Arts, also a product of the $55 M campaign was completed in 1971. A new office and classroom building, the Modern Language Building, was built on the central campus after a prolonged and difficult disagreement with the legislature about the University's autonomy with respect to architectural and design control over buildings on campus. A new building for the College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the School of Art was completed on the north campus in 1974. The College of Engineering undertook a campaign for capital gifts, through which private and public moneys were to be melded to permit the completion of the move of the College to the North Campus. Although the private money was developed, a failure of anticipated state support precluded full accomplishment of the objective, but at least a third of the needed space was built, and the foundation laid for ultimate success. A new building to house the University's computer facilities met an urgent and critical need of the faculty for both academic and research purposes. Mention has earlier been made of the vast improvement in the recreational buildings on campus.

Finally, Fleming played a key role in moving the Hospital Replacement Project on its path to ultimate success. Studies on the condition of the Main Hospital began as early as 1971, but plans for a replacement project had not developed with much rapidity. Bickering among the several units involved threatened to stifle progress. The Regents were restive, and the state's financial backing was insecure. On the financial side, Fleming led the successful development of a state bonding program which would ultimately provide the state portion of support for a building project exceeding $275 million. On the internal side, Fleming assumed the chairmanship of the Planning Committee, and pushed through a series of demands for substantive information, leading to the preparation of an action report which could go to the Regents, and which was adopted by them. He established a pattern for presidential leadership in resolving internal disputes in the Medical Center. The presidential role in the decision process was continued by Interim President Allan F. Smith, and within a year after Fleming's departure, the decisions on the design of the building had been completed, and the difficult political process of securing the final Certificate of Need had been carried out.