myU OneStop

What's Inside

Related Links

Home > Brief > Brief (2-13-2013)  Print

Vol. XLIII No. 6; February 13, 2013
Editor: Adam Overland,

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

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents meeting summary.
--Features: Can we feed the world?; Breast cancer DNA mutator found; One for All; Dow + U = lab safety.
--People: Professor and dean of the College of Science and Engineering Steven Crouch has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering; and more.

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


THE BOARD OF REGENTS reviewed University efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness at its Feb. 7–8 meeting. Regents heard a presentation on a recently launched "spans and layers" analysis, which will review and benchmark the U's structure top to bottom and across departments. Regents also ratified the merger of the University of Minnesota Foundation and the Minnesota Medical Foundation. In other news, President Kaler informed Regents about strategic opportunities to enhance the summer curriculum on the Twin Cities campus to provide greater access to students, and more. For more information, see the news release.


FEATURE: It's especially gratifying as a researcher—as a human, really—when your work doesn't land with a thud. A bang or a splash—always better. In particular, when you've put three years of your life into a project, you hope that it will leave a mark. In doing so, it helps to conduct research that affects every single person on the planet. U of M research led by Deepak Ray and scientists with the U's Institute on the Environment and McGill University certainly has people talking. The research shows that key food crops in many regions of the world could be in jeopardy. For more information, read "Can we feed the world?"

FEATURE: It's well known that sunlight and chemical carcinogens can mutate DNA, and that mutations are essential for cancer to develop. One big mystery was what causes the thousands of mutations evident in most breast cancers. Now researcher Reuben Harris and his colleagues have found evidence that one of our own proteins is a major source of these mutations. For more information, read "Breast cancer DNA mutator found."

FEATURE: Taking a cue from a nationwide movement to embrace the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a "day on, not a day off," the University launched the U of M Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Volunteer Pledge Drive on Jan. 21. The drive is helping to unite King's vision and the U's land-grant mission. For more information, read "One for All."

FEATURE: Through a unique partnership with the Dow Chemical Co., graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from the U Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science are leading a campaign to improve and sustain the safety culture in chemistry and chemical engineering laboratories. The safety partnership could help other universities across the country. For more information, read "Dow + U = lab safety."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: University of Minnesota professor and dean of the College of Science and Engineering Steven Crouch has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering; Aaron Friedman will step down as vice president for the health sciences and dean of the Medical School at the end of the calendar year; Lisa Novack of CBS Student Services has been awarded the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators Outstanding New Professional Award; UMTC has been named a "Best Value College" for 2013 by The Princeton Review; 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

THE U OF M 2012 AUDIT REPORT is now available online at the Controller's Office website. Among other information, the report includes net assets of the University of Minnesota, and the related consolidated statements of revenues, expenses, and changes in net assets and cash.

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. 25. For more information and the application process, see ISW grants or instructions for the Letter of Intent.

THE MINNESOTA CENTER FOR CANCER COLLABORATIONS and Minnesota Cancer Alliance invite medical/public health professionals, community based organizations, community engaged researchers, and students to submit abstracts for posters, papers, and panel presentations for the 2013 Cancer Disparities Summit: Working Together to Find Solutions, June 19–20. The conference will feature keynote speaker Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer, American Cancer Society. Submissions are due by Mar. 29. For more information, see cancer collaborations.

THE HEALTHY FOODS, HEALTH LIVES (HFHL) INSTITUTE seeks letters of interest to fund the development of community/University partnerships or interdisciplinary faculty research teams working on food, agriculture, or health issues. Letters of interest are due Apr. 19. HFHL is also requesting proposals for the University Research Grant and the Graduate and Professional Student Research Grant programs, with proposals due May 17. For more information about HFHL's grant programs, see spring funding opportunities.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE SPRING GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION ASSEMBLY will explore questions related to tracking graduate student career outcomes: Where do our graduate students go? Why should we track graduate student careers? How do we do this? What does the information tell us, and how should we use it? Faculty, administrators, and graduate students are invited to hear a panel of campus leaders and others address these and related questions. Facilitated table discussions will explore specific topics in greater depth. Apr. 3, 1:30–3:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. For registration and more information, see education assembly.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR U OF M LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM SUMMER DAY CAMPS. The camps provide an engaging mix of hands-on plant, science, cooking, and art explorations for ages 2–14. All camps feature delicious, organic snacks and/or lunches. Camps are usually half-day and run one, two, or three days. Choose from more than 38 camps. For more information, see Summer Day Camps or email Arboretum education.


THE NORTHWEST SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE and UMC will welcome alumni and community friends for a social on Feb. 15 at ViewPoint Resort in Mesa, AZ. Chancellor Fred E. Wood will bring greetings from the Crookston campus. Special guests this year are U President Eric Kaler and Karen Kaler, along with representatives from the U of M Foundation. For more information, see alumni social.

