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Vol. XLI No. 34; Nov. 2, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--2012 Legislative Briefing.
--Google+ comes to the U.
--This Week @Minnesota; U of M Moment.
--People: Garfield Bowen has been elected 2013 president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Project Management Institute; and more.

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


SAVE THE DATE: 2012 Legislative Briefing. Held annually, the legislative briefing serves as the U's kickoff to the legislative session. Attracting hundreds of University advocates—including faculty, staff, students, and alumni—the evening features a reception and dinner. University officials introduce the U's proposed legislative agenda and discuss the political landscape with attendees. Mark your calendar for Feb. 1, 2012, 6–7:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. Registration will be available soon. For more information about U advocacy, see

THE APPLICATION GOOGLE+ is now available to U students, faculty, and staff who already have University Google accounts. The U became one of only 22 universities worldwide who brought Google+ to campus on Oct. 27. Users will have the option to use Google+ to connect with colleagues at the U and beyond through features such as "Hangouts," which enable up to 10 people to video chat together using the virtual space for team activities including meetings, study sessions, project collaboration, virtual office hours for faculty, and more. For more information on how to get started, see Google+.


THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Oct. 24–28. This installment of the weekly video feature from the U's News Service takes a look at Goldy Gopher themed pumpkins, the flip of the ceremonial switch on UMore Park's new wind turbine, and Mini Medical School. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

U OF M MOMENT: There might be effective ways to rehabilitate brain-injured people to a healthy, if not entirely normal, state. But it's difficult to say with certainty what those techniques are. That's the conclusion of a recent scientific review of "cognitive rehabilitation therapy" performed by the national Institute of Medicine at the request of the Defense Department. Mary Kennedy with the U's Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences served on the review panel and says the panel's findings will help inform how federal agencies will address the issue going forward. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Garfield Bowen, director in the Office of Information Technology Project Management Office, has been elected 2013 president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Project Management Institute; a CBS student leadership program has been recognized for innovation; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

OPEN ENROLLMENT is online through Nov. 30. Employees who participated in the HealthPartners U Classic Plus plan during 2011 must choose one of the Medica plans in order to have medical coverage in 2012. Those satisfied with their current medical and dental plan choices do not need to re-enroll; current plans will continue into 2012. In addition, those wishing to have a flexible spending account in 2012 must enroll at this time. This year, participants also have the opportunity to enroll in or increase the amount of short-term disability insurance without medical evidence of insurability. For more information, see Open Enrollment or visit Employee Self-Service to enroll by Nov. 30. Call Employee Benefits at 612-624-9090 or 1-800-756-2363 with specific questions.

STUDENT VETERANS APPRECIATION DAY will take place Nov. 10, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. All veterans and their family members, faculty, staff, students, and the public are encouraged to attend the event and show their support. This year's appreciation will feature remarks by University President Eric Kaler. A free chili lunch will be served at noon (while supplies last). For more information, see Student Veterans Appreciation.

Funding awards and opportunities

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences seeks proposals addressing the societal implications of problems in health, environment, or the life sciences. Two types of awards are available: one for graduate/professional students at all U campuses; and another for Consortium/joint degree program members. Proposals are due Feb. 13. For more information, see proposals or email


THURSDAY COMMONS: "Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) for Everyone" is designed to provide an introduction to a variety of potential applications of GIS in various disciplines and programs, and is appropriate for anyone from the novice to the more experienced user. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to attend. Nov. 3, 12:15–1:45 p.m., 207 Dowell. For more information, see Thursday Commons.

THE ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR DIVERSITY (ACD) was established Nov. 1 to promote and enhance an inclusive campus environment enriched by diversity and to help increase cultural competence among students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The ACD will work collaboratively with and serve as an advisory group to the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Programs and its director. Council members represent diverse racial, ethnic, gender, and underrepresented populations from across the U community and externally. For more information, email Peter Phaiah, associate vice chancellor, Student Affairs.


THE AMERICAN INDIAN LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER (AILRC) was approved for inclusion in the U's 2012 state capital request at the Oct. 14 Board of Regents meeting. The total cost of the proposed AILRC building is approximately $11 million, with about $7 million of the amount being requested from the state. For more information, see Duluth American Indian Center.

UMD'S CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND THE CITY OF SILVER BAY will partner to form VICTUS Farms, a new facility housing self-contained food, and an energy-generating ecosystem combining a greenhouse, fish tanks, and algae production areas. The fish, plants, and algae will produce fuel and food. For more information, see sustainability project.

UMD'S LARGE LAKES OBSERVATORY has been awarded $485,226 by the National Science Foundation's Major Research Infrastructure Program for two autonomous moored profilers. The equipment allows for real-time observation of physical, biological, and chemical conditions in Lake Superior, as well as other lakes around the world. For more information, see Large Lakes grant.


CHEMISTRY PROFESSORS NANCY CARPENTER, TED PAPPENFUS, AND TIM SODERBERG were honored with the American Chemical Society (ACS) Committee on Environmental Improvement's 2012 Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education. As invited presenters at the ACS 2012 spring conference, their work in developing new courses and adding new aspects to existing courses on nuclear, solar, wind, fuel cell, and biofuel energy sources will serve as a model for other institutions. For more information, see sustainability education award.

THE FIRST ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF SCHOLARLY ACCOMPLISHMENTS will feature faculty and staff research and artistic work and highlight two library projects: the UMM Scholarship Collection and the UMM Digital Well. The Offices of the Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Dean, Grants Development, and Briggs Library, will present. For more information, see scholarly accomplishments.

