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Vol. XLI No. 40; Dec. 14, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Brief publication calendar: Brief will not be published Dec. 28 and Jan. 4. Publication will resume Jan. 11. All submissions for the Jan. 11 issue are due no later than noon, Jan. 6.

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents December meeting summary.
--Features: Warm winter wishes; Wind. Energy. Research.; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: Michael Schmitt will be the new associate dean for Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; and more.

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


BOARD OF REGENTS DECEMBER MEETING SUMMARY: The Board of Regents received an update on the status of the Minnesota economy from state economist and U professor Tom Stinson during its December meeting. Regents also heard a report on undergraduate retention and graduation rates; details of a proposed tuition surcharge within the Carlson School of Management; and the announcement of an innovative new approach to technology transfer, as well as an update on the state of University research. In addition, the facilities committee heard a presentation on U sustainability efforts. For more information, read the Regents meeting summary.


FEATURE: In this, their first winter as the U of M presidential couple, Karen and Eric Kaler sent a colorful, animated seasonal e-card to the extended U community. The card was the work of students Mari Mihai, a third-year graphic design undergrad; and Adam Zahller Brown, a first-year grad student in music composition. Complete with falling snow, a crackling fire, and a crescendo of music, it went out to faculty, staff, students, and friends—more than 100,000 people in all. For more information, read "Warm winter wishes."

FEATURE: The U was one of three university-based consortia to receive a large U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) wind energy research grant in 2009. As part of that, the U recently dedicated a $5.5 million, 2.5MW wind turbine at UMore Park in Rosemount. It's the focal point of the budding Eolos Wind Energy Research Consortium, a unique, collaborative research effort. But what makes the turbine really stand out is its role in the next generation of wind energy research—universities working with industry to test ideas for wind energy improvements. For more information, read "Wind. Energy. Research."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: For the week of Dec. 5–9, we learn about the induction of Gopher football great Sandy Stephens into the College Football Hall of Fame, see the Gopher Women's Volleyball team progress to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, and learn about a new partnership that more tightly connects the U's research innovation to business. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Michael Schmitt will be the new associate dean for Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Funding awards and opportunities

NOMINATIONS FOR 2012 DISTINGUISHED MCKNIGHT UNIVERSITY PROFESSORSHIPS will be accepted by the Office of the Vice President for Research through Feb. 1. The McKnight program supports outstanding mid-career faculty who have recently achieved full professor status. For more information, see nominating instructions.


JASON BRANTNER, Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) research fellow, has been recognized with the Sugarbeet Distinguished Service Award. The award is based on significant contributions to the success of the sugarbeet industry in Minnesota and North Dakota. Brantner was presented with the award Dec. 1 by the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association during their annual meeting. For more information, see sugarbeet award.

RUSS SEVERSON, U of M Extension educator in crops, will be retiring Dec. 29 after 38 years with the U. A retirement reception celebrating Severson's career will take place Dec. 20, 3–5 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The reception will take place at the conclusion of the Soybean College Workshop held the same day. For more information, see retirement.

THE THIRD "SUSTAINABILITY SUPPER" of the fall semester will be held Dec. 14. The meeting will take place at the University of North Dakota, where campuses participating in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Climate Action Plan will share an overview of their sustainability initiatives, with special emphasis on implementation of campus sustainability plans. For more information, see the UMC climate action plan.


THE 2011 EQUITY AND DIVERSITY OUTSTANDING UNIT AWARD was presented to UMD by the U's Office for Equity and Diversity. The award recognizes UMD's visionary and insightful leadership in diversity, inclusion, and social justice. For more information, see Equity and Diversity.

COMMISSIONER MARK PHILLIPS ('73) is the recipient of the UMD Center for Economic Development Joel Labovitz Award for Entrepreneurial Vision. Governor Mark Dayton appointed Phillips as the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in January 2011 to support the economic success of individuals, businesses, and communities by improving opportunities for growth. In partnership with business, industry, education, and governmental organizations, DEED implements the state branding program "Positively Minnesota." For more information, see entrepreneurial vision award.

UMD PROFESSOR JOSEPH MAIOLO will read his work, Saint Matthew in Appalachia, Dec. 16, 3 p.m., Weber Music Hall. Free and open to the public. For more information, see author event.


JENNIFER ROTHCHILD, associate professor of sociology and gender, women, and sexuality studies, received a fellowship with the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS). Rothchild's goal is to draft her book, Boys in the Kitchen and Girls in the Yard: Social Constructions of Gender and Family in Nepali Orphanages. For more information, see IAS fellowship.


A DWI AWARENESS EVENT for students was held at UMR Dec. 7. UMR students, faculty, staff, and Rochester community members had the opportunity to use interactive tools to understand the impact drinking has on driving. Olmsted County Safe Communities Partners sponsored the event.


Administrative information

THE CENTER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING WILL OFFER A COURSE DESIGN WORKSHOP to help instructors create and refine student outcomes, identify assessment strategies to measure higher level learning, and discuss classroom activities to help students achieve course goals. "Making It Even Better: Designing Courses to Support Student Learning and Teacher Satisfaction," will assist new teachers adjusting to the U's Student Learning Outcomes, experienced teachers already practicing active-learning strategies but needing to update courses for liberal education requirements, and teachers ready to retool a course based on student and peer feedback. Dec. 20, noon–1:30 p.m., 530B STSS. For registration and more information, see course design.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2012 PRESIDENT'S STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE AWARD are open until Jan. 27. The awards honor the accomplishments of outstanding students at UMTC. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to nominate current University students. For more information and nomination forms, see Student Unions and Activities, or call 612-626-6919.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

CURA HOUSING FORUM: Commissioner Mary Tingerthal from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency will present an overview of the findings from the agency's Affordable Housing Plan at the next Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) housing forum. The plan includes everything from demographics to the sources and uses of housing funds. Dec. 16, noon–1:30 p.m., L-110 Carlson School of Management. For more information, see housing forum.

DEINARD MEMORIAL LECTURE ON LAW AND MEDICINE: The Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences and the Center for Bioethics are bringing professor Ezekiel Emanuel to campus for the lecture, "Health Care Reform and the Future of American Medicine." Emanuel was President Obama's special health care adviser when he worked for the Office of Management and Budget in 2009 and 2010. He played a major role in the Affordable Care Act. Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. Registration is recommended for those requesting continuing education credit. Register online, email joint degree, or call 612-625-0055.

THE U OF M ALUMNI ASSOCIATION HAS INTRODUCED a unique line of professional and athletic apparel called "The Minnesota Collection." All proceeds from The Minnesota Collection will benefit scholarships and other student initiatives. The apparel features a range of men's and women's dress shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts, as well as one-of-a-kind Goldy glassware and travel items. For more information, see The Minnesota Collection.

DISCOUNTED TICKETS to Spirit Mountain (save $20) are now available at the Coffman Union and St. Paul Student Center Information Desks. Discounted Minnesota Wild hockey tickets (save $60) are also available. For more information, see Student Unions & Activities.

MORE EVENTS include Sip of Science: Future Earth—Thriving on a Human-dominated Planet (Dec. 14); Innovations in Parking Pricing as Transportation Demand Management (Dec. 15); CSE Winter Light Show (Dec. 16); Life on Earth: The Origin of Elements (Dec. 20). 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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