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Home > Brief > Brief (1-23-2013)  Print

Vol. XLIII No. 3; January 23, 2013
Editor: Adam Overland,

For additional news and information, see the Faculty and Staff views of the U homepage.

Inside This Issue
--Faculty and staff influenza information.
--Features: Google Apps at the U; Pore research = great science.
--People: The U has been awarded a $28 million grant to lead development of next-generation microelectronics; and more.

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


INFLUENZA INFORMATION: The University of Minnesota, like the state and the rest of the country, is experiencing the effects of seasonal influenza. The U has created a website with information about U policy, prevention, and what to do if you develop flu-like symptoms. For more information see Influenza and the U. If you are concerned about influenza exposure in the workplace, talk with your supervisor. You may also contact your local or central human resources representative to discuss concerns. If you have not yet been vaccinated, Boynton Health Service is offering free vaccination clinics through January.


FEATURE: Several years ago the University of Minnesota became the first major research university to tap Google for its ever-evolving suite of applications—email, calendaring, video chat, and more. And in 2010, the U took the leap to become one of the first universities anywhere to offer the entire suite of apps to faculty and staff—not just students. With IT costs running nearly $200 million per year at the U, the economics of the shift from operating and supporting its own systems alone were reason enough for the move—a recent analysis estimated that the move is valued at more than $15 million a year. But the value that Google Apps brings to communication and collaboration between users—students, faculty, and staff—is even greater. For more information, read "Google Apps at the U."

FEATURE: University of Minnesota chemical engineering professor Michael Tsapatsis is an architect of the molecular world. The crystal lattices he builds are stunning—and they pack a lot of power, chemically speaking. Created by Tsapatsis and his colleagues, the lattices contain holes, or pores, that act like a molecular sieve. The structures may revolutionize the synthesis of many industrially important chemicals, and could also lead to slashed energy consumption and costs—along with much greater efficiency—in making plastics, biofuels, gasoline, pharmaceuticals, and more. For more information, read "Pore research = great science."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: The U has been awarded a $28 million grant to lead development of next-generation microelectronics; Caroline Gaither has been named the senior associate dean for professional education; U in the news includes highlights of Today's News, which features U faculty and staff cited in the media daily. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

THE ENTERPRISE PORTAL kickoff event will take place Feb. 4, 2–4 p.m., with locations on every campus. The kickoff begins a U-wide conversation about creating an easy-to-use interactive web tool for facilitating access to information and services that are of primary relevance and interest to the U community. The event will include a short overview of the portal project and then move into World Café small group conversations about opportunities the project offers and strategies for being part of creating a user-friendly portal. Register for the event by Jan. 30. For more information, see Portal Kickoff.

ULEARN, A NEW LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, will enable U employees to more easily track required University training and other professional development courses. The system will launch in January. ULearn allows for administration, tracking, and reporting of training content, both online and instructor-led. The University's previous Peoplesoft enterprise learning management system will be discontinued in February. For more information, see ULearn.

Awards and funding opportunities

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences seeks proposals addressing the societal implications of problems in health, environment, or the life sciences. Awards are available in categories for graduate/professional students and for consortium/joint degree program members. One of the student awards is designated for a joint degree program applicant. Proposals for student initiated programs or colloquia will also be accepted. Proposals are due Feb. 18. For more information, see awards or email

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

A SENATE CENTENNIAL CONVERSATION with President Eric Kaler, Provost Karen Hanson, Regent Patricia Simmons, and Professor Fred Morrison will take place Jan. 31, 3–4:30 p.m. Professor Marti Hope Gonzales will moderate a discussion about business interests in the University, government support, e-education, the institution of tenure, and the future of shared governance at the U. The event will take place at 25 Mondale Hall, with ITV viewing locations at outstate locations. To RSVP, submit questions, and view all campus locations, see Senate Centennial.


U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT has ranked UMC among the nation's "Best Online Bachelor's Programs" for 2013. UMC was ranked in the top quartile at 60 of the 247 higher education institutions in this year's survey. Rankings were based on factors such as graduation rates, academic and career support services offered to students, and more. For more information, see rankings.

A TRAPPER CERTIFICATION COURSE will be offered Jan. 28 and 30, 6–9 p.m., 222 Owen Hall. The final session, a field day, will take place Feb. 2, 9 a.m.–noon, Red River Valley Natural History Area. The certification course, limited to 20 participants, costs $15 and those interested should register with Laura Bell at 218-281-8131. For more information, see certification.

A GENEROUS DONATION OF 590 FISH SPECIMENS was recently added to the Wildlife Museum in the natural resources program at UMC. The specimens, curated by Andrew Simons and donated by the Bell Museum of Natural History, cover 79 species of fish in Minnesota. For more information, see fish donation.

REGIONAL FARM TO CAFETERIA WORKSHOPS will take place between February and April, in a series coordinated by University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Statewide Health Improvement Program, and Renewing the Countryside. The series is funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. For more information, email Linda Kingery, call 218-281-8697, or see Farm to Cafeteria.


