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Home > Brief > Brief (9-29-2010)  Print

Vol. XL No. 29; September 29, 2010
Editor: Adam Overland, brief@umn.edu

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents approves funds for new Academic Ambulatory Care Center.
--National Research Council assessment of doctoral programs.
--Features: Life imitates art; Stalking a cereal killer; Helping students reach higher; Ethanol Plant Plus.
--People: Entomologist Marla Spivak is among 23 recipients of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants"; and more.

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

THE BOARD OF REGENTS APPROVED THE ISSUANCE OF UP TO $150 MILLION IN BONDS to help fund a new 405,000-square-foot, $250 million Academic Ambulatory Care Center. The board’s action, taken during a special meeting on Sept. 27, was necessary for the U to seek nearly $100 million in federal competitive grant funds through the Health Resources and Service Administration. The bonds will be paid off by Fairview Health Services and U of M Physicians. The current facility handles nearly five times the volume of care that was initially projected. For more information, see the news release.

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (NRC) ASSESSMENT OF U.S. DOCTORAL PROGRAMS, released Sept. 28, shows the U’s breadth and quality across disciplines. In what may be the most comprehensive review of doctoral programs ever conducted, 69 of the U’s more than 100 doctoral programs were assessed, and more than 60 percent of those programs had ranges that crossed the top 25 percent nationally. Results cannot be compared to the 1995 survey because the NRC’s new methodology yielded ranges rather than simple numerical ranks, producing a rich set of data available to help universities improve the nation’s research capacity and graduate education. The data are from 2005-06, the beginning of the U’s strategic positioning work, so can serve as a useful measurement starting point. For more information, see the news release.

FEATURE: Mo Perry says she's never added up the number of hours per week she works; she thinks it would make her cry. She's 80 percent time at the U, and when she’s not here, eating, or sleeping, she's acting. City Pages hailed her as the Best Twin Cities Actress of 2010. And if life experience makes an actor, Perry has it in spades: she's lived in a van, joined the Peace Corps, led international tourists on camping trips, and much more. And she’s just 29. For more information, read "Life imitates art."

FEATURE: UG 99, a virulent strain of wheat rust disease, is out there. Crops in Africa and the Middle East have already been destroyed. So researchers at the U of M are leading an international effort to find a solution. For more information, read "Stalking a cereal killer."

FEATURE: The U's Reach for the Sky program gives youth on the White Earth Reservation hands-on, culturally relevant opportunities to explore science, math, engineering, and technology. For more information, read "Helping students reach higher."

FEATURE: Ethanol plants produce billions of gallons of renewable fuels each year. In the process, however, they also produce millions of tons of byproducts. A promising approach to using these byproducts while boosting energy and economic benefits is getting a trial run thanks to an investment by the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, a program of the U's Institute on the Environment. For more information, read "Ethanol Plant Plus?"

PEOPLE: Entomologist Marla Spivak is among 23 recipients of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants"; dean Thomas Fisher and professor Edward Goetz have been named co-directors of the University Metropolitan Consortium; math education professor Tamara Moore has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.

CAMPUS ANNOUNCEMENTS AND EVENTS

University-wide:

KEEPING OUR FACULTIES OF COLOR SYMPOSIUM is devoted to promoting the recruitment, retention, promotion, and recognition of faculty of color in higher education. This year's theme, "Faculty Diversity in Higher Education: An Agenda for Research and Change," will focus on current research related to supporting faculty of color and transforming institutional culture. Nov. 1-2, Radisson Hotel, East Bank. Faculty and staff receive a discounted registration rate of $160. Student rate is $80. Registration deadline is Oct. 18. For more information, see Keeping Our Faculties or email Lori Graven.

A NEW ONLINE ACCESSIBILITY RESOURCE has been created by the U's Computer Accommodations Program—a partnership of Disability Services and the Office of Information Technology. Accessibility.umn.edu will be a "one stop" for creating accessible documents, presentations, and multimedia; taking a universal design approach to teaching with centrally supported technology; developing web content for users with a variety of learning styles, devices and adaptive technologies; seeking information on accessibility-related federal and Minnesota state laws, U policies, and international web guidelines; and satisfying curiosity about adaptive technologies.

