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Vol. XLII No. 1; Jan. 11, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Federal Relations update.
--Features: Dictators in the dock; This Week @Minnesota; U of M Moment.
--People: R. Scott Studham has been named vice president and chief information officer; and more.

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


FEDERAL RELATIONS UPDATE: Congress recently finalized appropriations levels for FY 2012 and the numbers were, by and large, beneficial for research and education institutions. In the context of the many fights and impasses over spending that have defined this Congress, higher education advocates welcomed funding for priorities such as the Pell Grant program, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Less rosy is the outlook for FY 2013, when automatic across-the-board budget cuts are set to kick in as a result of the failure of the so-called supercommittee to reach a deficit-reducing deal. For more information, see Federal Relations.


FEATURE: If dictators who torture, kill, or otherwise abuse their citizens' human rights are overthrown, should they be brought to trial? On one hand, convicting and punishing an ex-dictator would strike a welcome blow for justice in countries where it has been denied. On the other hand, trials may open old wounds and even encourage dictators to hang onto power just to avoid prosecution. In a recent book, professor Kathryn Sikkink comes down strongly on the side of bringing deposed malefactors to trial. For more information, read "Dictators in the dock."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Jan. 2–6. This installment of the weekly video feature takes a look at a new Bell Museum exhibit called "90 Days in the Boundary Waters" by Minnesota photographer Jim Brandenburg, a new clinical trial opportunity from researcher John Wagner, and a reminder to vote for your favorite videos in the student scholarship video contest. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

U OF M MOMENT: It's the time of year when people make resolutions to eat less, exercise more, or be a better person in general. Psychology professor Mark Snyder says there's nothing wrong with making such plans. But to be successful, Snyder says it's more about simple goals than making grand resolutions. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: R. Scott Studham has been named vice president and chief information officer; the U has appointed a search committee for a new vice president for equity and diversity; the U has been awarded a $15 million grant to implement one of the nation's most comprehensive childhood education programs; 13 faculty from around the U system have been chosen to participate in the 2012 Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Cohort Program; the Provost's Committee on Student Mental Health presented its 2012 Award for Outstanding Student Mental Health Leadership to Betty Benson; Jasjit Ahluwalia has been selected to receive the Prevent Cancer Foundation's Prevention Laurel Award for National Leadership; the Confucius Institute was named a 2011 Confucius Institute of the Year; former College of Pharmacy dean Lawrence Weaver has passed away; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

TXT-U IS THE U's EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION TEXT MESSAGING SYSTEM. Faculty, staff, and students can stay informed about critical campus safety information by registering to receive TXT-U messages at any U of M campus location. For registration and more information, see TXT-U.

CHANGE TO LIBERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: Students on the UMTC campus who started in fall 2010 or later can now satisfy their liberal education theme requirements by completing four out of five themes. Students who started before fall 2010 will continue to follow the requirements that were in place prior to fall 2010. This change does not affect students enrolled in programs offered exclusively on the UMR campus.

WEB HOSTING SERVICE—TOWN HALL FORUM: The Office of Information Technology has scheduled a forum to inform the U community about its current web hosting services redesign project. Jan. 13, 10–11 a.m., 131A Science Teaching and Student Services. The session will also be available online via UMConnect and a recording will be available after the event. For more information, see town hall.

Funding awards and opportunities

APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED FOR THE SPRING GRANT-IN-AID of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship Program in the Office of the Vice President for Research. The grants promote the scholarly and artistic activities of faculty and their graduate students. Proposals must be submitted electronically by Feb. 6. Compliance approvals will be processed electronically as well. For more information, see Grant-in-Aid, email the Research Advancement Office, or call 612-625-2356.


UMC HAS BEEN NAMED AMONG THE TOP 25 in a SuperScholar's "Smart Choice" ranking of schools offering online bachelor's degrees. For more information, see top 25.

A LOCAL FOODS COLLEGE TV SERIES beginning on Jan. 24 will offer an overview of the basics of growing more of your own food, from planning to soils, fruit and vegetable production, and business development. The series, available via interactive television (ITV) at several locations across northwestern Minnesota, continues on Tuesday evenings through mid-March. For more information, see local foods.

JAN AAMOTH will be the new director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Red River Valley beginning Jan. 12. After 20 years, Deanna Patenaude is stepping down as the organization's director. RSVP of the Red River Valley is housed at UMC's Sargeant Student Center. For more information, see RSVP director.


UMD'S GERMAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT assistant professor Dan Nolan and instructor Michael Mullins are creating an iPad application to replace a German grammar guide that has been discontinued. Associate professor Mariana Waisman of the Department of Graphic Design and assistant professor Pete Willemsen from the Department of Computer Science are also involved with the project, as well as students from all three departments through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. For more information, see iPad app.

GRAPHIC DESIGN ALUMNUS Jesse Bodell, who executes the branding for the Minnesota Twins, designed 12 versions of a collectable game ticket. For more information, see Twins ticket designs.

THE UMD AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENT PROGRAMS OFFICE collaborated with the UMD marching band and local musical group 2one8 in a music video based on the song, "New Day," which was written and produced by several artists working with the JeRecords label. To view the video, see YouTube.


UMM WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 BEST VALUES IN PUBLIC COLLEGES in a national ranking by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. The Morris and Twin Cities campuses were the only Minnesota institutions chosen for best value honors. For more information, see best value.

THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY OF SERVICE will be held Jan. 19. Students and community members are invited to celebrate King's life and legacy by joining in training related to diversity and social justice, learning about local volunteer opportunities, making a volunteer pledge for 2012, participating in a group service project, and enjoying a free meal and program. For more information, see MLK day of service.

UMM STUDENTS Luciana Ranelli '13, biology, secondary education; and Ashleigh Thompson '13, anthropology, American Indian studies; were honored with 2011 Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Awards. The U-wide award recognizes 13 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are doing outstanding equity, social justice, and diversity work through academics and/or service to the community. For more information, see UMM SEED.

"WILL DEMOCRACY SURVIVE THE ASSAULT ON SCIENCE?," a talk by science advocate and humanitarian Shawn Lawrence Otto, will take place Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Fine Arts Recital Hall. Free and open to the public, the talk will also be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person. Otto is an author and a well-known speaker on the world's major unsolved challenges that revolve around science and on the need to encourage elected leaders to engage in finding solutions. For more information, see science lecture.

THE WEST CENTRAL RESEARCH AND OUTREACH CENTER (WCROC) was named Outstanding Conservationist for 2011 by the Stevens County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). This recognition was based on WCROC's research and educational programs in horticulture, water quality, renewable energy, dairy, swine, and crop production. For more information, see SWCD Conservation News.


UMR CONNECTS January community engagement events will focus on the theme of responsible health care. Connect events are held each Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. on the fourth floor of University Square, and are free and open to the public. For more information, see UMR Connects.


Administrative information

VOTING HAS BEGUN FOR THE DRIVEN TO DISCOVER VIDEO CONTEST and faculty and staff are invited to weigh in. Visit the U's official Facebook page to "Like" your favorite videos. Twin Cities undergraduate students are sharing what they are driven to discover and competing for $30,000 in scholarships. Voting ends at noon, Jan. 17, and winners will be officially announced on Jan. 23.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2012 PRESIDENT'S STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE AWARD are open until Jan. 27. The award honors the accomplishments of outstanding students at UMTC. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to nominate current University students. For more information and nomination forms, see Student Unions and Activities, or call 612-626-6919.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS VOLUNTEERS are sought by the U Retirees Volunteer Center (URVC) for Minnesota's Winter Special Olympics Jan. 28–29, Breck School, Minneapolis. Volunteers will assist in a variety of service roles during the State Poly Hockey Tournament, including officiating jobs for those with hockey experience, or other volunteer positions. Shifts range from four to six hours, depending on the activity. The deadline for volunteering is Jan. 24. Email URVC or call 612-625-8016 to request registration information and a schedule of volunteer activities.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE 31ST ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CONCERT at the U will feature Committed, winners of NBC's "Sing-Off," plus Larry Long and musical guests Tonia Hughes, Billy Peterson, and Billy Steele. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Office for Equity and Diversity and the School of Music. Jan. 15, 4–6 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. For more information, see MLK concert.

SENATOR AL FRANKEN will kick off a series of public talks sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance and designed to engage prominent government leaders. Franken will present "STEM Education: The Key to Minnesota's Economic Success" Jan. 17, noon–1:15 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. Free and open to the public. For more information, see connecting with government.

ALUMNA, AUTHOR, AND CHEMIST JEANNETTE BROWN will present a brief lecture and sign her book African American Women Chemists Jan. 18, 3:45–5:30 p.m., Coffman Union Bookstore. The book profiles the lives of 25 African American women chemists. Two meet-and-greet events are also scheduled: Jan. 17, 2:30–3:30 p.m., 568A Kolthoff Hall; and Jan. 18, 1:30–3 p.m., second floor, Coffman Union. Brown was the first African American to receive a degree from the Department of Chemistry's graduate program, earning her master's degree in 1958. For more information, see Jeannette Brown.

THE CARL J. MARTINSON LECTURESHIP IN PREVENTIVE MEDICINE will feature C. Anderson (Andy) Johnson in "Personalized Public Health Through Integration of Neurocognitive and Public Health Science: A Global Perspective on Prevention and Control of Cigarette Smoking." Anderson Johnson is dean and professor at the School of Community and Global Health of the Claremont Graduate University. Jan. 20, 10 a.m. reception; 10:30–11:30 a.m. lecture; Coffman Theater. For more information, see lecture.

THE WOMEN'S CENTER will hold a reception to honor and remember Janet Spector, professor emerita, former assistant provost, and groundbreaking scholar of gender studies and American archaeology. Spector, who passed away Sept. 13, was a founder of Women's Studies and the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, and the leader of the U's Commission on Women and the Minnesota Plan II. Feb. 3, 3 p.m., Law School. For more information, see reception or learn more about Spector.

WINTER DISCOUNTS are available through Student Union and Activities (SUA) Information Desks for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Wild, Spirit Mountain, and The Depot Ice Rink. For more information, see SUA discounts.

MORE EVENTS include The Future of Renewable Energy in the U.S. and Europe in the next Decade (Jan. 12); Renewable Energy: Wind, Solar, and Biofuels in U.S. and Central Europe (Jan. 13); Ethnoastronomy: A Cultural History of the Stars (Jan. 17). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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

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. Submission guidelines are available online.

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