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Home > Brief > Brief (3-11-2009)  Print

Vol. XXXIX No. 10; March 11, 2009
Editor: Adam Overland, brief@umn.edu

Inside This Issue
--If you missed it, a video of the 2009 State of the U Address is now online.
--The state legislative summary discusses changes to the state budget forecast.
--Federal funding of human stem cell research is good news for U researchers.
--People: Recipients of Distinguished Teaching Awards announced; and more.

Campus Announcements and Events
University-wide | Crookston | Duluth | Morris | Rochester | Twin Cities


THE PRESIDENT DELIVERED HIS SEVENTH STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY ADDRESS on March 5. Entitled "New Realities, Renewed Urgency," it examined current trends to set the context for the U's long-term future. For more information, read the speech or watch a video of the address.

STATE LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY: Commissioner of management and budget Tom Hanson released the revised state budget forecast to the Legislature with Governor Pawlenty on March 3. There has been no material change in Minnesota's FY2010-11 budget outlook, but there have been significant changes to the forecast. For more information, see State Relations.

FEDERAL FUNDING OF RESEARCH ON HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS--beyond those approved by President Bush--is good news for researchers at the U's Stem Cell Institute. For more information, watch the U of M video.

PEOPLE: Recipients of the Horace T. Morse-Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education and of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education were recently announced; former senator, vice president, and U.S. ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale will be honored at a reception given by the Japanese ambassador; U in the News features a selection of U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.

CAMPUS ANNOUNCEMENTS AND EVENTS

University-wide:

NEWLY ELECTED REGENTS WILL BE SWORN IN AT THE BOARD OF REGENTS MEETING THIS WEEK. Incumbents Patricia Simmons, Clyde Allen, and John Frobenius and first-term Regent Richard Beeson will take the oath of office from Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Christopher Dietzen March 12, 1:30 p.m., Boardroom, McNamara Alumni Center. Beeson replaces retiring member David Metzen of the Fourth Congressional District, a regent since 1997. For more information including the full schedule, see Board of Regents.

ONLINE GAMING OPENS NEW DOORS TO UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOR. A University professor of computer science and engineering and his social scientist colleagues concluded that massively multiplayer online (MMO) games represent a microcosm of human society. But unlike real society, MMOs can reveal much greater detail about human social behavior. For more information, read the story "The guilded age."

THE ECONOMY AND THE U WEB SITE LAUNCHED AN ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARD. It's a place to participate in discussions about budget challenges facing the University by offering suggestions, asking questions, and making comments. You can log in and join the conversation at the Economy and the U. To receive e-mail updates from the Economy and the U, subscribe here.

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT CLAIMS DEADLINE IS MARCH 31. Employees with a health care or dependent care Flexible Spending Account for Plan Year 2008 must send claims for expenses incurred through March 15, 2009, to Employee Benefits (via campus mail or post) by March 31 for payment. Pursuant to IRS regulations, any funds remaining in accounts after March 15 will be forfeited. To view your account balance, see flexible spending. For more information, see Employee Benefits or call the service center at 612-624-9090 or 800-756-2363, option 3.

2008 TOTAL COMPENSATION STATEMENTS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE MARCH 11. Total compensation statements provide information on the total dollar value of an individual employee's pay and benefits. U of M benefits-eligible employees with appointments of 75 percent or more will receive an e-mail notification with log-in information to access their statement. For more information and to access individual statements, see total compensation.

A REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY ON VACATION LEAVE for faculty and academic professional and administrative employees went into effect March 1. Academic vacation leave is now accrued annually over 26 pay periods, and tracking of accrual and use is automated. Vacation detail and balances will be available to view in online employee pay statements beginning March 25. For more information, see the Human Resources Leave Policy.

THE COLLEGE READINESS CONSORTIUM (CRC) IS SPONSORING A CONFERENCE, "Bringing Lessons From the World's Top Educational Performers to Minnesota," March 23, 9-11 a.m., Coffman Union. The featured speaker is Andreas Schleicher, head of the indicators and analysis division in the Directorate for Education at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris. Free, but registration is required. E-mail registration or call 612-625-3695. CRC is part of System Academic Administration.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2009 OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS are due by March 23. The award, sponsored by the Office for Public Engagement, recognizes members of the U community who have devoted time and talent to make substantial, enduring contributions to the community. For more information and nomination forms, see community service.

