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Vol. XL No. 34; November 3, 2010
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Open Enrollment is online through Nov. 30.
--University Winter Closure information.
--Features: A big commitment for a cell; Profile of Yoichiro Mori, McKnight Land-Grant Professor.
--People: Ronald Hadsall and Rodney Johnson have been named Distinguished Professors under the Pharmacy Scholars program; and more.

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

OPEN ENROLLMENT is online through Nov. 30. If you are satisfied with your medical and dental plan choices, you do not need to re-enroll. If you do nothing, your current plans will continue into 2011. However, if you wish to have a flexible spending account in 2011, you must enroll during Open Enrollment. For more information, see the online PDF: Guide for UPlan Benefits Enrollment. You must make your election online at Employee Self-Service by Nov. 30. Contact the Employee Benefits Service Center at 612-624-9090 or 1-800-756-2363 if you have specific questions about Open Enrollment. A narrated Open Enrollment presentation is also available through UMConnect.

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA CAMPUSES WILL BE CLOSED during the winter break. UMTC will be closed Dec. 24–Jan. 2. These dates vary slightly for coordinate campuses. During this time, University services and business offices will be closed. Only essential services will be open. The closure is a cost-saving measure. Utility savings will be realized by turning the heat down in most buildings and labor savings will be achieved during a time when U activities are already reduced. For up-to-date information about the closure, see University Winter Closure.

FEATURE: The stereotype of a commitment-shy male may not play out very often in men, but their sperm are a different story. Cells that give rise to eggs and sperm—germ cells—must undergo a special form of cell division that commits them to their fates. But future sperm put it off much longer than future eggs do. U researchers led by David Zarkower, professor of genetics, cell biology, and development, have discovered how they manage it. For more information, read "A big commitment for a cell."

FEATURE: Math may have caused plenty of headaches throughout history, but McKnight Land-Grant Professor Yoichiro Mori has turned the tables. As a top researcher at the U, Mori is using mathematics in the quest to understand migraines, heart arrhythmias, and other ailments. Mori’s goal is to model cells’ and tissues’ electrical activity in great detail. For more information, read "Yoichiro Mori, McKnight Land-Grant Professor."

PEOPLE: Ronald Hadsall and Rodney Johnson have been named Distinguished Professors under the Pharmacy Scholars program; Esam El-Fakahany will join the College of Pharmacy on March 1 as the associate dean for research and graduate studies; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



UNIVERSITY RELATIONS HAS COMBINED FIVE WEBSITES INTO ONE: "OUR BRAND: HOW TO CONVEY IT." Based on feedback from faculty, staff, vendors, and others, "Our Brand" includes resources, tools, and how-to tricks for following the University's branding policy, creating eye-catching designs with the University's marks, and developing websites. All official University communications guidelines, requirements, templates, logos, and images are available through the Our Brand website.

THE SECOND ANNUAL U OF M GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER ALLY (GLBTA) systemwide summit will be held at the Morris campus Nov. 5–7. The event offers students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members an opportunity to work towards GLBTA equity, sustainability, and social justice. Featured keynote speaker is American Indian activist, environmentalist, and writer Winona LaDuke. For more information and registration, see GLBTA summit or email Shawyn Lee.

CALL FOR PAPERS: THE 2011 DESIGN OF MEDICAL DEVICES CONFERENCE will be held April 12–14 in Minneapolis. The conference is seeking original papers that demonstrate new technologies and applications in the field of medical device design. Submissions from academic and industry researchers, clinicians, and practitioners are encouraged. Papers should present an unbiased description of an experiment, product, or business method related to medical devices. The submission deadline is Dec. 15. For more information, see Medical Devices conference.

U OF M MOMENT: Julia Ponder, director of the U's Raptor Center, will be traveling to the Galapagos Islands in November on an important mission—to preserve the rare Galapagos Hawk while the Ecuadorian government eradicates non native rats that have been ravaging biodiversity on the archipelago. Ponder will assist with the initial capture and care of the hawks, keeping them safe until they can be returned to the wild. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.


SESSIONS EXPLORING NEW AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AVAILABLE FOR FACULTY, STAFF, STUDENTS, and courses will be offered by Technology Support Services; the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology; and various faculty members. Nov. 4, Dowell Hall, various rooms and times. For more information, see Thursday Commons: Focus on Technology.