NEW GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT THEMES: The Office of International Programs' (OIP) Global Spotlight 2010-12 will focus on Latin America and the Caribbean and the pressing global impact of urbanization. OIP will sponsor symposia, conferences, lectures, films, and cultural events to educate and inform the University and local community about the U's work in these areas. All units are encouraged to incorporate Global Spotlight themes into their events. OIP plans to offer a grant program in 2012 to support targeted research and scholarly initiatives related to the themes. For more information, see Global Spotlight.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION AND CALL FOR PROPOSALS: University of Minnesota conference on Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus, March 25, Carlson School of Management. Free, sponsored by the Office of International Programs, and open to all University of Minnesota faculty and staff. For registration and more information, see internationalizing.

THE U OF M TOURISM CENTER WON A REGIONAL EMMY FOR THE FILM Tourism in Minnesota, Ideas at Play, a half-hour special made in collaboration with Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) highlighting the role of tourism in Minnesota’s economy. The film features the stories of five regional tourism initiatives, as well as the U's role of research and education in supporting community tourism efforts. For more information, watch the video online or see the news release.

Crookston:

LEARN CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE in a unique after-school program designed for students of all ages. The UMC International Programs Office is offering an opportunity for students at the Crookston Public Schools to learn about China during a 10-week, after-school Mandarin Language and Cultural Program. For more information, see Chinese after school.

THURSDAY COMMONS: Jody Horntvedt of U Extension will facilitate an interactive program on strategic positioning. The goal is to generate additional ideas, reactions, and feedback to the work various planning groups have completed over the past several months. Sept. 30, 12:15-2 p.m., Bede Ballroom. For more information, see Thursday Commons.

SAVE THE DATE: FACULTY OPEN FORUM WITH ROBERT McMASTER, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, Oct. 5, 1 p.m., followed by a student open forum at 2 p.m. Locations to be announced.

Duluth:

ALWORTH INTERNATIONAL LECTURE SERIES: "On the Ground: US Policy in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq," with Thomas Hanson, former U.S. Foreign Service officer and Alworth Institute diplomat in residence. Oct. 6, 7 p.m., Library Rotunda. For more information, see Alworth Lecture.

EDWIN EDDY LECTURE: "Clinical Ethics and Decision-Making in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology" presented by Helen Sharp, Oct. 2, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 90 Bohannon Hall. For more information, see http://www.d.umn.edu/csd/clinic/">lecture or email Jena Gordon.

"HEAD START AND CIVIL RIGHTS: Educating Children in 1960s Mississippi." Zelma Williams Croom will give a presentation about establishing the first kindergarten and the first Head Start program for black families in Holmes County, Mississippi, in 1964. Sept. 30, reception at 5:30 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m., Griggs Center. For more information, email presentation or call 219-726-6236.

UMD DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK ANNOUNCED THAT TRACY LITMAN has been named the first recipient of the Master of Social Work Field Supervisor Civic Engagement/Outstanding Service Award. Litman is a 1993 graduate of the UMD Master of Social Work Program. For more information, see social work.

Morris:

UMM REGISTERED AS A SUSTAINABILITY, TRACKING, ASSESSMENT, AND RATING SYSTEM (STARS) Charter Participant. STARS is the only program of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in education and research, operations and planning, administration, and engagement. For more information, see sustainability rating.

THE 2010 MIDWEST PHILOSOPHY COLLOQUIUM, "Learning from Chinese Philosophy,” will feature Roger Ames, professor of philosophy, University of Hawaii. Ames will present on “Confucian Role Ethics: Does Blind Justice Need Moral Imagination?” For more information, see Midwest philosophy.

THE 2010 FESTIVAL OF SPANISH LANGUAGE CINEMA will feature films from Argentina, Chile, and Spain. The films will be screened on Sunday evenings beginning Oct. 3, Morris Theatre, downtown Morris. The festival is funded by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. For more information, see Spanish language cinema.

ASKING THE BIG QUESTIONS, a campus/community discussion series, will explore faith and spirituality during the academic year. Brooks Jessup, history instructor, facilitated the first conversation, Sept. 28, on Chinese Philosophy. For more information, see big questions.

