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Vol. XXXIX No. 40; December 9, 2009
Editor: Adam Overland,

Brief publication calendar: Brief will not be published on Dec. 30 and Jan. 6. Publication will resume on Jan. 13. All submissions for the Jan. 13 issue are due no later than noon, Jan. 8.

For additional news, information, and resources about U faculty and staff, visit the Faculty and Staff Web site. Follow us on Twitter at UFacultyStaff.

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents meets Dec. 10-11.
--Features: Thrifty celebrations, Unexpected outcome, Through the chrysalis, Making the buck stop here.
--People: Jeffrey Gunderson named director of the Sea Grant program at UMD; and more.

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

THE BOARD OF REGENTS DECEMBER MEETING will include discussion and action on a number of key initiatives, including the state of University research funding, initiatives to improve graduation rates for undergraduate students, and the new Bioscience Discovery District. There will also be updates on the U's strategic positioning effort as well as UMore Park. Dec. 10-11, McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see Board of Regents.

FEATURE: There’s something about a bad economy that brings us back to the basics. Having less disposable income forces us to simplify, and sometimes, simplicity is best. When times are tough, we tend to rediscover our roots, bring back old traditions, and spend more quality time together. We remember that the simple things don’t cost much. And the simple things are good. A new staff and faculty blog solicits cost-saving ideas for holiday, cultural, and family celebrations. For more information, read Thrifty celebrations.

FEATURE: Rising levels of carbon dioxide will overheat the planet and threaten marine life by acidifying the ocean, but they may help counteract losses of biodiversity from another climate villain. Work by researcher and regents professor Peter Reich shows that rising CO2 could, in fact, mitigate the loss of biodiversity brought about by nitrogen pollution. For more information, read "Unexpected outcome."

FEATURE: In solving a 20-year puzzle about insect metamorphosis, a University research team has taken a big step toward the design of better insecticides and understanding the onset of human puberty, which has a similar mechanism. Led by professor of genetics, cell biology, and development, Michael O'Connor, the researchers studied PTTH, a brain-produced hormone that triggers the mechanism of metamorphosis by acting like a key fitting into a lock. For more information, read "Through the chrysalis."

FEATURE: The current recession is taking a toll on the tourism industry nationwide. The U's Tourism Center is helping tourism-dependent communities and businesses in the state to compete effectively for the travel dollar. The center is a network of individuals—including Extension educators reaching the entire state—who support tourism-dependent communities and businesses, according to Ingrid Schneider, director of the center. For more information, read "Making the buck stop here."

PEOPLE: Jeffrey Gunderson has been named director of the University of Minnesota Sea Grant program at UMD; Brad Hokanson has been named director of the U's Design Institute; Minnesota senators Sandra Pappas and Claire Robling were named University of Minnesota Alumni Association 2009 Legislators of the Year; U of M and Virginia Tech have been awarded a grant to complete the sequencing of the turkey genome; the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly was named Organization of the Year at the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students conference; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



THE UNIVERSITY'S ANNUAL REPORT ON GIVING IS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE. The 2009 report focuses on donors and individuals joining together to address the world’s critical challenges. The report summarizes the impact of private giving to the U through both the University of Minnesota Foundation and the Minnesota Medical Foundation. 2009 marks the second biggest year of giving to the U in its history. For more information, read the report.

NOMINATIONS FOR DISTINGUISHED McKNIGHT UNIVERSITY PROFESSORSHIPS are invited by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The awards support the U's most outstanding mid-career faculty members who have recently achieved full-professor status. Deadline is Feb. 1. For more information and nomination instructions, see McKnight nominations PDF.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: 2010-2011 ENGAGED DEPARTMENTS. The Office for Public Engagement announces the availability of funding to support departments in developing or strengthening research- or teaching-focused University/community engagement initiatives for faculty and/or students. Deadline for proposals is Dec. 23. For more information, see engaged departments RFP.

A DRAFT OF THE REVISED INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST POLICY is available online for comment. Over the past year, a University committee has considered the many complicated issues involving conflicts of interest. The time period for review and comment has been extended through Dec. 31. For more information or to comment on the policy, see conflict of interest.

U OF M MOMENT: Many know that Lake Itasca is the headwaters of the country's greatest river, the Mississippi, but few are aware of its leading scientific research and teaching facility, the Itasca Biological Station. The station is a scientific hub to monitor and improve the state's environment and water quality. At 100 years old, it needs repairs and is part of the U's current bonding request to the legislature. Michael Sadowsky, director of the Biotechnology Institute, is coordinating the Minnesota Mississippi Metagenome Project at the station and says it's a valuable learning opportunity for students. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

P & A AUDIO SPOTLIGHT: A 28-year veteran of the University, Vickie Courtney, coordinator of the University Senate Office, says she's always fascinated by the traditions of higher education governance. For more information, listen to Audio Spotlight.


UMC's SPORT AND RECREATION MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION announced that it will be hosting the first annual "White Out" women's and men's basketball games and clothing drive, Dec. 11, 6 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear a white t-shirt to the games at Lysaker Gymnasium and bring donations of gently used clothing or shoes. Fans who bring items for the drive will receive half-priced admission and a free popcorn or candy from the concession stand. Donations to the clothing and shoe drive will be given to the local Care and Share. For more information, see basketball games.

STUDENTS IN MARKETING RESEARCH AND INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION had the opportunity to apply what they've learned in the classroom to address the needs of a real-world client. Business instructor Rachel Lundbohm's classes had the opportunity to synthesize current research and develop plans to address the specific needs of several area businesses and organizations. For more information, see real-world application.

LARRY SMITH, head of the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, has been named a recipient of the Sugarbeet Distinguished Service Award for 2009. The Sugarbeet Research & Education Board presented the award to Smith at the American Crystal Sugar Company meeting Dec. 3. For more information, see sugarbeet service.


