|Oct. 26, 2001
1. Yudof describes momentum at 'U'
2. U students among brightest ever
3. Mural to celebrate science of neutrinos
4. COAFES announces new priorities
5. Believe the hype
6. New degree program reflects community partnership
7. U of M Happenings
U IN THE NEWS
YUDOF DESCRIBES MOMENTUM AT 'U'
In his annual State of the University address on Thursday, Oct. 18, University of Minnesota president Mark Yudof declared that the University is doing "better than ever."
"We're enjoying a great deal of momentum today," said Yudof. "The fact is that nearly all meaningful indicators of University performance are up."
Yudof described upward trends in student enrollment, graduation rates, research, and private giving. Applications for admission have risen 60 percent since 1995, demonstrating that market demand is high. Both the average high school rank of freshmen and freshman ACT scores have risen. More students are living on or near campus and are, overall, more satisfied with their educational experience at the university. While careful to stress that they're still "unacceptable," Yudof described rising four- and five-year graduation rates on the Twin Cities, Duluth, and Morris campuses and said the University is granting nearly a third more master's and doctoral level degrees than in 1992. Faculty productivity, as measured by research activity, is growing; in the past 15 years, research awards have more than doubled, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Also in the past 15 years, private giving is up nearly threefold, from $85.4 million in 1986 to $217 million in 2001.
"These trends clearly suggest that we're doing our primary job well," said Yudof. "We have a larger student body, we have improved satisfaction, we attract higher caliber students, we've improved graduation rates, and we're meeting the state's needs for graduate and professional education. These achievements, made with relatively fewer faculty and staff, demonstrate increased efficiency."
Yudof noted that in many areas the momentum at the University has outpaced the public's perception, and he asked for help spreading the news.
"I think it is the duty of the faculty and the greater University community to help the public's perception catch up with today's university," said Yudof. "We need to take these facts and weave them with our many examples of success to create new storiesstories that will replace the urban legends that still exist."
While focusing on the good news, Yudof also identified challenges and called on faculty members to help address them. Specifically, he pointed to what he described as a "long-term, national" trend away from state support of public higher education and the need for increased tuition revenues that creates. Financing activities that generate no tuition revenue, such as outreach, will be increasingly difficult and will require "creative solutions," he said.
Yudof gave his address to an audience of approximately 200, primarily faculty members, in Mondale Hall on the Twin Cities campus. The address was broadcast live to each of the other University campuses. The full text of the speech can be found on the Web at www.unews.umn.edu.
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U STUDENTS AMONG BRIGHTEST EVER
Official enrollment figures recently released by the University of Minnesota show that overall, incoming freshmen are better prepared as measured by class rank and average ACT scores. As well, enrollment on the Twin Cities, Duluth, and Morris campuses is growing.
|UMTC and UMM freshmen are neck and neck when it comes to entrance exams, with average ACT scores of 24.5 and 24.4, respectively.
The Morris campus leads all University of Minnesota campuses in the percentage increase in the size of its student body for 2001-02. Student enrollment has grown this year by nearly five percent, to 1,927, representing the highest enrollment in the last five years. Total fall enrollment on the University of Minnesota's four campuses has reached 60,433, with increases of 3 percent at Duluth, 2.5 percent at the Twin Cities, and a drop of nearly 9 percent at Crookston.
UMTC and UMM freshmen are neck and neck when it comes to entrance exams, with average ACT scores of 24.5 and 24.4, respectively. Once entered, Morris students lead the University in the average number of undergraduate credits. For fall 2001, Morris students are carrying an average of 15.3 credits compared with 14.4 at Duluth, 13.9 at Crookston, and 13.3 on the TC campus.
Satisfaction among students on all campuses is also high. The 2001 Student Experiences Survey showed students were happy with their education despite changes from quarters to semesters, a new student information system, and significant construction disruption, especially on the Twin Cities campus. Measures of overall satisfaction were highest for Morris students who gave especially high marks to the overall quality of their academic programs, the quality of instruction, and availability of their instructors. The survey asked students to rank the quality of academic programs, instruction, classrooms, availability of study areas, administration responsiveness, and other factors.
