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Vol. XLII No. 39; December 12, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

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

Brief publication calendar: Brief will not be published Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Publication will resume Jan. 9. All submissions for the Jan. 9 issue are due no later than noon, Jan. 4.

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents meet Dec. 13–14.
--State Relations update.
--Features: A friend in the fight against cancer; Keep on truckin'?; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: Katrice Albert has been named the U's next VP for Equity and Diversity, effective June 28; and more.

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


THE BOARD OF REGENTS will meet to discuss business partnerships, student graduation rates, the Amundson Hall/Gore Annex addition, and more Dec. 13–14. At the board's final meetings of 2012, Regents will discuss a proposal to create venture capital funds to jump-start University and other business ventures, and review revisions to faculty leave policies in order to encourage participation in entrepreneurial start-up companies, or otherwise engage with for- or nonprofit organizations. The board will also hear presentations on the U's current compensation philosophy and steps under way to build a comprehensive strategy for the U that includes all employees and is supported by data and metrics, and a report on faculty and staff compensation that will include trends and analyses. For more information, see the news release.

STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) recently released the November economic forecast, which showed a surplus in the current biennium and some reduction in the last projected deficit for the 2014–15 biennium. Nevertheless, the state still faces a $1.1 billion deficit for the 2014–15 biennium, and the outcome of fiscal cliff negotiations leave much uncertainty. The results of the fiscal cliff negotiations could have broad effects on Minnesota's economy, especially through endangered federal funding. Governor Dayton will present a budget to the legislature in January based on the MMB forecast. In other news, the DFL announced Senate committee membership, giving Minnesotans an idea of what the new majority's priorities will be. For more information, see State Relations.


FEATURE: After more than an hour discussing the shared evolution of dogs and humans, and how the cancer mysteries that lie deep within one may inform and effect treatments on the other, U researcher Jaime Modiano smiles and says, "I love my job." He's at the forefront of an array of exciting research that stands to improve the health of both dogs and people. For more information, read "A friend in the fight against cancer."

FEATURE: Every day trucks ply the neighborhoods of America, driving "the last mile" of the delivery chain for goods ordered through Amazon, eBay, and other online retailers. But this last mile produces about half the fossil fuel consumption and emissions of the total retail system. What if somebody designed a system of drop-off points where people who regularly pass nearby could pick up packages for friends? Associate professor Tim Smith recently led a study that modeled a socially networked distribution system, which could reduce travel miles by 30 to 95 percent. For more information, read "Keep on truckin'?"

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Dec. 3–7. In this episode of the weekly video feature, students Sam and Lannie visit the Forestry Club's Christmas tree sale in St. Paul, check out the College of Science and Engineering's annual Winter Light Show, and roll with the U's Unicycle Club. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Katrice Albert has been named the U's next VP for Equity and Diversity, effective June 28; Jane Davidson has received the Frank Kreith Energy Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Josie Johnson has been recognized with Minnesota's Humanitarian Service Award; 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

U OF M PERSONAL WEB SPACE WILL BE DECOMMISSIONED June 30. In preparation for decommission, new personal web space folders will no longer be created effective Dec. 31. For more information, see personal web.

Awards and funding opportunities

2013 MULTICULTURAL RESEARCH AWARD: The Institute for Equity, Diversity, and Advocacy (IDEA) is accepting applications from tenured and tenure-track faculty for innovative and transformative research and scholarship that address the urgent social issues of underrepresented populations in the U.S. Proposals are due Jan. 11 by 4 p.m. For more information and instructions for submitting an application, see IDEA awards.

THE OFFICE FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT is seeking applications for the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship, an international award recognizing exceptional student community engagement and community service. The award also financially supports up to $7,500 for ongoing work of University-based civic initiatives. Deadline is Jan. 18, 4 p.m. For criteria and more information, see MacJannet Prize. Email the completed nomination form to For questions and more information, email Amber Cameron.

THE CENTER FOR URBAN AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS (CURA) invites proposals from regular faculty on all campuses for its Faculty Interactive Research Program. The program encourages research projects that involve a significant urban-related public policy issue for the state or its communities, and that include active engagement with groups, agencies, or organizations in Minnesota involved with the issue. Deadline is Feb. 11, 4:30 p.m. For application instructions and more information, see CURA proposal.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE U OF M LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM has indoor and outdoor recreation activities all winter long. Cross-country ski trails opened Dec. 11, and snowshoers are already out enjoying the latest snowfall. In all, the Arboretum has about 11 miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Snowshoes are available to rent at $6 for the first hour and $4 for each additional hour. In addition, Three-Mile Drive is kept plowed for walkers; and approximately two miles of gently rolling trails traverse gardens and woodlands. For more information, see winter trails.


THE NATIONAL CROPS JUDGING CONTESTS have a long and celebrated history, and UMC's Collegiate Crops Teams have been a part of that history since 1967. This year, the UMC team placed second in both national competitions, held during the month of November. The 2012 team consisted of three agronomy majors including Dan Grefsrud, a senior from Hawley, Travis Lund, a senior from Brandon, and Missy Geiszler, a junior from Mayer. For more information, see crops judging.

FALL SEMESTER GRAD FEST will be held Dec. 12 in the International Lounge, Sargeant Student Center. For more information, see Grad Fest.

A WEBSITE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED for the vice chancellor for academic affairs search. The site contains information about the process, a listing of search committee members, and important dates and events on the search timeline. For more information, see vice chancellor search.


FINAL ROUND! UMD's head football coach, Bob Nielson, was named one of five Division II finalists for the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year campaign. Vote every day through Dec. 20 to bring him to first place. For more information, see Coach of the Year.