UMC UNIVERSITY RELATIONS has launched a new Student Stories blog. The blog showcases current students and recent graduates, and lets them tell the story of their own student experience. For more information, visit the blog.


AN EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AND HEALTH FAIR will offer helpful information for making informed decisions during Open Enrollment, which takes place from Nov. 1–30. The benefits fair provides a great opportunity to meet the new pharmacy benefits managers, talk to the medical and dental plan representatives about plan options, visit with retirement plan, disability, and life insurance representatives, and participate in health promotion opportunities. Nov. 4, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Kirby Student Center Ballroom. For more information, see open enrollment benefits fair.

"TRUTH & RECONCILIATION: DIFFICULT TO SPEAK AND IMPOSSIBLE TO REMAIN SILENT," a presentation by the Clayton, Jackson, McGhie Memorial Committee, will be held Nov. 4, noon, Griggs Center, Kirby Student Center. Attendees are welcome to bring lunch; beverages will be provided. Sponsored by UMD Diversity Commission, Black Students Association, Office of Cultural Diversity, African American Student Programs, and Kirby Program Board. For more information, see Diversity Commission.

UMD SYMPHONIC WIND ENSEMBLE AND CONCERT BAND will present a concert Nov. 7, 3 p.m., Weber Music Hall. For tickets or more information, call 218-726-8877 or see concert.

"NIGHTWALK" FOR CAMPUS SAFETY AND SUSTAINABILITY will take place Nov. 8, 6–7:30 p.m. The walk draws attention to campus areas where safety or sustainability, such as areas with high energy waste, could be improved. Concerns will be considered for campus improvements. Walkers should meet at the UMD Kirby Bus Hub at 6 p.m. For more information, call 218-726-7102.


THE FIFTH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF THE WINDS will feature UMM's Symphonic Winds, under the direction of Martin Seggelke, assistant professor of music. Guest conductor is Ricky Fleming, associate professor of music and director of bands at Buffalo State College. Guest soloist is Arthur Haecker, instructor of trombone and euphonium in the Petrie School of Music at Converse College. For more information, see Festival of Winds.

YASMINA REZA'S ART, A TONY AWARD WINNING COMEDY, will open the Theatre Discipline's 2010–11 season Nov. 3–7, Humanities Fine Arts Black Box Theatre. Director Ray Schultz, associate professor of theatre, will guide two separate casts performing the same script in rotating repertory. For more information, see theatre opening.

"FROM START-UPS TO SCHOLARSHIP: LIFE IN THE LIBERAL ARTS AFTER UMM" will be presented by Brent Heeringa ’99, assistant professor of computer science at Williams College. Heeringa is the 2010–11 Latterell Visiting Alumnus. Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m., Science Auditorium. For more information, see life after liberal arts.


STATE OF THE CAMPUS ADDRESS: All staff and faculty are encouraged to attend Chancellor Lehmkuhle's State of the Campus Address, Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., 417 University Square. For more information, see State of UMR.

Twin Cities:

UMTC IS ONE OF ONLY THREE SCHOOLS IN THE NATION TO RECEIVE ALL "As" on the College Sustainability Report Card. This is the fifth consecutive year the U has improved its marks and the first time the University has received As in all nine categories. The College Sustainability Report Card surveyed 322 schools this year. For more information, see sustainability report.

A NEW PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY, cosponsored by the Organizational Effectiveness division of the Office of Human Resources and the Women's Center, is now accepting applications. University Professional Circles (UP! Circles) is an 11-month program designed to advance employee professional goals, hone interpersonal communication and networking skills, and cut across the traditional barriers that lead to staff isolation. Cost is $50 with a limited number of scholarships. Fifty applicants will be selected for this cohort. Applications are due Nov. 24. The program begins Jan. 25. For more information and the application form, see development.

THE UNIVERSITY STORES 2010 OPEN HOUSE will feature three 10-minute sustainability presentations on Nov. 4, Great Hall, Coffman Union: "U of M Sustainability Goals" presented by Amy Short, 11 a.m.; “Making a Difference One Day and Department at a Time: Your Vital Role in the Green Team" by Paydirt, LLC, 11:20 a.m.; and "Green Imaging" by Innovera, 11:40 a.m. The seminars will be repeated at noon, 12:20 p.m., and 12:40 p.m., respectively.