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MURAL TO CELEBRATE SCIENCE OF NEUTRINOS
Who says cave art went out with the Paleolithic painters? Minnesota artist Joseph Giannetti is creating a colorful mural half a mile deep in the Soudan Underground Mine near Tower, Minn. The 25- by 60-foot mural will adorn a physics laboratory, operated by the University of Minnesota, where scientists are probing the nature of tiny subatomic particles. The art will also celebrate the Soudan Mine and the generations of miners who provided iron ore to American industry.
|The mural will contain elements symbolizing the formation and expansion of the universe.
"It's incredibly excitinglike winning the lottery," said Giannetti. "My dream was to do a mural that couldn't be torn down and would last forever. This mural will be the deepest in the world, the only one in a mine, and the largest on an irregular surface. But because the wall is not flat, it's also a difficult one."
The Soudan Mine was a working mine from the 1880s until 1962 and is now owned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The current laboratory was built in the mid-1980s. During the past two years, construction workers have excavated and outfitted a new room for an experiment to probe the nature of the elusive particles known as neutrinos by searching for and measuring neutrino mass. The lab includes a handicapped-accessible, second-story visitor's gallery financed by a grant from the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources. Giannetti's mural will fill the wall opposite the gallery and give visitors an artist's impression of the scientific experiment below them.
In August an international team of scientists began installing a 5,000-ton apparatus, called the MINOS Far Detector. When it is completed, beams of neutrinos will be shot from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, near Chicago, and some will be picked up by the MINOS Far Detector. This study of neutrino mass is expected to increase understanding of the Big Bang that formed the universe, the unseen "dark matter" that influences the expansion of the universe, and the fundamental interactions between energy and matter. The mural will contain elements symbolizing the formation and expansion of the universe, the history of neutrinos, and the scientists who have striven to understand them.
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COAFES ANNOUNCES NEW PRIORITIES
One of the University of Minnesota's oldest colleges is making a change to help it meet the needs of its students, the state, and the world. The College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (COAFES) this week publicly unveiled six new priority areas that will guide it into the 21st century.
The priorities are the culmination of more than a year of work, including listening sessions with more than 400 citizens, agricultural, and community leaders from around the state, as well as input from students, faculty, and staff.
The new prioritiespromoting safe and healthy foods; improving environmental quality; enhancing agricultural systems; revitalizing Minnesota's rural communities; serving urban communities; and the overarching priority of delivering an exemplary education--reflect changing student career interests, opportunities in the marketplace, and new challenges in agriculture, food, and the environment.
"People are concerned about issues like water quality in Minnesota's streams and lakes, diet-related chronic disease, and how we use our land," said Charles Muscoplat, dean of COAFES and vice president for agricultural policy. "They understand that the successes and failures of our rural and urban communities do impact each other. And they want future leaders who have the skills and knowledge to tackle these and other challenges we face."
Along with changes to agriculture, food, and the environment, are significant changes in the needs and interests of students and employers. Over the past 10 years, student enrollment in the college has increased by 86 percent, with 54 percent of the students now coming from metropolitan areas. In addition, nearly 81 percent of the college's students pursue careers beyond traditional production agriculture in fields such as environmental management, food quality and safety, marketing, investment, and technical communications.
Muscoplat said that the college will use the priorities as a guide for decisions on faculty positions, curriculum, student learning opportunities, research, and outreach within the college's 12 departments and six research and outreach centers. In addition to continuing current efforts related to the six priorities, the college is developing new initiatives to further advance each of the six priority areas.
"The priorities enable us to build on our strengths, focus on areas of critical importance to Minnesota citizens and the public good, and hold ourselves accountable," said Muscoplat. "As we move ahead to translate our vision into action, we will continue to ask for and listen to citizen, student, and marketplace needs."