TRUMAN CAPOTE'S A CHRISTMAS MEMORY will be presented by UMD English Professor Joseph Maiolo. Maiolo is a performer, teacher, and award-winning writer whose annual reading of this classic story is a popular holiday tradition in the Duluth community. Free and open to the public. Dec. 11, 4 p.m., Weber Music Hall. For more information, call the UMD English Department at 218-726-8228.

UMD JAZZ ENSEMBLES I and II will perform under director Ryan Frane (Ensemble I) head, UMD Jazz Studies Program, and Tom Pfotenhauer (Ensemble II). Tickets: adults $8, seniors $7, students $5, UMD students $3. Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall. For tickets and more information, or a listing of events, call 218-726-8877 or see UMD music.

GLENSHEEN HOLIDAY BRUNCHES at the Glensheen Mansion begin with a festive tour of Glensheen followed by a sumptuous holiday brunch, complete with a whimsical wassail toast. Dec. 12, 13, 19, and 20. The tour begins at 10 a.m., with brunch at 10:45. Price: adults $26.95, children 6-12 $15.95, free for those under 5. For more information, call 218-726-8921 or see holiday brunches.

"HOLIDAY TEA FOR DOLLY AND ME" at the Glensheen Mansion is designed especially for kids. The pint-sized production includes a holiday program and sophisticated tea. Kids and a special doll are invited. Dec. 12, 2 p.m. Price: $37 for one adult, one child (and one dolly). Additional adult or child is $18.50. For more information, call 218-726-8921 or see tea for me.


THE CLASS OF 2010 WILL INSTATE THE UMM BIKESHARE PROGRAM AS A LEGACY to the campus. For the past three years, Morris seniors have come together to give back to the community that welcomed them during their time as students. Their gifts have included the walkway at the Community Services building, the disc golf course at Pomme de Terre Park, and the evergreen trees planted at Big Cat Stadium. For more information, see BikeShare.

COMPUTER SCIENCE WAS CHOSEN AS A PARTNER in the Upper Midwest Information Assurance Faculty Development Project. Funded by a $349,759 National Science Foundation grant, the project’s goal is to advance knowledge in the fields of information assurance and computer security, support current faculty, enlarge the pool of qualified faculty, and increase the number of graduates in this high-demand area. For more information, see NSF grant.


AT A "SNEAK PEAK" OF UMR Dec. 4, about 50 high school juniors and seniors and their families visited the campus. The students were greeted by the chancellor and received a campus tour, and a presentation on the bachelor of science in health sciences program, financial aid, and student services.

Twin Cities:

NEW FEATURE: UNIVERSITY EVENTS AND LECTURES PREVIEW/REVIEW is a new, periodic column (about every two weeks) highlighting events and lectures recently past and soon-to-come on the University's Twin Cities campus. University staff and faculty are invited to contribute. Submissions should be no longer than 250 words and are subject to review by the Brief editor. For the first issue, see preview/review.

WALK-IN PREVENTIVE HEALTH SCREENINGS ARE BEING OFFERED DEC. 9, 8-11 a.m., Boynton Health Service. The routine tests are available at no additional cost to UPlan members and UPlan-covered spouse or same-sex domestic partner. Tests include: fasting cholesterol and blood glucose testing, body mass index and body composition, and a blood pressure check. For more information, see the schedule of walk-in preventive screenings at Boynton Health Service. Students, staff, and faculty (and their dependents) who are eligible to receive H1N1 vaccine can receive the vaccine at no out-of-pocket cost Dec. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Coffman Memorial Union, Great Hall.

GOOD DESIGN: STORIES FROM HERMAN MILLER, explores the collaborative problem-solving design process employed at the world-renowned furniture company, Herman Miller, Inc. Organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art in collaboration with The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan, the exhibition draws upon The Henry Ford's Herman Miller Design Collection—a comprehensive archive of the company's innovative processes and products. Now through Jan. 17, Goldstein Museum of Design.

THE U OF M BOOKSTORE WILL HOLD A FACULTY AND STAFF HOLIDAY EVENT. Faculty and staff receive a 20 percent discount on most merchandise and free gift-wrapping. Savings excludes textbooks, medical reference books, medical instruments, electronics, computers, software, caps and gowns, college rings, and special orders. Dec. 10, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

THE MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM IS OFFERING A SPECIAL HOLIDAY MEMBERSHIP promotion. Memberships start at $45 and can be purchased as a gift. Memberships purchased now through Dec. 31 receive a $10 gift card to Santorini’s Taverna and Grill in Eden Prairie. Benefits include free admission and reciprocal privileges at over 200 arboreta and gardens around the country, discounts at the gift store and on arboretum classes, and more. Gift cards redeemable for an Arboretum art or gardening class or merchandise are also available. To order a tax-deductible membership online, see arboretum or call 952-443-1440.

CARE PACKAGES by Gopher Express convenience store in Coffman Memorial Union are available to surprise coworkers, students, or family members. December's package ($19.99) is "Let It Snow," filled with traditional winter favorites like cocoa, popcorn, and sweet treats. For more information or to order online, see care packages.

MORE EVENTS include Interactive Panels: The Art of Community Partnership (Dec. 9); Labor Relations at the University (Dec. 10); David Queller, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University (Dec. 11); WAMplified! featuring Mates of State (Dec. 12); Dance Revolutions (Dec. 13); Robot Show (Dec. 14); Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Skills (Dec. 15). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS: Golden Gophers | UMD Bulldogs | UMM Cougars | UMC Golden Eagles

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 The deadline for submissions is noon on the Friday before publication. All Twin Cities event submissions are handled through the events calendar at

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