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Vol. XLII No. 2; Jan. 18, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--UMC's Chancellor Casey to retire.
--Register for the 2012 Legislative Briefing.
--Features: The Times they are acclaimin'; Mother of all mergers; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: Humphrey School assistant dean Margaret Chutich has been named to the Minnesota Court of Appeals; and more.

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


UMC CHANCELLOR CHARLES CASEY WILL RETIRE at the end of the 2011–12 academic year. Casey made the announcement on Jan. 17. He has been UMC's chancellor since Sept. 2005, and has held other University leadership roles over nearly 25 years, including serving as a member of the Board of Regents and as dean and director of U Extension. A national search for Casey's replacement will be announced soon, with the goal of having a new chancellor in place at Casey's departure, June 30. For more information, see Chancellor Casey to retire.

REGISTER FOR THE U'S 2012 LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING. Held annually, the event serves as the U's kickoff to the legislative session, attracting hundreds of University advocates including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. This year, attendees will learn about the U's 2012 legislative agenda and President Kaler's vision for the U. Attendees will also hear about new and interactive ways to advocate effectively on behalf of the U, and will have the opportunity to engage in some advocacy during the event. While in-person attendance has reached capacity, the event will be broadcast online. Feb. 1, 5:30 p.m. registration; 6 p.m. program; McNamara Alumni Center. For registration and more information, see Legislative Briefing.


FEATURE: English professor Charles Baxter has published five novels, five collections of short stories, three of poems, and two of essays. His novel, The Feast of Love, was made into a 2007 movie with Morgan Freeman. His latest book, Gryphon: New and Selected Stories, was named by the New York Times to its "100 Notable Books of 2011" list in November. Unspoiled by success, Baxter, a Minneapolis native, is a soft-spoken teacher whose greatest joy now is seeing his students do well. For more information, read "The Times they are acclaimin.'"

FEATURE: Around 800 million years ago, some of the one-celled organisms that constituted the whole of earthly life took an evolutionary leap that changed everything. They started to band together, eventually evolving into complex organisms like animals and plants. How that leap happened is a mystery that has eluded scientists. But now U researchers have coaxed normally solitary baker's yeast cells into reenacting the leap, giving science a way to study not only this watershed event, but also its implications. For more information, read "Mother of all mergers."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Jan. 9–13. This installment of the weekly video feature takes a look at the women's hockey home series against Wisconsin; new Carlson School of Management research on men and risk when women are scarce; and President Kaler's visit at Energy & U, an event for local K-12 students. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Humphrey School assistant dean Margaret Chutich has been named to the Minnesota Court of Appeals; the Institute for Advanced Study has announced its faculty fellows for 2012–13; Lewis Gilbert has joined the Institute on the Environment as managing director and chief operating officer; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT. The Fixed Price Contracts, including Clinical Trials policy proposes a new formula for distributing remaining balances and a requirement to close out all fixed price awards within one year of the award date. The Outside Consulting and Other Professional Commitments policy has been reorganized and enhanced by adding language to cover civil service and union-represented employees; promoting the reporting exclusions from the procedures into the policy; incorporating the conflict of interest requirement to have a formal consulting agreement in place when an individual is engaged in one or more of the higher risk activities; and addressing policy violations consistent with the conflict of interest policy. Several other policies were revised last quarter as well, and are now under 30-day review/comment. For more information, see Policies Under Review or policy news.

UPLAN MEMBERS CAN REDUCE MEDICAL PROGRAM RATES in 2013 by participating in a variety of wellness programs by Aug. 31, 2012. The new Wellness Points Bank program allows participants to earn points for participating in health and fitness activities. Those earning the required number of points can reduce their 2013 premiums by $300 or $400, depending on their level of health care coverage. During 2012, plan members can also earn two $65 wellness rewards by completing the wellness assessment (by Mar. 31) and a health improvement program (by Aug. 31). For more information, see Wellness Points Bank.

THE GRADUATE EDUCATION COUNCIL (GEC), created in response to the recommendations for restructuring graduate education, has held its first election. The GEC serves as an advisory body to the vice provost and dean of graduate education. Newly elected members begin serving this month, and will replace provisional members who have served since fall 2010. For election results, see

THE U OF M WEB BROWSING SIGN-IN PAGE and its authentication platform will be upgraded Feb. 15, with changes taking effect immediately thereafter. The newly designed sign-in page offers significant improvements. It has been updated to meet U branding standards, to accommodate screen readers, and to display on mobile devices. For a visual demonstration of the changes, compare the current sign-in page with the new sign-in page. For more information, see the Office of Information Technology.

Awards and opportunities

P&A SENATE 2012 OUTSTANDING UNIT AWARD: The P&A Senate is accepting nominations for its annual Outstanding Unit Award, which recognizes University units that are judged to be exemplary in their support of P&A staff and the critical role P&A employees fulfill in supporting the U's mission. The nomination deadline is March 2. For more information, see P&A Senate Award.

BOREAS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM: Graduate and professional students and postdocs from across the U are invited to participate in the Institute on the Environment's Boreas Leadership Program spring workshops. Topics include building better presentations, contributing to policy-making, integrative leadership, systems thinking, and more. Applications are due Feb. 2. For more information, see Boreas.


