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Vol. XLI No. 38; Nov. 30, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Features: Fast times in physics.
--People: Dante Cicchetti has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his ground-breaking research; and more.

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



FEATURE: Back in 2007, U physicist Marvin Marshak was part of an experiment, called MINOS, that clocked neutrinos going faster than light. That wasn't supposed to happen. If the speed of light isn't the universal speed limit, it would mean that Einstein's famous equation, E=mc2, is wrong. While the U finding was published, it never made the news. Then, in September, came a shocker from a similar experiment in Europe—and media around the world trumpeted the possible demise of the world's most famous equation. Now, Marshak and MINOS are gearing up to settle the matter. For more information, read "Fast times in physics."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Dante Cicchetti has been named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his ground-breaking research in developmental neuroscience and child psychology; professor Charles Baxter's collection Gryphon: New & Selected Stories was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011 by The New York Times; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



THE UNIVERSITY SENATE AND FACULTY SENATE will meet Dec. 1, 2:30 p.m., 25 Mondale Hall. Topics will include a white paper on academic freedom, procedures for reviewing candidates for tenure and/or promotion, and Graduate School metrics. For more information, see the agenda at University Senate.

THE P&A SENATE will meet Dec. 2, 9:30 a.m., Mayo Auditorium. Topics will include a discussion with President Kaler and Donna Peterson, associate vice president for government relations. For more information, see the agenda at P&A Senate.

Funding awards and opportunities

NOMINATIONS FOR THE PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE are due by March 9. The award honors active or retired faculty or staff who have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the U community. For more information about the award and the nominating process, see President's Award.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE U WILL HOST GOOGLE CHAIRMAN ERIC SCHMIDT ON NOV. 30, 10–11 a.m. Schmidt will speak on "The Future of the High-tech Economy: How Technology is Changing Business, Education and Government." The event is by invitation only, but will be webcast live at, and recorded for future viewing. For more information, see the news release.


THE CAMPUS ASSEMBLY FALL MEETING will take place Dec. 1, 12:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The agenda for the meeting and the minutes from the last meeting are online.

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES ACTIVITIES DAY will bring high school students from some 40 high schools to UMC on Dec. 2. The annual event, which involves more than 20 student contests, has been held on the campus since 1969. For more information, see natural resources.

UMC'S COLLEGIATE CROPS JUDGING TEAM recently finished second in both the Kansas City and Chicago national crops contests. Members of the 2011 team include seniors Chase Boen, double majoring in agronomy and agricultural business; Matthew Green, triple majoring in agricultural systems management, agronomy, and agricultural business; and Ethan Hulst, majoring in agronomy. The team is coached by Rob Proulx, agronomy lecturer in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. For more information, see collegiate crops.


AN ALUMNI RECEPTION IN CHICAGO will feature a performance of It's a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph, Dec. 9, 6 p.m., American Blues Theater (ABT). Bill Payne, professor of theatre and interim dean in the School of Fine Arts, is cofounder of the ABT and has been an ensemble member since 1985. For more information, see alumni reception.

THE CIVIL ENGINEERING MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAM began this fall with the first cohort of students. The master of science in civil engineering is intended for those pursuing a research emphasis and seeking in-depth knowledge in an area within civil engineering. For more information, see civil engineering program.

BOOK READING AND SIGNING: AUTHOR MILAN KOVACOVIC will read from his recently published memoir, Ma's Dictionary: An Odyssey Through the Social Classes: France, Slovakia, U.S.A.. Dec. 8, 4:30 p.m. Griggs Center. For more information, see author event.


MINNESOTA GREENCORPS has announced that the Morris campus GreenCorps program will continue to be funded. An environmentally focused AmeriCorps program administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, GreenCorps is funded by a Corporation for National and Community Service grant with additional support from ServeMinnesota. UMM is the only GreenCorps site in Minnesota at which undergraduates serve in the program. Goals of the program are to preserve and protect the environment while developing the next generation of environmental professionals. For more information, see Greencorps.

THE MORRIS ART CLUB will hold its annual art sale featuring work by students, faculty, and local artists Dec. 1–3, Humanities Fine Arts Gallery. For more information see art sale.

THE MORRIS DANCE ENSEMBLE will present Move Your Feet! Dec. 2–3, Edson Auditorium, Student Center. The event will feature 146 student dancers in dances from ballet to Beyonce, plus a piece choreographed around the theme of the show. For more information, see dance.