A LUNCH PRESENTATION, "EQUITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE CLASSROOM," will take place Feb. 18, location TBD. Ann Phibbs, director of education, U of M Equity and Diversity, will present from noon to 1:30 p.m. Discussion will include the benefits and challenges of addressing equity and diversity in the classroom. For registration and more information, see equity and diversity.

THE AMERICAN BEEKEEPING FEDERATION announced the selection of Emily Campbell as the 2013 American Honey Princess at its North American Beekeeping Conference in Hershey, PA. Campbell is a first-year student at UMC, where she is pursuing a degree in large animal veterinary medicine. She is also a first-generation beekeeper. For more information, see beekeeping.


UMD WILL PRESENT "PROFILES IN COURAGE" Feb. 15, 2:30–4 p.m., Weber Music Hall. Speaking at the event will be Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. (Ret.) Hiram Mann, who will talk about his experiences in the Air Force; and Col. (Ret.) Nathan Thomas Jr., who will speak about participating in the 1963 Birmingham Civil Rights March. Joining them will be Major (Ret.) Joseph Gomer, a Tuskegee airman from the Duluth area. For more information, see Courage.

THE ANNUAL LAKE SUPERIOR POLAR BEAR PLUNGE will take place Feb. 16 at Canal Park. UMD teams include the Alumni Association, the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, the Athletic Training Program, Hockey Cheerleading, Synchronized Skating, and numerous sororities and fraternities. Proceeds help support Minnesota Special Olympics athletes. For more information, see Plunge.

THE ANNUAL SOUL FOOD DINNER, sponsored by the Black Student Association and African American Student Programs, will be held Feb. 16, 5–9:30 p.m., Kirby Ballroom. For more information, see Soul Food.

IN 1995, MICHAEL MUNNELL became the first person to graduate from UMD with a degree in American Indian Studies. In fall 2012, UMD named an American Indian scholarship after him. Today, Munnell is the drum keeper and lead singer of the MA'IIN'GAN Drum. The singers perform at dozens of events each year, including UMD's commencement ceremony. For more information, see Michael Munnell.

THEATRE STUDENTS from UMD's School of Fine Arts received four awards and two commendations at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region V Festival held in January in Lincoln, NE. In addition, one student's original play is being considered for a performance spot at the Kennedy Center. For more information, see Awards.


UMM WILL HOST THE 2013 AMERICAN INDIAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SOCIETY (AISES) REGION 5 CONFERENCE Feb. 28–Mar. 2. AISES regional conferences educate students and the community about the contributions made by American Indians in science and engineering fields, while inspiring them to strive toward college, graduate school, and professional careers. Registration for the conference is now open. For more information, see AISES Region 5 Conference.

UMM WILL WELCOME JEAN M. O'BRIEN as the featured speaker in the inaugural Wilbert H. Ahern Distinguished Lecture in American Indian Studies, Mar. 4, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Fine Arts Recital Hall. O'Brien is White Earth Ojibwe and a professor of history at UMTC, where she is also affiliated with the American Indian Studies and American Studies Departments. For more information, see Inaugural Lecture.

UMM RECEIVED AN OJIBWE LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION GRANT from the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, which will fund the Mino-Gikin'dasowin (Good Knowledge) Project. The project will expand Morris's Ojibwe language offerings and build partnerships with tribal, immersion, and Ojibwe-teaching K-12 schools regarding field experiences for UMM education students. It will also enable the University to work with tribal and education communities to create pathways for more Ojibwe language teachers. For more information, see Language Revitalization Grant.


CHANCELLOR'S COLUMN: Administrative Costs at UMR. UMR Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle puts into context the role that UMR plays in discussions about U of M administrative costs. For more information, read the Chancellor's Column.


Administrative information

THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICE DESK now provides support by telephone 24/7. Offering extensive technical knowledge and round-the-clock support, the 24/7 Service Desk provides the UMTC community with a single, central point of contact for reporting and managing incidents and requests related to IT services. Support is available by calling 612-301-4357 (1-HELP on campus). For more information, see tech help.

THE TECHNOLOGY TRAINING SPRING SCHEDULE is now available. New this semester is a course on usability evaluation techniques, "Making Websites Work Better for End-Users," and a course on "Techniques for Creating Video Content." Also new: Course registrations are being processed through ULearn, the U's new noncredit course registration system. For tips on how to use ULearn to find and register for technology training courses, see Technology Training.

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. For more information, see Tony Diggs.

PROPOSALS TO LEAD A SHORT-TERM PROGRAM ABROAD through the Learning Abroad Center's Global Seminars program in 2013–14 are due Mar. 1. Global Seminars are affordable, short-term, cohort-based programs that allow students to interact closely with a U of M program leader using the host country as a classroom. For more information, see Global Seminars or email Christine Anderson.