THURSDAY COMMONS: The Black Student Association will host "Music and Food with Soul" at the next Thursday Commons event Jan. 19, 12:30–1:45 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The event will feature a variety of influential music from African American culture, as well as a sampling of African and African American foods. For more information, see Thursday Commons.

IN THE FIRST EDITION OF TOP ONLINE EDUCATION PROGRAM RANKINGS by U.S. News & World Report, UMC ranked among the nation's top 40 colleges and universities in two separate categories for its online bachelor's degree programs. UMC ranked 32 of 173 in the Teaching Practices and Student Engagement category, and 40 of 179 in Student Services and Technology. For more information, see ranking.


THE TOBIN PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE SCHOLARSHIP, founded by associate professor Maureen Tobin Stanley, is available for students with a major in the UMD College of Liberal Arts. The scholarship application requires students to write an essay describing how their major supports the promotion of peace and nonviolence. For more information, see scholarship.

UMD WILL LAUNCH ITS CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE with a celebration beginning Jan. 21, 3 p.m., Weber Music Hall. World-renowned Chinese pipa soloist, Gao Hong, and Carleton College's Chinese Music Ensemble will perform. Free and open to the public. For more information, see UMD launches Confucius Institute.


ART EXHIBIT OPENING: The work of artists Betsy Ruth Byers and John J. Richardson will be featured in the Humanities Fine Arts (HFA) Gallery from Jan. 19 through Mar. 8. Byer's work, Peripheral Accumulations, will be displayed on the main floor of the gallery, while paintings by Richardson will be exhibited in Case Study on the mezzanine level. An opening reception will be held Jan. 19, 7–9 p.m. HFA Gallery hours are 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Friday; 1–4 p.m., Saturday.


CLAUDIA NEUHAUSER, UMR vice chancellor for academic affairs, has been named one of six fellows of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For more information, see fellows.


Administrative information

THE SECOND TWIN CITIES CAMPUS CLIMATE ACTION PLAN identifies 10 energy related strategies to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50 percent compared with 2008 levels. The plan was developed by the UMTC Sustainability Committee in consultation with the campus community and was submitted to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). It is available for review at ACUPCC.

THE STUDENT RECREATIONAL SPORTS DOME opened its doors to the U community on Jan. 17. The facility, which will be functional during winter and spring, spans 240 feet wide, 330 feet long, and has a maximum height of 75 feet. During warmer weather, the dome will come down and the space will be used for outdoor sports. Activities in the dome include intramural sports, sport club practices, instructional camps, open recreation, and more. The facility is located at 1720 8th Street SE, on the East Bank. For more information and facility hours, see Recreational Sports.

FREE WORKSHOPS AT THE BIO-MEDICAL LIBRARY are open to all U faculty, staff, and students. Workshops cover a variety of library resources and research techniques. Sessions are designed to help attendees enhance their skills searching databases and other library resources, organizing and managing research, and publishing in the health sciences. For registration and to view spring workshops, see library workshops.

Funding awards and opportunities

A DISSERTATION RESEARCH GRANT is available through the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). The grant provides one year of financial support to doctoral students engaged in dissertation research on urban issues. Recipients must be registered Ph.D. students at the U who have passed the preliminary exam stage, and who have approved dissertation proposals by Mar. 1. Application deadline is Feb. 10. For proposal guidelines and more information, see CURA grant.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

HOUSING FORUM: In "Risk and Resilience in Homeless and Highly Mobile (HHM) Children," Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Center for Urban and Regional Affairs Fesler-Lampert Chair Ann Masten will present findings from her ongoing collaborative and community-based research on risk and protective factors for school success in HHM children. Jan. 20, noon–1:30 p.m., 1-106 Hanson Hall. For more information, see housing forum.

DEINARD MEMORIAL LECTURE ON LAW AND MEDICINE: "Health Care Reform and the Future of American Medicine," with Ezekiel Emanuel, professor and former health care adviser for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Emanuel will describe the pressing need for health care reform, the key innovations in the Affordable Care Act, and how they are likely to impact the actual delivery of care. After Emanuel's talk, commentator and U professor Stephen Parente will provide an alternate perspective followed by a moderated Q&A. Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Center. For more information, see Deinard lecture.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR MINI MEDICAL SCHOOL'S winter session, "It's All in Your Head: The Latest in Brain Science and Treatment." Never before has more attention been paid to the devastating effects of brain diseases, neurological disorders, and traumatic brain injuries. Participants will discover how world-renowned experts at the U are making major advances in the field of brain science. Mondays, Feb. 6–Mar. 5, 6–8:30 p.m., 2-650 Moos Tower. For registration and more information, see Mini-Medical School or call 612-624-4604.

MORE EVENTS include Smarter Living—The 2,000 Watt Society (through Mar. 1); A Preview of the 2012 Minnesota State Legislative Session (Jan. 19); Professor Cathy Cohen Presents: "Politics, New Media and Inequality: From the Occupy Movement to the 2012 Elections" (Jan. 19); "'The Spider Will Follow You': Evangelical Salvadoran Perspectives on U.S. Immigration" (Jan. 24). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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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.

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