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Vol. XL No. 37; November 24, 2010
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Meet Eric and Karen Kaler.
--People: U's chief financial officer Richard Pfutzenreuter named CFO of the Year; and more.

University News and Events
Top News | University-wide | Crookston | Duluth | Morris | | Twin Cities


FEATURE: MEET ERIC AND KAREN KALER. It's 10:30 a.m. on Friday morning and Eric Kaler and his wife, Karen, have just finished a meet-and-greet with U of M faculty, staff, and students at the McNamara Alumni Center. Over the next six months and into the beginning of his term, Kaler has promised to do a lot of listening. He says he’ll be making time to meet with every department and the coordinate campuses. There’s no reason to believe he won’t do exactly as he says. For more information, read "Meet Eric and Karen Kaler."

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: U of M chief financial officer Richard "Fitz" Pfutzenreuter was named CFO of the Year in the large nonprofit category by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal; medical student Priya Sury and mathematics graduate student Prerna Nadathur were named as 2011 Rhodes Scholars; Linda Olson Keller was named Distinguished Nurse of the Year in Minnesota by the March of Dimes; Susan O'Conner-Von was named the Hospice, Palliative Care and Home Health Nurse of the Year; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT (IonE) MINI GRANTS, a new funding opportunity for launching interdisciplinary collaborations, have been created to provide support for interdisciplinary teams that seek to organize and develop new activities around environmental research, education, or engagement. Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $5,000. Proposals are due Feb. 1. The grants are meant to encourage collaboration across disciplines, units, or campuses at the U. For more information, see IonE Mini Grants.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: HR Tomorrow Conference. The Carlson School of Management is seeking 12 breakout session speakers to address a variety of human resource topics. Sessions are 70 minutes in length and provide speakers an opportunity to showcase their expertise in front of a broad HR audience. April 15, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. The deadline to submit a presentation proposal is Dec. 15. For more information, see HR Tomorrow, email Anne Obst, or call 612-626-9748.

THE U OF M HAS RENEWED COLLABORATION with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the University in Oslo in such areas as bio-energy, environmental change, and molecular biology related to health and food security, with the signing of a tripartite agreement in Washington, DC last month. The University in Oslo pledged a total of $750,000 over four years, matching 2006 gifts made by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the U to create the Norwegian Centennial Chair and the Norwegian Centennial Graduate Fellowship. For more information, see Norway collaboration.

HOLIDAY EATING ADVICE: For many people, Thanksgiving is the start of a food tsunami that extends through New Year's Eve. It's tempting to cast care aside and indulge over the holidays, but doing so can add up to an ever-expanding waistline. Experts pulled calorie counts from the U's School of Public Health Nutrition Coordinating Center's database—which catalogs the nutrients of more than 18,000 foods—to look at how quickly calories can add up for top Thanksgiving foods. For more information, see moderation is the key.


THE FOURTH ANNUAL UMC HOLIDAY SOCIAL will take place Nov. 30, 4–7 p.m., Bede Ballroom. All proceeds go to support scholarships for students on the Crookston campus. For more information, see holiday social.

SENIOR LHAKPA GURUNG of Nepal is a 2010 SEED Award recipient. Gurung has been a leader on the Crookston campus in advocating and supporting the campus diversity program. She has reached out to members of the UMC community to share her story and to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of being a role model for women of color in teaching, research, and entrepreneurship. For more information, see SEED Award.


UMD WINTER SUSTAINABILITY FAIR will feature director Chris Paine, who created the noted film Who Killed the Electric Car? and the upcoming Revenge of the Electric Car. Paine will kick off the fair Nov. 29, 7 p.m., Weber Music Hall, with a speech titled "How Many Light Bulbs Does it Take to Plug in an Electric Car?" He'll speak again Nov. 30, 11 a.m., Kirby Student Ballroom, on "Science, Change and the Art of Storytelling." Other events include sustainability displays by local businesses, panel discussions, a presentation by UMD sustainability coordinator Mindy Granley (Nov. 30, 2 p.m.) titled "What Sustainability Means to UMD's Bottom Line" and more. For more information, see a complete schedule of events.

