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June 12, 2003
1. University acts to discipline future rioters
2. Cycle of life
3. From Fargo to Crookston: new chancellor at UMC
4. Food at the office making you fat?
5. BioBuds: more than just friendly faces
6. Cool cats and dogs
7. Students supporting small-business owners
8. U of M Happenings
University acts to discipline future rioters
For the first time, the University of Minnesota will be able to discipline its students who take part in off-campus celebratory riots, under a new anti-riot policy being presented to the U's Board of Regents tomorrow (June 13).
The proposed administrative policy prohibits students from inciting or participating in a riot "on campus, in areas proximate to campus, or in any location when the riot occurs in connection with or in response to a University-sponsored event." Students violating the policy will face sanctions, including expulsion, under the U's Student Conduct Code. Currently, the conduct code applies only to on-campus behavior.
"This policy sends a clear message to students that they will be held accountable for their actions," says President Bob Bruininks. "Rioting, disorderly conduct, and property damage are inconsistent with the values of this University and of our broader community, and we take this problem very seriously."
If approved by the board, the policy would take effect immediately.
In addition to expanding its disciplinary authority, the University is taking a number of other steps to prevent future violence related to athletic or other University-sponsored events:
- A full-time community liaison position has been created to help address student behavior off campus;
- A committee led by Ed Ehlinger, director of Boynton Health Service, is working on issues related to alcohol use and will make recommendations this fall to reduce excessive consumption and binge drinking;
- The U will co-host a national conference with Ohio State University next fall in Columbus, Ohio, on student conduct surrounding celebratory events;
- The U will participate in a student summit on promoting responsible celebrations, hosted by the University of New Hampshire, in September;
- The U will participate in a Michigan State University research project to explore issues surrounding off-campus parties. Participating institutions will appoint a research team of students, staff, university police, city police, and other community agencies to collect information and identify best practices next February;
- The U will communicate its expectations for students entering school this fall, and the sanctions for violating the new U policy will be outlined and applied through the Student Conduct Code.
The April 12 riot following the Gopher men's hockey team's national championship victory caused an estimated $150,000 worth of damage to the Twin Cities campus and thousands of dollars in damage to private property in nearby neighborhoods.
So far, at least eight people have been charged in connection with the violence, five of those with felonies. The U has charged 12 students with disciplinary violations under the Student Conduct Code for on-campus behavior.
U police are still looking for several suspects. Pictures of suspects yet to be identified are posted at
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Cycle of life
A mortuary isn't where most people would choose to spend their nights. But about 20 years ago, then-University of Minnesota student Richard Purcell found it met his needs. He paid no rent and got a hands-on education just for watching the place. Today, burglar alarms have largely eliminated live-in positions at funeral homes, but learning up-close remains vital to mortuary science.
Before fall 2001, students in the U's mortuary science department weren't required to spend time in the field until near the end of their two-year program. Now, they are plunged into the profession from day one, says department director Michael LuBrant. They must spend five hours a week at a licensed funeral home, crematorium, cemetery, or affiliated institution such as a hospice, hospital, morgue, or medical examiner's office. This change is part of the department's new community-based education initiative.
"Dr. Burton combines the leadership, vision, and energy that will serve the Crookston campus well in the coming years," says University President Bob Bruininks, who offered Burton the job after a months-long national search. "He also brings to the position significant experience and a record of achievement in higher education along with a strong scholarly background."
Traditionally, says LuBrant, mortuary science students have come from families already involved in funeral service. But in recent years, an increasing number of students entering the program have no background in the business, so clinical rotations play an important part in helping them decide if they are on the right career track. During rotations, students pick up pointers that complement and augment classroom learning, and this may include advice on flower arranging, wake preparation, cosmetics, and dressing bodies.
Purcell, now the owner of two Twin Cities funeral homes, is one of several practitioners mentoring U students in embalming, restoration, and other aspects of funeral service.
Funeral directors who host students in clinical rotations are investing in the future of their profession, says Kelly Guncheon, executive director of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association. "They're interested in having the best and the brightest in the profession," she says.
To learn more about the U's mortuary science program, see www.med.umn.edu/mortsci.
Edited from an original story by Joel Hoekstra in Pictures of Health, summer 2002.
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From Fargo to Crookston: new chancellor at UMC
Sociologist Velmer Burton, Jr., has been named the new chancellor of the University of Minnesota, Crookston. His appointment, pending Board of Regents approval on June 13, comes as current Chancellor Don Sargeant returns to teaching after 18 years at the helm.
Burton, 40, who holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Cincinnati and an Ed.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, is Graduate School dean and sociology professor at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo. In his three years there, Burton has expanded student recruitment efforts and implemented numerous new graduate programs. Previously, he served as associate provost for graduate studies at Southeast Missouri State University and as a department head at Ferris State University. He has also held faculty positions at Washington State University-Pullman, Sam Houston State University, and Illinois State University.