Rochester:

FORTY UMR STUDENTS SIGNED UP TO PARTICIPATE AS MENTORS with John Adams eighth grade students, all of whom would be first-generation college students. Mentors are from all programs, both graduate and undergraduate.

Twin Cities:

PREVIEW/REVIEW: UNIVERSITY EVENTS AND LECTURES is a periodic column highlighting events and lectures recently past and soon to come on the UMTC campus. This issue features two reviews: one on detecting food contaminants and another on how mathematics can do great things. Previews in this issue cover ground from "Psychedelic Psychiatry" to eight-track tapes and "Choreographed Landscapes," and much more. Faculty and staff are invited to contribute to the column. For more information, see Preview/Review.

THE "IT ALL ADDS UP" ENERGY CONSERVATION CAMPAIGN IS SPONSORING A VIDEO CONTEST seeking creative videos from students, faculty, staff, or departments about how they are saving energy on campus. The winning submission will receive a $200 Landmark Theatres Gift Card, as well as It All Adds Up t-shirts for the collaborators (15 max). For more information, including submission directions, see video contest.

THE ST. ANTHONY FALLS LABORATORY (SAFL) WAS AWARDED $7.1 MILLION from the National Science Foundation to renovate its facility on Hennepin Island. The lab was built in 1938 as a project of the Works Progress Administration. The grant is awarded via the Academic Research Infrastructure Program (funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), which invests in the repair and renovation of existing research facilities. For more information, see SAFL renovation grant.

PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WAS NAMED TRANSIT SYSTEM OF THE YEAR by the Minnesota Public Transit Association (MPTA). In 2009-10, the U transported more than 3.9 million riders and sold more than 41,000 U-Passes to students. These programs reduce vehicle miles travelled by an estimated 50,000 per day. For more information, see MPTA award.

THE URBAN RESEARCH AND OUTREACH/ENGAGEMENT CENTER (UROC) invites faculty and staff to a reception for new freshmen and transfer students from North Minneapolis. The reception will be hosted by Robert Jones, senior vice president for system academic administration, and the UROC interim leadership team. The reception will offer incoming students from the Northside an opportunity to meet and network with fellow students and to connect with faculty, staff, and alumni. Oct. 5, 4:30-6:30 p.m., UROC, 2001 Plymouth Ave. N. RSVP to UROC reception or call 612-626-UROC.

FORMER U PROFESSOR DANIEL FARBER WILL SPEAK ON THE GULF OIL SPILL in "Blue Bayou: The BP Deepwater Horizon Blowout and the Social and Environmental Erosion of the Louisiana Coast." The lecture is the first of two, sponsored by the U's Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences, on the theme of "From Climate Change to the Gulf Oil Spill: Law and Science in Times of Crisis." Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Institute. For more information, see oil spill lecture.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR MINI MEDICAL SCHOOL. U faculty, staff, and students receive discounts. This fall, learn about the U's five corridors of science and discovery: diabetes, infectious disease, brain sciences, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders. Oct. 11-Nov. 8, Mondays, 6-8:30 p.m., 2-650 Moos Tower. For registration and more information, see Mini Medical School or call 612-626-7072.

HUMAN CAPITAL RESEARCH COLLABORATIVE (HCRC) FALL CONFERENCE, “Health and Early Childhood Development: The Impact of Health on School Readiness and Other Educational Outcomes.” HCRC is a partnership between the U and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. While the conference is by invitation only, video coverage will stream live, Oct. 14-15, HCRC video.

SUBMIT A HOMECOMING 2011 THEME IDEA AND BE ENTERED INTO A PRIZE DRAWING for a $50 Mesa Pizza gift card. The gift card winner will be drawn at random from all entries on Oct. 29. The University community will be able to vote on the top theme entries during the spring semester. To submit a theme, see Homecoming theme 2011.

MORE EVENTS include "Windmills Not Oil Spills," a talk by Mike Tidwell, author of Bayou Farewell (Sept. 29); SPARK Festival of Electronic Music and Arts (Sept 30); The New Capitalism, Globalization, and the Commodification of Taste (Oct. 4). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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

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


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.

Brief is published by email and on the Web at http://www.umn.edu/umnnews/Publications/Brief.html.

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