myU OneStop

What's Inside

Related Links

Home > Brief > Brief (3-17-2010)  Print

Vol. XL No. 10; March 17, 2010
Editor: Adam Overland,

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

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents March 11-12 meeting summary.
--State Relations update: 2010 Capital Investment bill.
--President's budget update on compensation planning.
--Feature: Doris Taylor's work moves a step closer to the market.
--People: John Tate Award recipients for excellence in undergraduate advising; and more.

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

THE BOARD OF REGENTS MET MARCH 11 AND 12. State economist and U professor Tom Stinson gave an update on the state’s economic forecast. Senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School Frank Cerra and CFO Richard Pfutzenreuter presented to the board on the ongoing development of the Biomedical Discovery District. President Bruininks stated in his report to the board that the University has already reduced its budget by close to $190 million for the current biennium, not including the governor's recent additional $36 million unallotment. For more information, see Board of Regents March meeting summary.

STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: 2010 Capital Investment bill. Gov. Pawlenty exercised his line-item-veto powers on the state legislature's $999 million capital investment bill on March 15. Of the University's total $193.3 million request, the governor approved $89.7 million: $56 million for HEAPR, $23 million for Folwell Hall renovations, $4 million in planning money for the new Physics and Nanotechnology building, and $6.7 million in general laboratory renovation funds. For a financial comparison chart of the various versions of the request as approved by the house, senate, and governor, see 2010 Capital Bonding PDF.

PRESIDENT'S BUDGET UPDATE ON COMPENSATION PLANNING. President Bruininks recently highlighted current planning in dealing with the U's budget shortfall of $132.2 million for 2010-11. Leadership, in consultation with the U community, has modeled a number of solutions. Under a plan proposed by faculty leaders late last week, all employees systemwide would take the equivalent of a 1.15 percent decrease in pay for fiscal year 2011 (July 2010 through June 2011). As proposed, this is a temporary reduction for FY11 only and would be implemented differently based on employee group. The Faculty Senate must vote to approve any proposed reduction in faculty pay at a special meeting on March 25. If the faculty pay reduction is approved, the plan will be implemented. For more information, see the President's compensation planning update.

FEATURE: Doris Taylor's work moves a step closer to the market. In 2008, U of M professor Doris Taylor and her team created a beating animal heart in the laboratory. Now the University has licensed the technology, which holds promise for replacing entire human organs. For more information, read "Heart-mending technology."

PEOPLE: John Tate Award recipients for excellence in undergraduate advising are Shuji Asai, James Leger, Jan O’Brien, and Paul Timmins; Joachim Savelsberg, sociology, received a research grant from the National Science Foundation; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



U RESEARCHERS HAVE DISCOVERED HOW ELECTRICITY MOVES THROUGH CELLS. The achievement is a breakthrough for biology and could provide insights into minimizing energy loss in other systems, from nanoscale devices to moving electricity around the country. The research, led by Carrie Wilmot, associate professor in the College of Biological Sciences, is published in the March 12 issue of Science. For more information, see the news release.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS. The U's Institute on the Environment (IonE) is soliciting proposals for major new research activities to be supported through the IonE Discovery Grants program. Highly innovative research activities will be supported with a one-time investment of venture capital funding. Of particular interest to the institute this year are proposals that focus on global freshwater resources; issues of population growth, economic development, public health, and the environment; novel techniques for synthesizing, analyzing, interpreting, and sharing complex environmental data; and creative means of engaging decision-makers and the public in critical environmental issues on a national or international scale. Initial concept papers are due May 7. For more information, see IonE Discovery Grants.

THE MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM will present "The Spring Trunk Show II: Art of Tree Transformations." The show encompasses exquisite woodturnings created by Edina artisan Virgil Leih. Leih will offer tours from 1 to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday during the exhibit, which runs from March 19 through May 2. For more information, see trunk show.

U OF M MOMENT: Do consumers purchase "green" products to help the environment or simply to improve their social status? A new study by marketing professor Vladas Griskevicius showed that people will choose a more environmentally friendly product over one with more comfortable features in order to improve their own reputations. When no one else is watching, such as in an online purchase, consumers tend to forsake the green product for one that is more feature rich. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.


OPEN HOUSE: UMC has partnered with the University of North Dakota (UND) to host a March 23 open house for individuals interested in pursuing UND's online master of business administration (MBA) degree program. UMC partnered with UND in response to a growing demand from UMC's online students for an online degree option. For more information, see online MBA.

UMC ART INSTRUCTOR SONIA SPAETH, with Crookston High School (CHS) art teacher Gary Stegman, and local potter and Krazy Kiln owner Jenn Steinbrink, will showcase the creation of 200 bowls in an effort to raise hunger awareness. Eight pottery wheels will be humming in the CHS Art Room March 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Open to the public. Local potters and those with experience are invited to participate in throwing pottery on the wheel, and members of the community are encouraged to hand build a bowl for the event. For more information, see pottery for hunger.


