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Vol. XLIV No. 1; January 8, 2014
Editor: Adam Overland,

For more news and information, see the Faculty or Staff homepage.

One Stop | Employee Self-Service | Professional Development | Wellness | Benefits

Inside This Issue
--Features: Connecting with communities; Inquiring minds want to grow; Pedals for the Planet.
--People: The University of Minnesota Informatics Institute has been established, to be led by Claudia Neuhauser; and more.

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



FEATURE: A burgeoning program matches the expertise of U students and faculty with communities to advance sustainability and resilience. For more information, read "Connecting with communities."

FEATURE: Science magazine recognizes the U's approach to—and resounding success at—teaching introductory biology. For more information, read "Inquiring minds want to grow."

FEATURE: Using pedal power and pedagogy, University of Minnesota students set out on long-distance bike trips to inspire the next generation of farmers. For more information, read "Pedals for the Planet."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: The University of Minnesota Informatics Institute has been established, to be led by Claudia Neuhauser; the U has been named one of 25 institutions that will lead a nationwide network of regional stroke centers as part of a new, NIH-driven effort to reduce the impact of stroke across the United States; the USDA has awarded the U of M a grant to create interactive education tools for organic farmers; IonE has announced its latest round of Mini Grant recipients; microbiology Professor Emeritus P. Patrick Cleary has been elected an honorary member of the Institute of Experimental Medicine; 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

OHR IS IMPLEMENTING A NEW HIRING SERVICE AGREEMENT that unifies the hiring process for all employee groups, assigns clear roles and timeframes, and reduces process steps and time to fill open positions. For more information, read "Streamlined Hiring Process."

MILEAGE RATE CHANGE: The IRS announced changes in the standard business mileage rates for calendar year 2014. Beginning Jan. 1, the standard business mileage reimbursement rate for personal vehicle use on approved University business will decrease from 56.5 cents to 56 cents per mile. The standard mileage rate for moving expenses will decrease from 24 cents to 23.5 cents per mile. Business mileage incurred in 2013 but reimbursed in 2014 should be reimbursed using the 2013 mileage rates. The Employee Expense Worksheet (UM1612) and the Moving/Relocation Expense Documentation Form (UM 1357) have been updated to reflect the changes to the mileage rates. For more information, see Traveling on University Business.

THE U'S FISCAL YEAR 2013 AUDITED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENT IS NOW AVAILABLE. The report (PDF) includes the independent auditors' report, plus financial statements, footnotes, and management's discussion and analysis. The 2013 report, as well as past reports, is available online at annual reports. For questions regarding the report, email Terri Carlson or call 612-626-1235.

THE U OF M INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITY HAS ADVANCED IT PRIORITIES over the past year, such as improving wireless and enhancing Moodle. Those priorities were selected through an IT governance process with input from faculty and staff. Learn about progress on this year's IT priorities and how to get involved at IT Governance.

GET INVOLVED IN UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE: Your voice as a faculty or P&A staff member is needed to shape the University's future. Committees are the critical point where policies and other matters important to the University community are discussed. The application deadline is Jan. 15. For an application and more information, see Service on Senate committees.

Award and funding opportunities

THE LEARNING ABROAD CENTER seeks Freshman Seminar Abroad and Global Seminar proposals for 2014-15. Proposals are due Jan. 15 and Feb. 1, respectively. For more information, see Teaching Courses Abroad or email Sarah Tschida.

RESEARCH FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The new Driven to Discover Community Health Research Grants Program will support pilot research and evaluation projects that address important Minnesota human health issues and enable Minnesota State Fair attendees to participate. The grant program, from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, will award two to six grants worth a combined $30,000 to support researchers' efforts to enroll and collect data from 2014 State Fair attendees in the U's new Driven to Discover fairgrounds research building. Application deadline is Jan. 31.

APPLY NOW FOR THE GRANT-IN-AID OF RESEARCH, ARTISTRY, AND SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The program promotes the research, scholarly, and artistic activities of faculty and their graduate students. Proposals must be submitted electronically. Applications are due Feb. 10 to approvers, and by Feb. 13 to OVPR. For more information, including eligibility and terms of support, see Grant-in-Aid or email

THE CENTER FOR WRITING's Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing (ISW) program offers research grants to support the inquiry of U of M scholars and teachers into writing and literacy. Letters of intent are due Feb. 10. For applications and more information, see ISW grants or instructions for the Letter of Intent.


PULITZER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR AND HISTORIAN TAYLOR BRANCH will present "Civil Rights Then and Reflections on the King Years" Jan. 20, 7 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium. A book signing will be held in 124 Kiehle following the presentation. Free and open to the public. For more information, see Taylor Branch.