THE ANNUAL HOLIDAY READING of Saint Matthew in Appalachia by UMD English professor Joseph Maiolo will take place Dec. 12, 3:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall. For more information, see holiday reading.


CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW GREEN PRAIRIE LIVING AND LEARNING COMMUNITY (GPLLC) began Dec. 10. The new facility complements Morris's focus on environmental sustainability and marks the first residence hall construction on campus since 1971. The two-story hall will provide suite-style housing for 72 students during the academic year. For more information, see breaking ground.

PAIGE SCARBOROUGH, Morris's newest GreenCorps member, has been serving the local community by promoting urban forestry initiatives. After working as an environmental educator, Scarborough applied for the GreenCorps position at Morris, having been drawn to the school's sustainability efforts as well as her family's extensive history with the campus. Scarborough's work builds on the efforts made by former GreenCorps member Laura Anne Hunt '13. For more information, see Scarborough.

KRISTINA GRUNDMANIS '13, Minneapolis, and RACHEL HARDER '12, Redwing, are traveling to Ghana this December. During their trip, organized by the International Volunteer HQ, the two will be assigned to an orphanage in the capital city of Accra, where they will provide childcare and teach English. Upon returning, Grundmanis and Harder will present on their travels in order to spread awareness of international volunteerism and travel. For more information, see Ghana.


UMR FACULTY MEMBER JIM FORD has been selected as one of 11 faculty members systemwide to participate in the U's 2012–13 Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Cohort Program. Faculty participants will engage in professional development aimed at internationalizing the curriculum, joining 28 other faculty members who have been in the program since 2010.


Administrative information

PRESIDENT KALER IS SEEKING NOMINATIONS for a Faculty Athletics Representative who will serve as one of two delegates to the NCAA, Big 10, and Western Collegiate Hockey Association representing the UMTC campus on athletic issues that affect the institution. Learn more about the selection process and responsibilities (PDF), and about the qualities of a representative (PDF). To apply, send a letter stating the nominee's qualifications and interest along with a resume' (self-nominations will be accepted). Nominations are due Jan. 25 to Liz Eull, deputy chief of staff, Office of the President, 202 Morrill Hall, or via email at

THE OFFICE OF CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT (OCM) IS REQUESTING FEEDBACK from those who teach in general purpose classrooms. On Dec. 5, OCM emailed survey invitations to faculty and instructors who taught in general purpose classrooms fall semester. OCM encourages those who received the survey invitation to complete it by Dec. 20. The survey provides OCM with valuable input on the needs, expectations, and experiences of those who teach in these classrooms. For more information, contact the Office of Classroom Management.

THE PROJECT AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT COLLABORATORS (PCMC) GROUP is hosting a "Project Management Software Expo" Jan. 8, 312 STSS building. The event will feature short presentations on project management solutions used across the University followed by a Q&A with presenters. For registration and more information, including a Google Doc where users can add unit solutions and volunteer to participate in the event, see PCMC. RSVP for the Jan. 8 session after joining the PCMC Moodle site (enrollment key: pcmc).

Award opportunities

STUDENT UNIONS AND ACTIVITIES is seeking faculty and staff volunteers to serve as judges on selection committees for the Excellence Awards or the President's Student Leadership and Service Awards. Serving on these committees is an excellent way to show support for the U community while recognizing students for outstanding work in leadership, service, and student group contributions. For more information, email SUA awards by 4:30 p.m., Dec. 21.

NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN FOR THE 2013 PRESIDENT'S STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE AWARDS. The awards honor the accomplishments of outstanding students for their leadership and service contributions to the U of M and the community. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to nominate current students for the awards. Nominations are due Jan. 25. For more information, see leadership awards or call 612-626-6919.

APPLICATIONS FOR THE ANNUAL TONY DIGGS EXCELLENCE AWARDS will be accepted by Student Unions and Activities through Feb. 20. The awards recognize student group achievements during the calendar year and are open to all Campus Life Programs and Registered Student Organizations, which include registered student groups who serve undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. For more information, see Tony Diggs.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE 2012 U OF M HOLIDAZZLE PARADE will take place Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m., between 12th and 4th streets on Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. The U community is encouraged to put on maroon and gold and cheer for parade grand marshal President Eric Kaler, as well as Goldy Gopher, the U of M Marching Band, and more than 150 student and staff volunteers who will be wearing illuminated costumes and marching in the parade. RSVP on Facebook. For more information, see Holidazzle.

GOPHER ATHLETICS WILL HOST A "BREAKFAST WITH CHAMPIONS" in coordination with the Cultural Diversity Task Force, an advisory committee to the intercollegiate athletics department. Speakers will include athletics director Norwood Teague, volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, volleyball player Tori Dixon, and former Gopher Chester Cooper (football, 1977–82). Award-winning TV journalist Robyne Robinson will serve as the event's MC. Jan. 8, 8–9:30 a.m., TCF Bank Stadium. Cost: $25 per person or $150 per table, with proceeds going to support community outreach for disadvantaged youth. For tickets, call 612-624-8080. Space is limited; register by Jan. 4. For more information, see Breakfast.

THE CENTER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING will offer a half-day workshop, "Developing Memorable Presentations: Strategies to Make Teaching Stick," Jan. 16, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Lunch will be provided. For more information, see CTL workshop.

MORE EVENTS include Sketch Off: An Improv Concept Sketching Battle (Dec. 12); Minnesota Funk (Dec. 13); CSE Winter Light Show (through Dec. 21); Café Scientifique, "The Known Universe: A Tour of the Cosmos" (Dec. 18); Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Information Session (Dec. 19); 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. Submission guidelines are available online.

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