UMM WILL HOST THE 2011 WIND FESTIVAL, an annual two-day event for high school wind, brass, and percussion players with a focus on rehearsing and performing chamber music as well as wind ensemble repertoire. The campus and community are invited to a concert each day of the event. Nov. 4–5. For more information, see wind festival.


THE U OF M MARCHING BAND is coming to Rochester on Nov. 20, 3 p.m., Mayo Civic Center. For more information, see concert.


Administrative information

WITH THE COMMUNITY FUND DRIVE COMING TO AN END ON NOV. 4, the generosity of U faculty and staff has so far raised more than $1M for area charities. The top three participating units with 100 employees or fewer as of Nov. 1 are the Board of Regents (100 percent participation), the Office of Internal Audits (100 percent) and the Office of the President (64 percent). Among units with 100 employees and above, the top participating groups are University Relations (81 percent), the Controller's Office (77 percent), and the Law School (56 percent). The drive ends Nov. 4. For more information, see Community Fund Drive.

ENGLISH CONVERSATION PARTNERS are sought by the Center for Teaching and Learning to meet with International graduate students for language practice and cultural exchange. Commitment would be one hour per week for one semester. An orientation is provided. For more information, see Partners in English.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

"E3 2011: THE LATEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INNOVATION" will explore the latest technical innovations, scientific breakthroughs, and policy incentives in renewable energy with featured presentations from entrepreneurs who are spearheading successful renewable energy ventures in the U.S. and abroad. Hosted by the U's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. Nov. 7, McNamara Alumni Center. For the full agenda, registration details, and speaker bios, see E3 2011.

THE NEW UNIVERSITY IMAGING CENTER (UIC) FACILITY, located in Jackson Hall, will hold an open house Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The center will provide instrumentation and expertise to image biological samples at all scales using a variety of imaging modalities, along with analysis and visualization tools. The event will include tours as well as demonstrations by staff and vendors. For more information, see UIC open house or email Mark Sanders.

COMMUNITY PILOT GRANT AWARDS POSTER SESSION AND DINNER will feature research presentations from pilot grant awardees, student research poster presentations, and the work of local community organizations dedicated to reducing health disparities. Sponsored by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Program in Health Disparities Research, and the Center for Health Equity. Nov. 9, 3–6:30 p.m., Lutheran Social Services. 2400 Park Avenue, Minneapolis. RSVP to by Nov. 2.

A SIP OF SCIENCE: A Sense of Where You Are: Science and Knowing on the Mississippi River, with Patrick Nunnally, coordinator of the River Life Program. Nov. 9, 5:30 p.m., Aster Cafe, 125 SE Main Street, St. Anthony Main. Free. A SIP OF SCIENCE, held on the second Wednesday of every month, bridges the gap between science and culture in a happy hour setting that puts science in context through storytelling. For more information, see science happy hour.

TOBACCO CONTROL RESEARCH AND NEW FDA REGULATIONS will be the topic of the next Science Café: "Future Landscape of Prevention Research: Tobacco Regulation as a Case Study." Dorothy Hatsukami, professor of psychiatry and director of the U's Tobacco Use Research Programs, will speak about tobacco control research at the U and the new Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Sponsored by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Nov. 11, 7:30–9 a.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. For more information, see Science Café.

THE 2011 MESTENHAUSER LECTURE ON INTERNATIONALIZING HIGHER EDUCATION will feature author and former diplomat Richard Arndt, who will speak on "Cultural Diplomacy and International Understanding." Nov. 11, 2 p.m., 3M Auditorium, Carlson School of Management. A panel discussion and reception will follow. Sponsored by Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. For registration and more information, see internationalizing education.

NORTHROP DANCE WILL PRESENT Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet's U.S. premiere of Wonderland, Nov. 12, 8 p.m., and Nov. 13, 3 p.m., Orpheum Theatre. Wonderland is a new, full-length reinterpretation inspired by one of the most popular books of all time, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. A special preview hosted by Theatre Arts and Dance chair Carl Flink and Emilie Plauchè Flink will take place prior to each performance at Solera Restaurant (next door to the theatre). U faculty and staff discounts apply. Rush tickets are available in person at the Orpheum Theatre box office before each performance. For tickets and more information, see Wonderland.

THE HELLER-HURWICZ ECONOMICS INSTITUTE'S first annual policy forum will focus on social insurance and will include a keynote address by 2010 Nobel Laureate and MIT economist Peter Diamond. The event will also feature three panel discussions on tax policy, health care, and pensions; and presentations on latest economic research by academic economists. Nov. 16–17, Coffman Union. Register by Nov. 8. For registration and more information, see economics policy forum.

THE SURVEY PEER NETWORK will address issues and challenges of sampling faced by survey researchers with "Strategic Sampling for Better Research Practice." Getting good data means starting with a good sampling plan, and this session will tackle specific concerns and information identified by participants in a pre-session feedback form. Nov. 18, 10–11:30 a.m., 402 Walter Library, or via UMConnect. RSVP and submit questions and comments to be addressed at the session at Survey Peer Network.

MORE EVENTS include Harnessing Sustainability and the Green Economy for Market Transformation (Nov. 2); Sketch Night: Birds (Nov. 3); Call It Character: A Selection of Stars from Archives and Special Collections (Nov. 4); All About Dogs Day (Nov. 5); An Intimate Rivalry: How the Jews thought of Muslims and Islam in the Middle Ages (Nov. 6); The Frugal Future (Nov. 9). 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. All Twin Cities event submissions are handled through the events calendar at

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