A ST. ANDREW’S NIGHT CELEBRATION with dinner, entertainment, and a presentation by William Henderson, Alworth International Institute associate, will be held Nov. 30, 6 p.m., Kirby Student Center Ballroom. Henderson will present "Coalition Politics: Adjusting the Political discourse in the United Kingdom," Dec. 1, 7 p.m., 4th floor rotunda, Library. For reservations and more information, email Alworth or call 218-726-7493.

UMD PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE will present an evening of early 20th-century works by a group of American composers known as the "West Coast School,” Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall. For more information, see percussion ensemble or call 218-726-8561.

THE UMD LIBRARY has begun using a new service called "Get It!" The service provides systemwide paging and direct lending of library materials among U of M campuses. Available materials can be shipped overnight and picked up at the UMD Library circulation desk. For more information, see Get It! or call 218-726-6566.

CONRAD FIRLING, professor emeritus, Department of Biology, was decorated with the Gold Medal of the University of Wroclaw in Wroclaw, Poland, on Nov. 15, a traditional day of celebration at the University of Wroclaw. The Gold Medal recognizes Firling's work in establishing collaborative educational programs between Wroclaw and UMD.


MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO'S CHRIS FARRELL, author of The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better, will visit the Morris campus. The economics editor for American Public Media's "Marketplace" will give a free public presentation Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., Edson Auditorium, Student Center. A book signing and reception will follow in Oyate Hall. For more information, see Chris Farrell visit.

CARBON 101 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. The one-day workshop created for a public audience will provide a foundation of knowledge for those interested in learning about this elemental building block of life and its place at the heart of major conversations taking place around the world. Jan. 14. For more information, see Carbon 101.

STUDENTS IN NAN GAO'S CHINESE CLASS created videos to enter the nationwide 2010 Cheng & Tsui SuperStar Karaoke Contest for Chinese Language Students and Teachers. Dia Lee won first place in the solo category. The class received second place in the group category. For more information, see SuperStar Karaoke.


THE SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE IS SEEKING INPUT FROM THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY as it develops a UMTC climate action plan. The committee is holding a number of forums for staff, students, and academic personnel to inform the U community about strategies being considered and solicit comments regarding the plan. The academic forums will be held Nov. 29, 3:30–4:30 p.m., 325 Education Sciences, and Dec. 3, 8:30–9:30 a.m., 203 Green Hall. Researchers, faculty, teaching staff, and academic administrators are invited to participate. For more information and to contribute ideas to the climate action plan, see sustainability ideas.

THE TONY DIGGS EXCELLENCE AWARDS AND THE PRESIDENT'S STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE AWARDS are seeking judges to volunteer for the awards selection process for 2010–11. The Tony Diggs Awards honor a variety of outstanding U student groups for their contributions to campus life and the U community. The President’s Student Leadership and Service Awards recognize exemplary students and their commitment to leadership and service. Those interested should respond via email by Dec. 10, 4 p.m. Indicate committee preference.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT IS A TOYS FOR TOTS DROP SITE. Bring unwrapped toys to the lobby of the Transportation and Safety Building, 511 Washington Avenue, S.E. The last day to drop off toys is Dec. 17, 3 p.m. For more information, see Toys for Tots.

THE OFFICE FOR FRATERNITY & SORORITY LIFE is collecting contact information from fraternity and sorority alumni to enhance its services, particularly mentoring services. The office asks that you email Chad Ellsworth with your name, email address, department, name of your fraternity/sorority, and the name of the institution where you joined.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

A SIP of SCIENCE: A Science Happy Hour will present "Weather vs. Climate: a Minnesota Perspective" Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m., Aster Café, 125 S.E. Main Street. There is no cover charge. The Sip of Science series features discussions that bridge the gap between science and culture in a setting that bridges the gap between brain and belly. Food, beer, and learning are on the menu in a happy hour forum that offers the opportunity to talk with researchers about their current work, its implications, and its fascinations. The series takes place the second Wednesday of every month. For more information, see Sip of Science.

MORE EVENTS include Gopher Volleyball vs. Ohio State (Nov. 26); Gopher Football vs. Iowa (Nov. 27); JD Hill: "Speaking with Things" (Nov. 29). 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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