"LEADERSHIP ESSENTIALS IN THE ERA OF HEALTH REFORM," the next School of Public Health (SPH) roundtable, will feature keynote speaker George Halvorson, Kaiser Permanente's chairman and CEO. His address is titled "Health Reform: Where Do We Go From Here?" Following Halvorson’s keynote, local public and private sector leaders engaged in implementing health reform legislation, along with SPH faculty leaders, will discuss the massive undertaking and what is necessary to lead in a time of complexity and ambiguity, and offer lessons learned and practical applications of the new law. Nov. 5, 9–11:30 a.m., Coffman Memorial Union Theater. For registration and more information, see Health Reform roundtable.

HOLIDAY FOOD SAFETY BROWN BAG: An interactive Holiday Food Safety Seminar, presented by food safety experts in Environmental Health and Safety, will explore how food-borne illnesses are transmitted and how simple kitchen gadgets and utensils can prevent your guests from getting ill this holiday season. Nov. 10, noon, Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. Snacks and beverages will be provided, but space is limited and registration is required. For registration, see the Training Registration web page, "Food Safety Events."

THE FOURTH ANNUAL STUDENT VETERANS APPRECIATION DAY invites all members of the University community, family, and friends to honor student veterans for their sacrifice and service to the country on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. There will be a brief program at 11:30 a.m. with Regent Dean Johnson, CLA assistant dean for Student Services Chris Kearns, and student veteran Kim Wooster as guest speakers. A free chili lunch will be served (while it lasts) from noon–1:30 p.m. The event will take place on the Northrop Plaza, weather permitting, or in the atrium.

FACULTY AND STAFF ARE ASKED TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO EXPLORE LIBRARY COURSE PAGES, available in Moodle and on the Libraries home page ("Course Resources" tab). The resource brings together academic research tools, course reserve readings, databases for finding articles, and more. Faculty and instructors can have resources added to their pages by contacting the librarian listed on the page. For more information, see Library Course Pages.

TEACHING AND LEARNING SUPPORT: CONNECTING UNIVERSITY CONSULTANTS: Join a discussion with a panel of U staff members who regularly consult with faculty on topics dealing with teaching and learning. Learn how others teach and meet colleagues doing similar work. Consultants on campus provide support for educational technology, research, instructional design, writing, universal design, accessibility, service learning, outreach, study abroad, and more. Panelists include consultants from the Center for Teaching and Learning, Center for Writing, Disability Services, Office of Information Technology, and University Libraries. Nov. 18, 1–2:30 p.m., 125 McNamara Alumni Center. RSVP at teaching and learning. For more information, see panel discussion.

A 3M SEMINAR ON TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION, sponsored by 3M and organized by the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, will be held Nov. 20, 8 a.m.–noon, 1-109 Hanson Hall. Industry practitioners and Carlson School entrepreneurship instructors will lead a series of discussions related to the healthcare industry. For more information, see PDF: 3M seminars.

THE UMTC SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE IS WORKING TO ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES on campus. The committee is presently working on a climate action plan for the campus and is looking for input from the campus community. President Bruininks formed the committee in spring 2010 to align campus initiatives with the Regents Policy on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, and the systemwide sustainability goals, outcomes, and measures created in 2009. For more information and to contribute ideas to the climate action plan, see sustainability ideas.

FACULTY AND STAFF HOUSING: The Pillsbury Court Townhouses are a faculty and staff community owned and operated by the University in the Dinkytown area and designed to provide a comfortable transitional residence for new faculty and staff coming from outside the Twin Cities area. Pillsbury Court consists of 48 two-bedroom townhouses, which rent for $1,034 per month plus utilities. Additionally, if a department is hosting a visiting faculty member for a few months, Pillsbury Court offers fully furnished guest units.

MORE EVENTS include A Sea Change film screening (Nov. 4); The Closet and the Cul de Sac: A talk by Clayton Howard (Nov. 4); The Other Inconvenient Truth: The Global Crisis in Food Security and Environment (Nov. 9); CEHD Reads: Marina Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran (Nov. 10). 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.

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.

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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