Update July 29, 2014: This is now rolling out to the UMICH users.
Over the next few weeks Google will roll out an update that makes it easier to start Google+ Hangouts without having to download and install a plugin when using Chrome. This will simplify initial setup and maintenance. Google is now using WebRTC and Native Client to provide this better video chat experience. NOTE: Users of other browsers will still need to use the plugin. Enjoy a new, simpler experience with Google+ Hangouts using Chrome!
For more information, see Plugin-Free Google+ Hangouts in Chrome.