THE OFFICE FOR EQUITY AND DIVERSITY REQUESTS APPLICATIONS FOR "IDEA GRANTS" by March 31. Idea Grants fund projects, programs, events, and research that support historically underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and communities. Academic and administrative units across the U campuses are eligible to apply. Grants are awarded quarterly. For more information, see Idea Grants.

WITH THE ECONOMY IN DOUBT, individuals around the country may be confronted with job losses and home-ownership challenges. In the siege of uncertainty, families face new issues, and it becomes crucial to consider financial strategy. In two separate columns, U Extension educators Shirley Anderson-Porisch and Kathleen Olson address these concerns. For more information, read Keeping your home and Job losses require family adjustments.

Crookston:

THE GLBTA OFFICE AT UMC is hosting a series of training sessions by the Minnesota GLBTA Campus Alliance on March 12. The training is made possible by a grant from PFund. It consists of four one-hour sessions on the topics What is an Ally?, How to Teach Others to be Allies, Gender 101, and Transgender Identities. For more information, e-mail Kim Jorgenson.

THE CROOKSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EDUCATION COMMITTEE is sponsoring a career day March 17, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., UMC. The event brings more than 300 high school juniors to campus to learn about careers from local professionals.

UMC'S SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE has established a Web site to serve as an information clearinghouse for activities, events, presentations, and reports pertaining to sustainability issues at UMC. For more information, see sustainability.

Duluth:

THE NINTH ANNUAL "PROFESSOR FOR A DAY" EVENT, hosted by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, will take place March 11, 11 a.m., Weber Music Hall. Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave's, will be this year's featured speaker. The title of his speech is "Think Big--Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Challenging Times." Free and open to the public. For more information, see Professor for a Day.

UMD THEATER: CRIMES OF THE HEART, written by Beth Henley and directed by William Payne, will be performed March 12-14, and March 24-28, 7:30 p.m., and March 29, 2 p.m. The comedy follows the hardships of the MaGrath sisters in small town Mississippi. For more information, see theater.

THE CHILDREN'S MUSICAL "TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND THE GHOSTLY MISTLETOE," by theater professor Tom Isbell, will be performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of its 2009-10 Young Audiences Season. The musical is a sequel to Isbell's first Teddy Roosevelt play. For more information, see theater.

THE UMD MOCK TRIAL TEAM HAS ADVANCED to compete in the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) Opening Round Championship Tournament, March 13-15, Waukegan, Ill. Qualifiers will advance to the AMTA National Championship Title Tournament in April. For more information, see mock trial.

Morris:

THE INAUGURAL DR. JOOINN LEE LECTURE will be given by John Barry, reader in the School of Politics and International Studies and Philosophy and associate director of the Institute for a Sustainable World, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. March 25, 7 p.m., Recital Hall, Humanities Fine Arts. For more information, see Jooinn lecture.

HOW UMM HAS RESEARCHED AND INVESTED IN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY is the topic of the article "Eco-Trifecta: University of Minnesota-Morris sets sights on triple bottom line." The article appeared in the publication Sustainability Smarts: Best Practices for College Unions and Student Activities. For more information, see the Sustainability Smarts PDF.

Rochester:

PROSPECTIVE MBA STUDENTS RECENTLY PARTICIPATED IN AN OPEN INFORMATION SESSION with Rajiv Vaidyanathan (UMD) and Dean Kjell Knudsen (UMD). The event featured a short presentation by Vaidyanathan, highlighting behaviors that market researchers use in numerous consumer industries. Knudson's MBA students joined the group for dinner. For more information, see the MBA program in Rochester.

Twin Cities:

OUTDOOR PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM TESTING: U of M Emergency Management will conduct audio tests for a planned outdoor campus public address system March 16, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The tests will occur in six locations across campus, and will include a short alert tone (the Westminster Chimes) followed by a recorded voice message saying "This is a test of the University of Minnesota Warning System. This is a test and only a test." The entire process may be repeated a second time to allow observers to record data. The campus public address system is the latest step in a long-term strategy for strengthening emergency communications on campus.

WORK ON THE WASHINGTON AVENUE BRIDGE WILL BEGIN THE WEEK OF MARCH 16. Hennepin County will begin to reinforce the pedestrian level. While the work won't require any additional restrictions on the pedestrian level, periodic lane closures on the traffic level are expected. Hennepin County will use changeable message boards on University Avenue to notify drivers of the lane restrictions, and University Services will provide information to the campus community on a timely basis. A delay in parts manufacturing has pushed the expected completion date back to early May.