UMR STUDENTS AND FACULTY WILL PUBLISH an article titled "A Paradoxical Framework for Drug Rationing" in a forthcoming issue of the American Journal of Bioethics. Students Bayly Bucknell, Heather DeGrote, Loren Fabry, Madeleine Hammerlund, and Bryan Weisbrod; and UMR philosophy professors Rebecca Bamford and Cameron Brewer wrote the article as part of a collaborative project in an upper level philosophy class. The project helped the students understand the importance of philosophy in contemporary bioethics and provided them with a research experience.


Administrative information

FACILITY MANAGEMENT'S ENERGY MANAGEMENT GROUP HAS NOT HAD A LOST-TIME INJURY in more than 1,000 days. In a unit where employees regularly work with electricity, hazardous materials, wet floors, and saws, the safety milestone is remarkable. The group emphasizes teamwork within crews and safety as a shared responsibility to achieve its goal of staying safe. For more information, see no lost time.

THE OFFICE FOR EQUITY AND DIVERSITY has invited three candidates to campus for public interviews for the position of director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally Programs Office. Forums are scheduled Dec. 1, 2-3 p.m., 335 Appleby Hall; Dec. 6, 2–3 p.m., 117 Appleby Hall; and Dec. 7, 10–11 a.m., 117 Appleby Hall. For more information, see public forums.

STUDENT UNIONS & ACTIVITIES IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS to serve on a judging committee for either the Excellence Awards or the President's Student Leadership and Service Awards selection process. Committee members show support for the U community while helping to recognize students for their outstanding work in leadership, service, and student group contributions. Responsibilities consist of reviewing applications and attending selection meetings with other U of M faculty, staff, and student judges. For more information or to volunteer, email awards or call 612-626-6919.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

EMMY-NOMINATED SCREENWRITER, playwright, and Tectonic Theater Project member Leigh Fondakowski will discuss the long-term environmental and cultural effects of the 2010 BP oil drilling disaster, based on her upcoming work with the people of coastal Louisiana following the Deepwater Horizon drilling explosion. Sponsored by the U's Institute for Advanced Study, Fondakowski's presentation will highlight her production's exploration of the environmental and human cost of the pursuit of oil. Dec. 1, 4 p.m., 125 Nolte Center. For more information, see "The Big Spill."

(BI)SEXUALITY 101 will offer attendees an opportunity to explore an often-overlooked segment of the GLBTQ community. Participants will think critically about gender and desire and share strategies to make the U campus and area communities more welcoming. Free food (including vegan and gluten-free options) will be provided. Free and open to the public. Dec. 5, 1–4 p.m., 335 Peik Hall. For registration, email with your name, email, and U or community affiliation. For more information, see GLBTA programs.

THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY will host a symposium on "The Psychology of Political Misinformation," featuring Dan Kahan, Brendan Nyhan, and Dhavan Shah as panelists, with Paul Goren as moderator. Dec. 9, 2–4 p.m., 1-149 Carlson School. Free and open to the public. For more information, see political psychology.

"FLAT CITY: THE STREETCAR CITY AND THE REVIVAL OF THE AMERICAN DREAM" will be the topic of the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) annual fall luncheon. Patrick Condon, professor and international expert on sustainable urban design, will argue why the "Streetcar City," a uniquely American urban landscape, is again desirable for the future quality of American life. Dec. 8, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see streetcar city.

"DISPARITIES IN MENTAL HEALTH STATUS AND CARE IN THE U.S." is the next topic of the talk in the Distinguished Visiting Scholar Series on Health Disparities. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at UC Davis, presents. Sponsored by the Program in Health Disparities Research, the Center for Health Equity, and the Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations. RSVP to health disparities. Dec. 9, noon–1 p.m., 2-530 Moos Tower and broadcasted online. For more information, see Distinguished Visiting Scholar Series.

MORE EVENTS include Site and Incitement—Planning Discussion (Dec. 1); Why it Takes the Heart and the Fist: A conversation with Eric Greitens, humanitarian and Navy SEAL (Dec. 2); Freight and Logistics Symposium (Dec. 2); Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov (Dec. 3); Faculty Recital: Immanuel Davis (flute), Alexander Fiterstein (clarinet), and Timothy Lovelace (piano) (Dec. 4); Grant Funding—Search Tools and Resources (Dec. 6). 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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