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Vol. XL No. 39; December 8, 2010
Editor: Adam Overland,

Brief publication calendar: Brief will not be published Dec. 22, Dec. 29, and Jan. 5. Publication will resume Jan. 12. All submissions for the Jan. 12 issue are due no later than noon, Jan. 7.

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents monthly meeting.
--Features: Going With the Flow; Catching the wind; U of M Moment.
--People: U in the News features U faculty cited in the media; and more.

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


THE BOARD OF REGENTS WILL MEET DEC. 9–10 to hear the annual report on University research, including progress on key research performance metrics and technology commercialization results. The board will also receive the U's annual financial report from CFO Richard Pfutzenreuter. State economist Tom Stinson will provide an update on Minnesota’s economy. President Robert Bruininks will lead a review of the 2011 state capital budget request. For more information and live-streaming of the meeting, see Board of Regents.

FEATURE: Professor of civil engineering and director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Fotis Sotiropoulos studies all things turbulent. As it turns out, that's pretty much all things. Wherever fluids meet physical forces, seemingly unpredictable things happen. Sotiropoulos predicts the unpredictable—to the benefit of better biomedical devices, healthier aquatic habitats, more stable engineering structures, and improved efficiency in tapping renewable energy sources like wind and water power. And he has fun in the process. For more information, read the feature in IonE's Momentum magazine, "Going With the Flow."

FEATURE: When it comes to the potential of renewable energy sources in America, the possibilities are more than a little intriguing. According to Ned Mohan, a U professor in electrical and computer engineering, there is enough wind power in North and South Dakota to supply half the electricity needs of the entire country. Mohan is working toward a "next-generation" grid powered by renewable sources like wind and solar energy. For more information, read "Catching the wind."

U OF M MOMENT: Self-control in the age of temptation. With the holiday season in full swing, the urge to indulge is greater than at any other time of year. Carlson School of Management marketing professor Kathleen Vohs’ research on self-control says the modern deluge of tempting messages could be whittling away at our ability to resist. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



REGISTRATION AND CALL FOR PROGRAMS: FOCUSING ON THE FIRST YEAR CONFERENCE. The biannual conference offers an opportunity to dialogue and strategize about academic and student development issues relating to first-year students. Keynote and special guest Shane Lopez will give remarks on college student success, retention, and well-being as they relate to the five elements of career, community, financial, physical, and social wellness. Feb. 16, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Coffman Union. For more information, see focus on the first year.

Administrative information

THE HUMPHREY INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS IS SEARCHING FOR A NEW DEAN. Senior VP and provost Tom Sullivan appointed a committee to begin the search on Dec. 7. In January 2011, current dean Brian Atwood will take leave from the U to become chair of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee in Paris. The search committee will work with a search firm to identify semifinalists. The position will be advertised nationally and internationally. For more information, see Humphrey Institute dean search.

REMINDER: UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA CAMPUSES WILL BE CLOSED during the winter break. UMTC will be closed Dec. 24–Jan. 2. Closure dates vary slightly for coordinate campuses. During this time, University services and business offices will be closed. Only essential services will be open. For up-to-date information about the closure, see University Winter Closure.

UNIVERSITY WINTER CLOSURE: WORKING FROM HOME. Before the U winter closure, the Office of Information Technology invites U faculty and staff to learn how to more securely work from home on its Safe Computing website. The site includes policies and best practices on safe computing and data security. For more information, see working from home.

2011 BUSINESS MILEAGE RATE CHANGE. The IRS announced changes in the standard business mileage rates for calendar year 2011. Beginning Jan. 1, the standard business mileage reimbursement rate for personal vehicle use on approved University business increases from 50 to 51 cents per mile. The standard mileage rate for moving expenses increases from 16.5 to 19 cents per mile. Business mileage incurred in 2010 but reimbursed in 2011 should be reimbursed using the 2010 rate. The Employee Expense Worksheet (UM 1612) accommodates the rate changes. For more information, see Traveling on University Business Rates.

U technology news

DATA CENTER MODERNIZATION PROGRAM: The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has launched a Data Center Modernization Program in order to provide the U with significant benefits including cost savings, better security for private data, reduction of its carbon footprint, and more. The program is a collection of 11 different projects working to modernize and secure OIT's main data center, consolidate more than 225 disparate server hosting locations to a few sites, and to virtualize 75 percent of servers on campus. For more information, see modern data center.

Funding opportunities

AN INTERDISCIPLINARY INFORMATICS SEED GRANT PROGRAM is offering up to $400,000 in funding, with a maximum award of $75,000 per project. The directed research efforts will leverage state-of-the-art informatics practices while cutting across other domains such as the life sciences, physical sciences and engineering, social sciences, health sciences, computing sciences, or other disciplines. The program is especially interested in promoting the creation of new, interdisciplinary research projects that have not been pursued in the past, and the exploration of emerging opportunities. For more information and application guidelines, see informatics seed grant.


THE ACADEMIC QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (AQIP) admissions panel has recommended that UMC be admitted to AQIP. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Institutional Actions Council for final approval. AQIP provides an alternative evaluation process for organizations already accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information, see AQIP.

THE FACULTY AND STAFF HOLIDAY GET-TOGETHER will be held Dec. 16, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Bede Ballroom. This year’s theme is growth and change. Faculty and staff are encouraged to join in the fun during this annual holiday gathering.


UMD MARSHALL ALWORTH PLANETARIUM will present "The Wonders of the Pleiades," Dec. 10 and Dec. 15, 7 p.m. Part of the constellation Taurus, the Pleiades are star clusters whose beauty has astounded people for thousands of years. Visitors will learn what makes this group of stars so amazing. Great for ages six and up. Free and open to the public. For more information, see Pleiades.