PROFESSOR JOSEPH GALLIAN, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has received 40 years of support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The funding helps to support a summer program, Research Experience for Undergraduates, which Gallian founded and has run at UMD since 1977. His first NSF grant was in 1975, and with this latest award, he is funded through 2016. For more information, see Gallian.

THE INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT (IonE) recently funded four UMD interdisciplinary initiatives through its Mini Grants program: Cultural Entrepreneurship Speakers; Enhancing the Teaching and Learning of Sustainability; Supporting Campus Sustainability Conversations; and Bicycle Repair Stations. IonE Mini Grants are designed to encourage collaboration on environmental themes among faculty, staff, and students across disciplines, units, and campuses.

THE LAKE SUPERIOR WATERSHED STREAM SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM took place at UMD Jan. 7-8. The event brought researchers, resource managers, foresters, and the public together to discuss regional water research. For more information, see Watershed Symposium.

ALUMNUS ROB LUNDQUIST is among the members of Home Free, an a cappella group that recently became the champions of the NBC television show "The Sing-Off." Home Free was awarded a recording contract and $100,000. Lundquist has been singing with the group since graduating in 2007 with a B.A. in music. For more information, see Sing-Off.


WORK BY JANET SCHRUNK ERICKSEN, associate professor of English, will appear in a Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges book project on teaching, scholarship, and service at small public liberal arts colleges and universities. The forthcoming work explores adaptations faculty members have made to lead integrated scholarly lives at public liberal arts colleges across North America. For more information, see Ericksen.

UMM PROUDLY PRESENTS ARTIST, TEACHER, SCHOLAR, an exhibition featuring the work of studio art faculty members. The exhibit gives students, colleagues, and visitors a look into the minds and artistic activities of those in the studio art discipline. The exhibit runs Jan. 16-Mar. 6, Morrison Gallery. For more information, see Faculty Work.

UMM INVITES MEMBERS OF THE CAMPUS AND GREATER COMMUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FIFTH ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY OF SERVICE on Jan. 20. The day marks the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday and serves as an opportunity for Americans to honor King's legacy through community service. For more information, see MLK Day of Service.


PARRY TELANDER has been named interim director of student development, a new position at UMR that addresses a student's development across a continuum, not just in regard to academics. Telander was first hired in 2009 as UMR's first student success coach.

UMR CONNECTS returns in January with the theme Conspiracy Theories. The next event, "Conspiracy Theories and Investigative Reporting," takes place Jan. 14, 7 p.m. For more information, see UMR CONNECTS.


Administrative information

UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IS ACCEPTING COURSE RESERVES FOR SPRING 2014: Make your course materials available to students online (through Reserves Direct, Moodle, and via the library website) and/or in any of the Twin Cities U Libraries locations. Course materials include articles, textbooks, lecture notes, videos, and more. For more information, see Course Reserves.

ALL NEW AND TRANSFER INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARRIVING for spring semester 2014 must visit International Student and Scholar Services for a mandatory document check to complete federal requirements. Students will not be allowed to register for classes until they complete the check.

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.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE CENTER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING will offer a workshop, Developing Memorable Presentations: Strategies to Make Teaching Stick, Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch will be provided. For registration and more information, see Make Teaching Stick.

THE 33rd ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. TRIBUTE CONCERT will feature Bill Banfield and Jazz Urbane, with performances by Ysaye Barnwell, vocalist Yolanda Williams, and high school students from the FAIR School in Minneapolis. Jan. 19, 4-6 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. Free. For more information, see MLK Tribute.

WRITE WINNING GRANTS: The Center for Health Equity, the Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations (MC3), and the Clinical Translational Science Institute will collaborate to bring the Write Winning Grants seminar, presented by the Grant Writers' Seminars and Workshops LLC. The workshop is designed for faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and community members who conduct clinical and translational or health equity research. Jan. 22, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For registration and more information, see Write Winning Grants.

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING: LEADERSHIP IN ACTION features experts each month on topics at the intersection of business, technology, leadership, and engineering. This month features Bill Murray, President and CEO of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium, in "Leading Trends Impacting our Medical Device Innovation Ecosystem." Free. Jan. 15, 5:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For registration and more information, see Technically Speaking.

HAPPY HOUR AT THE CAMPUS CLUB (3-6 p.m.) is open to the entire U community during winter break, membership not required. Offer ends Jan. 17.

MORE EVENTS include Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra in concert (Jan. 10); Keeping Chickens: The Chicken and the Egg! (Jan. 11); PCMC Book Club Crucial Conversations (Jan. 16); Downton Abbey exhibit opening at Wangensteen Library (through May 16). 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 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. SSee submission guidelines.

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