Media Resources Center (Michigan Media), 1978

Michigan Media, ca 1985

Michigan Media Services, ca 1985

In 1973 an Ad Hoc Communications Review Committee was appointed by U-M President Robben Fleming to assess the use of technology in teaching. It examined everything from Ford Lemler’s AVEC, to Garnet Garrison’s TV Center, to radio station WUOM. The commission ultimately recommended the formation of an umbrella unit that would coordinate their activities and reduce duplication of effort.

The new Media Resource Center (commonly known as Michigan Media) was launched on July 1, 1978, just after Ford Lemler’s retirement. It would be headed by Hazen Schumacher. 

Located in buildings that were next door to each other, the plan was for the AVEC and TV Center’s technical and maintenance personnel to work together, while separate television production and graphics capabilities, and media distribution, would also be consolidated. The organization’s combined budget was now about $1.5 million, about half of which was income from rentals and outside production work, and its employees numbered 50.

The existence of Film Projection Service as an independent entity operating within the University was increasingly chafing on administrators, and in 1989 negotiations were begun to regularize the unit, which was now led by Anne Moray. In 1992 FPS employees were transferred to regular U-M status. The unit would come under the umbrella of Michigan Media, which was headed by Rick Ridley and was now comprised of Classroom Projection Services, headed by Roy Hunter, and an equipment loan service, with a repair/engineering unit headed by Reuel Kenyon.