THE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE ON THE RESTRUCTURING OF GRADUATE EDUCATION will hold an open meeting for University faculty, staff, and students on reshaping the structure of the Graduate School. The U community is encouraged to suggest ideas about the present strengths and weaknesses of the Graduate School and the best distribution of administrative responsibilities among a central office and collegiate units. Additional open meetings are likely in the coming weeks. March 11, 12:20-1:50 p.m., 5 Blegen Hall.

THE 2009 SENATOR PAUL SIMON AWARD FOR CAMPUS INTERNATIONALIZATION NAMED UMTC a recipient. The award recognizes outstanding and innovative efforts in campus internationalization, and is sponsored by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. The award will be given during the organization's conference, May 29, Los Angeles. For more information, see Simon award.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA NORDIC SKI TEAM celebrates its 70th birthday this month, with just enough time to pull on the spandex and click into the skis for winter's last hurrah. For more about the ski team, read "From knickers to spandex.

U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS will be speaking April 15, 3:30-4:30 p.m., 175 Willey Hall. Thomas was appointed by President George H. W. Bush and took his seat in 1991. RSVPs required by April 10th to law event.

HEALTH CARE REFORM AND HEALTH EQUITY is a group forum geared toward Academic Health Center students, staff, faculty, minority and community health agency representatives, and health care professionals. Keynote speakers include Sen. Amy Klobuchar, among others. April 17, 8:45 a.m.-noon, Coffman Union theater. Open to the public. For more information and registration, see health equity.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, under the baton of conductor Mark Russell Smith, will perform Mahler's Symphony No. 9, March 12, 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. Free. For more information, see Orchestra.

STUDENT DANCERS FROM THE U OF M DANCE PROGRAM WILL PERFORM with the Limón Dance Company March 19, 7:30 p.m., Northrop Auditorium. All ticket holders are invited to a performance preview, 6:45-7:15 p.m., Studio 4, Northrop basement, where director Ben Johnson will interview Limón Dance Company artistic director Carla Maxwell. Staff and faculty receive $4 off tickets. For more information, call 612-624-2345 or see the story Watch them soar.

MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO HOST AND AUTHOR CATHY WURZER will hold a reading and book signing March 24, 4 p.m., Bookstore, Coffman Union. Wurzer will discuss her book, Tales of the Road: Highway 61, which explores the 440-mile route of Highway 61 as it snakes through Minnesota from La Crescent to the Canadian border. For more information or to order a signed copy, see Wurzer.

THE 30TH ANNUAL HR TOMORROW CONFERENCE, "Building Capabilities--Driving Results," will take place April 17, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Carlson School of Management. Presented by the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies, the conference will highlight current trends, issues, challenges, and opportunities in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. For more information and registration, see HR Tomorrow.

A NEW U OF M BIKE CENTER is among the biking and walking improvements announced March 10 by Bike Walk Twin Cities, a federally funded initiative to increase biking and walking and reduce driving in Minneapolis and neighboring communities. President Bruininks and Minneapolis mayor Rybak spoke at a special announcement ceremony at the site of the to-be-opened U of M Bike Center in the Oak Street Parking Ramp. For more information, see Bike center.

GOOGLE AT THE U: The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has begun work on plans to integrate Google applications for use at the U. OIT developed the Google Initiative project Web site to serve as a central source for information and updates on the project. For more information, see the Web site.

MORE EVENTS include Sharing Their Journeys: U Women Leaders (March 11); Some Rights Reserved: An Introduction to Creative Commons (March 12); "Playing at Border-Crossing in a Mexican Indigenous Community: Seriously," a talk by Tamara Underiner (March 12); Racism vs. Xenophobia: Transatlantic Perspectives (March 13); Nature Play: Turtles Through Time (March 14); Marvels of Modernism exhibition (March 16); Grant Funding for Graduate Students (March 17). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.


Published by Internal Communications in the Office of University Relations at the University of Minnesota. Please send comments, questions, or submissions to the editor at brief@umn.edu. The deadline for submissions is noon on the Friday before publication. All Twin Cities event submissions are handled through the events calendar at http://events.tc.umn.edu.

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