Velmer Burton, Jr., speaking at a public forum in Crookston during his bid for the position of UMC chancellor.
"I am eager to work with President Bruininks, his administration team, and everyone at UMC to further develop initiatives that will build on the strong foundation left by Chancellor Don Sargeant," says Burton. "I believe UMC has a bright future, and I am excited to be a part of it."
During his tenure as chancellor, Sargeant guided the campus from a two-year college to a four-year institution that became the first in the nation to provide all its full-time students and faculty with a notebook computer. Sargeant is planning to take a yearlong sabbatical before rejoining the faculty. He has been a faculty member and administrator at UMC since 1970. To learn more about Sargeant's decision to step down, see
Editor's note: UMC will hold a press conference on Monday, June 16, at 10 a.m. in the Kiehle Building rotunda to introduce its new chancellor.
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Food at the office making you fat?
Glazed doughnuts at the breakfast meeting, pasta salad and bread for the lunch seminar, chocolate cake for a co-worker's birthday party... Uff da! Fortunately, faculty at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health have developed guidelines that may help you from piling on the pounds at work.
"There is an epidemic of obesity in our country," says Mary Story, epidemiology professor and co-author of the guidelines. "Two out of every three adults in the United States is overweight or obese. These guidelines will be a free and easy tool employers can use to encourage healthy eating habits at work."
Perhaps it's time to digest some healthier food options?
The guidelines offer healthier food options for office functions, compare healthful and unhealthful foods, and give caloric and fat information on popular foods and beverages. One of the seemingly obvious suggestions for healthy eating habits at work is not providing food at mid-morning or mid-afternoon meetings, presentations, and seminars. Yet, this recommendation, according to the U's Academic Health Center, has never been made before by nutrition experts. And it may be a hard one to follow, calling for a major cultural shift in some workplaces.
When it is necessary to serve food at work functions, the guidelines give specific recommendations on what should be offered. These include serving salads with dressings on the side; preparing sandwiches on whole grain breads; providing lean meats, poultry, and fish; and having fresh fruit, instead of fruit tarts or pies, for dessert.
The U's workplace nutrition guidelines were developed based on food recommendations from the 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. health and human services and agriculture departments.
For a copy of the guidelines, see
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BioBuds: more than just friendly faces
Last fall, there were 46,734 students, 2,864 faculty members, and 250 buildings on the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, campus. And freshman Carolyn Ahlstrom. The genetics, cell biology, and development student credits the U's BioBuds program for making a massive campus less intimidating and for giving her an insider's view of her college.
BioBuds was created last year by the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) to connect its freshmen with upperclassmen who were more familiar with the college and the University in general. Incoming students get their chance to find a Bio buddy during summer orientation. After filling out an online questionnaire, which asks for potential major, career plans, and extracurricular interests, each student is paired with a CBS sophomore, junior, or senior with similar interests. Ahlstrom was matched with sophomore Jessica Cott, who shares the same major.
Freshman Carolyn Ahlstrom (right) with her BioBud Jessica Cott.
Bio buddies get together at least once a month. Ahlstrom and Cott meet as often as their schedules allow and stay connected by e-mail. "Most of the time we chat over a cup of coffee," says Cott. She believes it is important for upperclassmen to mentor freshmen and share insights because "there's really nothing like getting a student's perspective on the University of Minnesota to help you get started."
Although the program is geared toward helping freshmen, Ahlstrom is not the only one who benefits from it. Cott, who is interested in a career in genetic counseling and has a mentor outside the program, says she finds a certain satisfaction in helping other people succeed, and "I know how important it is to have someone to talk to."
To learn more about the BioBuds program, see www.cbs.umn.edu/studentservices/biobuds.
Edited from an original story by Justin Piehowski in BIO, spring 2003
Editor's note: To learn about other University efforts to create a friendlier place on its Twin Cities campus for first-year students, read "Transforming the Freshman Experience" in the spring issue of M at www.umn.edu/urelate/m.
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Cool cats and dogs
Dogs and cats cannot sweat like humans do to stay cool--they only have sweat glands on their paws. To avoid the summer heat, Spot and Puff most likely will pant and seek a shady place to cool themselves. Laurie Green, a vet at the University's College of Veterinary Medicine, has some pet care tips for when the temperature and
humidity levels rise.
Buddy poses in the cool comfort of his air-conditioned home.
- If you keep your pet outdoors, make sure it has a place to get out of the sun and plenty of fresh water to drink. Your pet will need much more water in the summer to replenish what it loses by panting.
- Never keep your pet in a car, especially under direct sunlight. Even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside the car can quickly soar to 120 degrees or more. These conditions can kill a pet in less than 10 minutes.