For more information about the college and its new priorities, visit www.coafes.umn.edu or call, (612) 624-3009.
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BELIEVE THE HYPE
It was a victorious homecoming for the Golden Gopher football team Saturday, Oct. 20. Minnesota earned its first Big Ten win this season in a 28-19 triumph over the Michigan State Spartans before a crowd of 47,385 at the Metrodome. If you missed the festivities, Minnesota Alumni Associations Virtual Homecoming Web page features news links and dozens of photos from homecoming events. Alumni are encouraged to leave a note for former classmates in the Class Notes section at www.umaa.umn.edu/umaa/homecoming2001.
|Minnesota earned its first Big Ten win this season in a 28-19 triumph over the Michigan State Spartans.
Before the football game, 500 people attended the pregame pancake breakfast hosted by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association at the McNamara Alumni Center. A program featured appearances by U of M coaches and past and present Gopher sports stars, including longtime Voice of the Gophers Ray Christensen and 1963 Gopher All-American Bobby Bell, who led the Gophers to two Rose Bowls, won two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Christensen and Bell were grand marshals of the homecoming parade. For a summary and photos of the football game and other homecoming sports events, go to GopherSports.com.
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NEW DEGREE PROGRAM REFLECTS COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP
What do you do when a major manufacturer comes to you and says it needs a new breed of educated worker to compete in a global marketplace? You start a new degree program, of course. That's exactly what the University of Minnesota, Rochester (UMR) did this fall.
On Tuesday, Oct. 23, the UMR and the College of Continuing Education (CCE) formally announced a new Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Manufacturing Technology (BASMT).
The new degree was conceived, and the program designed, as a collaborative effort between the UMR, CCE, the Institute of Technology, and regional businesses. This is also the first original program that the University of Minnesota, Rochester, has been instrumental in designing.
"Industries have a need for specific skills for their employees, so their companies can be more competitive in a global economy," said Dick Westerlund, program director for business and technology at Rochester. "It gives the University the opportunity to respond to definite industry needs."
The degree will be granted by the University of Minnesota CCE, but course work for the completion of the program will be provided by both University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions.
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U of M HAPPENINGS
The Ballet Nacional de Cuba first came to the University of Minnesota in 1999 on its first U.S. tour in 20 years. The Cuban company has embraced a tradition of romantic and classical excellence since it was founded in 1948 by Alicia Alonso, with several members of American Ballet Theatre. The 50 dancers who regularly tour Europe, Asia, and South America will be admired for their beautiful footwork, multiple turns, and impeccable beats on Monday and Tuesday, Oct 29-30 at Northrop Auditorium starting at 7:30pm. Tickets are between $23 and $38. For more information, visit http://www.northrop.umn.edu/index.html.
UMD's halls will be haunted this Halloween, Oct. 31. Trick or treating will take place in the residence halls. Community kids can come anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. Participating resident rooms will be well-marked and there will be tour guides to take groups of kids/parents around. Refreshments will be served in the Lake Superior Hall lobby. For more information, e-mail Susan Darge at email@example.com.
The University of Minnesota Marching Band will be perform a free concert at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium in Rochester on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Free tickets are available at any Marquette Bank location in Rochester, Davies Printing in Rochester, or at the University of Minnesota, Rochester. This concert is part of the Rochester Area Alumni and Friends of the University of Minnesota's (RAAFUM) Maroon & Gold Day Celebration. This all day event includes a RAAFUM reception prior to the concert. The cost is $10. For more information please contact Amy at (507) 281-7791.
Tuesday, November 6, from 1-2 p.m. Mark and Judy Yudof take to the airwaves for the second installment of "Beyond the U," their new talk show on WCCO Radio AM 830. The show focuses on the University, politics, and current events, and they take calls from listeners. Beyond the U airs from 1-2 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month.
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