THE UMD BLACK STUDENT ASSOCIATION is presenting a Kwanzaa celebration Dec. 11, with dinner in the Kirby Student Ballroom from 5 to 7 p.m., and performances in Weber Music Hall, 7:30–9 p.m. Free and open to the public.

THE UMD GLENSHEEN MANSION WILL PRESENT "HOLIDAY TEA FOR DOLLY AND ME," Dec. 11, 2 p.m. Kids can bring a special doll and experience an event designed just for them. This pint-sized production includes a holiday program and sophisticated tea. Cost: $37 for one adult and one child. Each additional person is $18.50. For more information, email Glensheen, or call 218-726-8910.


THE HIGHER LEARNING COMMISSION HAS AWARDED UMM FULL 10-YEAR REACCREDITATION. Morris was first accredited in 1970 and has been reaccredited on a regular 10-year review cycle for the past 40 years. For more information, see reaccreditation.

STUDENTS CREATED PAINTINGS INSPIRED BY CHILDREN'S LITERATURE as part of a service learning project in Michael Eble’s Beginning Painting, Advanced Painting, and Mural Project and Public Art Intellectual Community classes. The paintings are hung at the Morris Public Library and will be sold with proceeds benefiting the library to fund the acquisition of new children’s books, as well as the Stevens County Human Services Youth Fund. For more information and a slideshow, see service learning art.

GARRISON KEILLOR will host "A Prairie Home Companion" at UMM Feb. 19. Tickets will be available through the Morris website beginning Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. For more information, see Keillor at UMM.


RAPTOR RECRUITS, A NEW RESOURCE on campus for students, will be a one-stop place to learn about available resources and ask questions about community involvement and volunteerism. The Raptor Recruits table will be staffed by students who have been trained to assist their peers with getting involved in the community. For the remainder of this semester, the table will be open every Monday, noon–1:30 p.m., 3rd floor, University Square. For more information, see Raptor Recruits.


Administrative information

CAMPUS SHUTTLE SERVICE WILL CHANGE during finals week (Dec. 16–22), and winter break (Dec. 22–Jan. 15). For more information and the latest news, see Parking and Transportation Services.

THE U's REUSE PROGRAM HAS PARTNERED WITH GOOD DONOR, a Plymouth-based charity that gives people the opportunity to schedule free household pickup of their unwanted items for reuse by those in the community who are in need. U faculty and staff wishing to donate unwanted items can schedule a home pickup or leave items with the ReUse Program, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m.–3 p.m., or Thursdays, 8 a.m.–8 p.m., through December. For more information, see

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

PREVIEW/REVIEW: UNIVERSITY EVENTS AND LECTURES is a periodic column highlighting events and lectures recently past and soon to come on the TC campus. This issue features a review of the Frontiers in the Environment lecture, "China's Challenges: Energy, Environment, and Development." Previews include "Perspectives on Climate Change," a Surface Design open house and studio sale, hot chocolate walks at the Landscape Arboretum, and more. Faculty and staff are invited to contribute to the column. For more information, see Preview/Review.

THE GRAND OPENING OF THE EXPANSION TO THE CENTER FOR MAGNETIC RESONANCE RESEARCH in the Biomedical Discovery District will take place Dec. 9, 3:30¬–5:30 p.m., 2021 Sixth Street SE (across from TCF Stadium). The 65,000-square-foot expansion includes space for the new Center for Clinical Imaging Research. The facility will house one of the world’s largest and most powerful human imaging magnets—a 10.5 Tesla magnet capable of delivering the sharpest images ever seen through magnetic resonance imaging technology. Meet the researchers and tour the state-of-the-art facility. For more information, see expansion.

STUDENTS REPORT ON UN CLIMATE TALKS. A delegation of 17 U students and faculty attended the first week (Nov. 29–Dec. 4) of the United Nations climate change negotiations in Mexico. The Institute on the Environment (IonE) will host a public forum where the students will share their first-hand impressions of the international meeting. Dec. 9, 3–4 p.m. IonE Seminar Room R380, VoTech Bldg., St. Paul campus. For more information, see students report.

DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE ARTS AND DANCE will present their annual dance concert, "Continuously Rich: Dance Revolutions 2010," at the Southern Theater, Dec. 10–12. The production is part of the U's Re-Imagining Community and Arts Partnerships initiative, which explores, strengthens, and supports meaningful relationships between the department, the community, and performing arts groups throughout the metropolitan area. Featured choreographers are Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Nora Chipaumire, and Makeda Thomas. For more information, see dance.

THE ANNUAL ROBOT SHOW will take place Dec. 13, 2:40–4:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. Engineering students have created computer-controlled machines on the theme, "do something interesting." Among the more than 200 machines on display will be a robotic chicken sandwich maker, a combination lock opener, and a walking insect. The walk-through show is the largest collection of robots assembled in one place in the Twin Cities. The event is free and open to the public and is suitable for all ages. For more information, see Robot Show.

WINTER BOWLING DEALS with Student Unions & Activities. Faculty, staff, and department reservations made between Dec. 1 and Jan. 31 receive 15 percent off their total reservation and 10 percent off all advance food orders. For more information, see winter bowling.

DEALS AND DISCOUNTS at Student Unions & Activities Information Desks include Spirit Mountain lift tickets and Depot Ice Rink discount tickets. For more information, see tickets.

MORE EVENTS include A New Green Machine: The Future of Sustainable Enterprise [Frontiers] (Dec. 8); Business-building Economy: Concept and Case Study in China (Dec. 9); Urban Tides, Drifting Borders: A Study of Surface as Substance opening reception (Dec. 10); Family Holiday Breakfast (Dec. 11). 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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