UMD HAS NOTIFIED ALL UMD STUDENTS OF precautions regarding influenza. The notice also provided information on a free flu shot clinic that will be held on campus Jan. 30 for students who have not yet received the vaccine. For more information, see Influenza Prevention.


Sō PERCUSSION will perform at UMM Jan. 26. Called an "experimental powerhouse" by the Village Voice and "brilliant" by the New York Times, the Brooklyn-based quartet promises an evening not soon to be forgotten. This event is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, which is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Minnesota State Arts Board. For more information, see Sō Percussion.

UMM WILL HOLD ITS THIRD ANNUAL PRAIRIE GATE LITERARY FESTIVAL Feb. 21–23. The festival aims to build the role of the literary arts in Morris and the surrounding community. Aspiring writers and literary enthusiasts can enjoy free public readings as well as workshops and discussions with nationally and internationally recognized authors. Invited guests include Brian Malloy, Mary Biddinger, Ed Bok Lee, Patti See, and Adam McOmber. For more information, see Literary Festival.

JENNIFER KOLPACOFF DEANE, associate professor of history, has been named a UMM Founders Scholar. Founders Scholar projects reflect, question, challenge, investigate, or advocate for UMM's public liberal arts mission. Deane's project involves developing a clearer understanding of how UMM's mission and liberal arts model differ from earlier traditions. The Founders Fund was established with gifts from a private donor in honor of UMM's founding faculty members.


PETE SEDIVY, UMR's help desk coordinator, is one of the first recipients of a Spot Award from the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology. Spot Awards are designed to recognize special contributions, as they occur, for a specific project or task. A Spot Award lets employees know that their contributions have been noticed, and reinforces the behaviors and values that are important to the University.

SEVEN UMR STUDENTS, SEVEN STORIES, a website created during the fall 2012 semester by UMR's first journalism class, is now available for viewing. Students in the class learned about the critical role played by journalism in a democracy, and about how journalism today is rapidly transforming as it either embraces digital technology or dies. For more information, see Seven.


Administrative information

COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR THE COMMON GOOD: The U of M is introducing a Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Volunteer Pledge Drive. Sponsored by the Office for Public Engagement, the Public Engagement Council, the Office for Equity and Diversity, and the University Senate, the pilot project on the Twin Cities campus aims to promote service opportunities for faculty, staff, and students while advancing the U's public engagement mission. Through a voluntary "Take the Pledge" web page, the projects will also provide a snapshot of the community volunteer hours U faculty, staff, and students contribute each year. For more information, see Pledge Drive.

THE RELOCATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (RAP) helps new faculty and staff identify suitable housing accommodations in the Twin Cities. If you are going on sabbatical and would like to rent your home to a new faculty or staff member, email Relocation Assistance or call 626-0775. For more information, see RAP.

A SUMMER UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY on cancer and health disparities will be offered by the Medical School's Program in Health Disparities Research and the Masonic Cancer Center. Eligible applicants will be incoming sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduate students from Minnesota's ethnic minority or underrepresented communities enrolled in two- or four-year colleges in Minnesota. Deadline is Feb. 14. For an application and more information, see research opportunity.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

"SLOUCHING TOWARD HEALTH REFORM: THE FUTURE OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT." In this, the 10th Annual Deinard Memorial Lecture on Law & Medicine, Sara Rosenbaum, one of the nation's most influential health policy makers, will explore the array of challenges that lie ahead as full implementation of the Affordable Care Act moves toward Jan. 1, 2014. Jan. 31, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. Free and open to the public. For registration and more information, see Deinard Memorial Lecture.

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH ROUNDTABLE: "Framing the Future: The Second Hundred Years of Public Health Education," will feature a keynote address by Donna Petersen, dean, College of Public Health, University of South Florida. Petersen will also participate in a panel discussion moderated by SPH dean John Finnegan. Feb. 1, 8:30–11:30 a.m., Coffman Union Theater. For more information, see SPH Roundtable.

NOBEL PRIZE WINNER AND FORMER FACULTY MEMBER THOMAS SARGENT will present a public lecture Feb. 4, 3 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. Following the presentation, President Kaler and the Board of Regents will award an honorary degree to the economics professor. A dessert reception will follow. Open to the public. For registration and more information, see Nobel Prize lecturer.

MORE EVENTS include 2013 Legislative Briefing (Jan. 23); Garrison Keillor Hosts James Wright Poetry Prize Winners (Jan. 23); "Raising the Roof: Feminist Art Then & Now" Public Lecture by the artist Harmony Hammond (Jan. 24); Author Meets Readers: Marlene Zuk "Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live" (Jan. 25); Science of Gardening: Working with Seeds (Jan. 26); Cross Country Skiing (Jan. 27); Addressing Bullying Behavior in the Workplace (Jan. 29); 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.

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