THE MARSHALL ALWORTH PLANETARIUM will hold a presentation exploring the complex scientific idea of String Theory. UMD professor Howard Mooers will explain the theory and its importance to astronomy. The program is suitable for ages 12 and older. Free and open to the public. March 17 and 19, 7 p.m., Marshall Alworth Planetarium. Private shows are available for groups of 10 or more. To schedule a private showing, email Alworth or call 218-726-7129. For more information, see Alworth Planetarium shows.

THE UMD MULTICULTURAL CENTER will host a screening and discussion of the film Blossoms of Fire, directed by Maureen Gosling and Elle Osborne, as part of UMD's 2010 Latin American Awareness Celebration. Sponsors include the Latino Chicano Association and Latino/Chicano Student Programs and the UMD Multicultural Center. Free and open to the public. March 22, noon, 273B Kirby Student Center. For more information, email Susan Pelayo-Woodward or call 218-726-8444.

UMD STORES FOOD DRIVE is ongoing now through the end of March. All donations received during the month will be proportionally matched by Minnesota Food Share. Drop off nonperishable food items at any UMD Stores location. Food items will be donated to the Duluth Emergency Food Shelf. For more information, see UMD Stores.


UMM WAS AWARDED AN ADDITIONAL $85,000 GRANT through a Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace Alliance for Talent Development initiative to deliver and expand curriculum in biomass gasification technology. An intensive three-week course will be held in May for those seeking training and employment in biomass gasification. Morris Continuing Education received an initial grant of $174,258 to develop and deliver biomass curriculum in 2009. For more information, see biomass grant.

WOMEN AND THE LIBERAL ARTS will be the topic at "Asking the Big Questions." The discussion will focus on the ways in which gender and women's studies help to promote the goals of liberal arts education. Philosophy professor Pieranna Garavaso will facilitate the discussion. The event is part of the Midwest Philosophy Colloquium and is sponsored by the Briggs Library, the Commission on Women, and the UMM Office of Sustainability. March 23, 6:30 p.m., Briggs Library McGinnis Room. For more information, email Peter Bremer or see big questions.

THE CIRCLE OF NATIONS INDIAN ASSOCIATION STUDENTS (CNIA) will hold their 26th Annual CNIA Powwow, featuring a colorful expression of song and dance. In 2009, the event featured more than 130 dancers and singers representing Native Nations from the United States and Canada. This year's event is expected to exceed that number. March 27, Physical Education Center. For more information, see song and dance.


THE BOARD OF REGENTS APPROVED UMR'S PROPOSED PURCHASE of land located at 701 S. Broadway in Rochester at its March 12 meeting. The board also approved a 10-year lease of office, classroom, and student housing space for the UMR campus. For more information, see UMR expands.

Twin Cities:

A DESIGN INTERSECTIONS SYMPOSIUM series seeks to stimulate thinking about design and its application in new ways. The first program, "Disruptive Effects: How Design is Changing Your World (and how to profit from it)," will feature internationally renowned future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal as keynote speaker. Other presenters include Tom Erickson, an interaction designer and researcher for IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, and Nora Paul, director of the U of M’s Institute for New Media Studies. Dean Fisher, College of Design, will moderate the symposium. March 18, noon-5:30 p.m., 3M Auditorium, Carlson School of Management. A fee of $150 includes lunch and a post-symposium reception. For registration and more information, see design intersections.

A TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH blog by the Center for Spirituality and Healing's (CSpH) director Mary Jo Kreitzer helps you be your own best health advocate. Her latest blog entry talks about CSpH senior fellow Brenda Langton's upcoming three-week cooking course, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living. For more information, see take charge of your health.

A GRANT WILL INCREASE ONLINE ACCESS TO THE GOLDSTEIN MUSEUM COLLECTION. Thanks to an August 2009 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Goldstein Museum of Design will be able to dramatically increase access to its collection by making digital images and information about the collection available online. For more information, see a slideshow.

SAVE THE DATE: CBS ANNUAL PLANT SALE. Located in the Minnesota Commons of the St. Paul Student Center, this year's plant sale will include a large selection of blooming annuals, tropical plants, herbs, carnivorous plants, succulents, and orchids. An orchid and succulent expert will be present to answer questions about the care and culture of these remarkable plants during the sale. April 21-22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Minnesota Commons Room, St. Paul Student Center. For more information, call Jodi Bjork or Ric Roderick at 612-625-4788.

MORE EVENTS include Free Workshop: Unlocking Your Professional Potential: A Creative Process (March 18); Water Rights & Art Celebration (March 20); World Water Day 2010: Clean Water for a Healthy World (March 22); Minnesota's Future 3x3--3 Evenings, 3 Challenges, 3 Solutions (March 23). 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

Brief is published by e-mail and on the Web at

Notice: Brief is the official University of Minnesota staff and faculty weekly news digest, featuring human resource, employee benefit, administrative, legislative, budgetary, event, and other pertinent information. You may choose to unsubscribe from Brief, but please be aware that if you do, you will not receive this up-to-date information, compiled and delivered directly to you, in any other University communications. To unsubscribe, visit