Hugo takes a moment to cool down in the shade of his backyard oasis.
- If you like to run or do vigorous exercises with your dog, do so at cooler times of the day such as the early morning or evening. If you exercise during hotter times of day, your dog will have difficulty cooling itself and could overheat quickly. And because your dog will probably try to keep up with you, you may not realize that it is overheating until its condition is severe. Another option is to soak your dog with water before exercising to help it stay cooler. This is especially important for longhaired or heavy-coated dogs. Dogs with very short hair have less trouble keeping themselves cool.
- A dog's normal body temperature is 100-102 degrees. If its temperature rises to 105 degrees, it is in danger of heat stroke. Likely symptoms of heat stroke in a dog are hard panting, very dark pink or reddish gums, and a body that is hot to the touch. If your dog shows these signs, immediately soak it with cool or cold water and take it to the nearest vet.
For more pet care tips, see the U's PetCARE Information Center at www.petcare.umn.edu.
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Students supporting small-business owners
Connecting students with small-business owners in need is what one University of Minnesota program does best. The students earn a stipend and gain real-life experiences, while the small businesses--run mostly by women, people of color, and people with disabilities--get free advice and technical support.
The U's Management Assistance Program for Small Businesses, which recently received a $50,000 gift from Time Warner Cable, is run by the U's Office for Business and Community Economic Development and the Carlson School of Management. Businesses are selected through an application process, and interested MBA or professional students are assigned to a consulting team and matched with a business project. Services, which are provided based on a company's needs, include market research and analysis, marketing and business plan development, accounting, and information technology development.
Connie Frederick, owner of Gifted Baskets and GB Promotional Products in Tonka Bay, Minnesota, says the program provided her with services and expertise that her company couldn't afford. Three U students were asked to evaluate the company Web site and suggest changes.
"I was hesitant to try e-commerce," Frederick says. But her reluctance to sell her products over the Internet disappeared when her assigned consulting team presented a comprehensive evaluation that included the revenues Frederick could generate with different levels of financial investment. "They laid everything out," she says. "We really needed to get ourselves in a position where people could order online, and that's just what we're doing."
"It was good to collaborate with students who had different specialty areas," says Lakeesha Ransom, a Ph.D. student in human resource development and strategic management who worked on the project. "We were able to learn from each other and share our knowledge and skill sets." Ransom has also worked on three other projects under the management assistance program, and "I definitely feel like our work made a difference," she says. "Business owners were appreciative of the work we did for them."
To learn more about the U's Management Assistance Program for Small Businesses, see www.ced.umn.edu.
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U OF M HAPPENINGS
Of liposuction and silicon injections...
U bioethics professor Carl Elliott will discuss his new book Better than Well and the issue of medical enhancements on Tuesday, June 17, at 2 p.m. in U of M Bookstores at Coffman Union on the Twin Cities campus. A book signing and reception will follow. For a review of Elliot's book, which examines the American obsession with looking good, see "Better than Well" in the spring issue of M at www.umn.edu/urelate/m.
Are you ready for Harry?
The long-awaited fifth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will be released nationally on June 21. Harry Potter fans can reserve a copy now at the U of M Bookstores and pick it up that Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from the Coffman Union store on the Twin Cities campus. To reserve your copy, which retails for $29.99, see www.bookstore.umn.edu/genref. Fans who have the publisher's advanced sale reservation coupons can redeem them at the bookstore beginning June 21. For more information, call 612-625-6000.
Vampire on the Mississippi
A cast of 12 University of Minnesota theater arts and dance students will perform Bram Stoker's Dracula from June 20 to Aug. 23 on the Minnesota Centennial Showboat off of Harriet Island in St. Paul. This is the theater department's second season on the new showboat. Tickets are $13-$18, and performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. For tickets or general information, call 651-227-1100.
A decade of jazz
Carla Bley and her 17-piece international jazz orchestra will launch the 10th season of the U's Northrop Jazz Series on Tuesday, July 1, at 8 p.m. in the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the Twin Cities campus. Tickets are $32 and $25. Other performers in this year's series are Chico O'Farrill, Mingus Big Band, David Krakauer, and Regina Carter. For more information about upcoming concerts or to order tickets, call 612-624-2345 or see www.northrop.umn.edu.
Golf--or eat--for the greater good
The U's Duluth School of Medicine will hold its seventh annual Golf Classic fundraiser on Monday, July 21, at Northland Country Club in Duluth. The entry fee of $175 per person ($55 is tax deductible) includes green and cart fees, use of the driving range and putting green, and dinner. Register by July 7; the event is limited to the first 100 people. And if golf is not your game, just come for dinner ($35 per person) or sponsor a golfer for $175. All proceeds go to the Medical Student Research Fund. To register or for more information, call Lori Isaacson at 218-726-7572 or e-mail email@example.com.
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