THE PROJECT AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT COLLABORATORS (PCMC) GROUP and the Office of Information Technology are sponsoring the workshop, Project Management 101: Suffering the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Projects, featuring instructor John Skovbroten. Mar. 20, 9 a.m.–noon, 312 STSS. Free and open to all faculty and staff. For registration and more information, see PCMC. RSVP for Project Management 101 after joining the PCMC Moodle site (enrollment key: pcmc).

Awards and funding opportunities

"HOW TO GET A FULBRIGHT," a professional development series for students, faculty, and staff, will kick off with "What is Fulbright?" Feb. 13, noon, 385 Peik Hall. The series of lectures is designed to help students, staff, and faculty members navigate the U.S. government's Fulbright programs. Information will be provided on the vast array of programs, application deadlines, and available opportunities. For more information, see How to get a Fulbright.

PILOT GRANTS IN HEALTH DISPARITIES RESEARCH are available for projects that have a high likelihood of leading to future funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other federal, state, or private funding agencies. Grants are designed to encourage community-initiated research and foster sustainable, long-term collaboration between community-based organizations and academic researchers on research projects focused on reducing and eliminating health disparities. Letters of interest are due Mar. 6; full applications are due Apr. 19. For more information, see Health Disparities Research or email Kristin Eide.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

INTERDISCIPLINARY WOMEN'S HEALTH LECTURE: "A Resilience Model: Integrative Mental Health," will be given by Henry Emmons, holistic psychiatrist of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing. Feb. 13, noon–1 p.m., 2-690 Moos Tower. For more information, see Women's Health lecture.

FRONTIERS IN THE ENVIRONMENT will kick off its spring lecture series Feb. 13 with "Is Frack a Four-Letter Word?"—a presentation on fracking pros and cons by Larry Wackett of the BioTechnology Institute. Frontiers lectures are held weekly (Wednesdays), noon, R380 Learning and Environmental Sciences Bldg., St. Paul. All conversations are webcast online. For more information, see Frontiers.

THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS WILL OFFER "A BRIGHTER U," a sampler program of some of the most intriguing and relevant ideas currently being explored in the college. The event will feature six faculty guided interactive sessions and concludes with a panel discussion. Register online by Feb. 14. The event will be held Feb. 23, 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Coffman Union. For more information and the full program of events, see A Brighter U.

THE IRAQ WAR 10 YEARS LATER: JOURNALISTS' FIRST-HAND REPORTS will consider the media coverage and the ripple effect this coverage has had on the Middle East, with accounts from those who covered the conflict. The discussion will feature author and journalist Reese Erlich, panelists Jeff Severns Guntzel from American Public Media, and Star Tribune reporter Paul McEnroe, and will be moderated by William Beeman. Feb. 26, 5:30–7:30 p.m., 130 Murphy Hall. Free, but registration is required. For more information, see Iraq War discussion.

THE NEXT 3M SEMINAR ON TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION will feature Jon Foley, director of the U's Institute on the Environment, in "Addressing Global Food Supply Challenges." The seminars are designed for graduate and Ph.D. students seeking to turn their technology and science-based ideas into profitable businesses. The event will include a panel session with entrepreneurs from the food and agriculture industries, followed by a lean start-up workshop led by Carlson School faculty. Mar. 2, 8 a.m.–noon, 103 Hanson Hall. For more information, see 3M Seminars.

THE MINNESOTA HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH CONFERENCE will take place Mar. 5, Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul campus. The event brings together Minnesota's health services research community for a day of scholarly presentations and discussions. For registration and more information, see conference.

KERMIT OLSON LECTURE: "What Hollywood Can Teach Us About Our Planet" will feature Jodie Holt from the University of California Riverside. Holt will explain why plants look like they do and enhance your ability to "see" plants. A slide presentation of images from Holt's work as a botanical consultant to the movie Avatar, as well as from her years studying and teaching botany, will be used to illustrate the talk. Mar. 27, 3:30–5 p.m., 110 Green Hall. Free and open to the public. For more information, see Kermit Olson Lecture.

KEEPING OUR FACULTY OF COLOR SYMPOSIUM: "Transforming Our Institutions: Advancing Inclusive Excellence Among Faculty in Higher Education" will engage attendees on research-based strategies for advancing excellence and institutional transformation by achieving diversity and equity within higher education. The symposium features presentations from scholars from a wide variety of institutions. April 14–16, The Commons Hotel, Twin Cities campus. For registration and more information, see faculty of color symposium.

A "LEADERSHIP CAN BE TAUGHT" SYMPOSIUM will be presented by the Undergraduate Leadership Minor June 26–28. The event is an opportunity for faculty and other professional educators serving undergraduates to explore best practices in adapting the "Leadership Can Be Taught" framework for higher education. Guest speakers will feature Sharon Daloz Parks of the Whidbey Institute and Cheryl Getz of the University of San Diego SOLES. Conference registration before Feb. 28 is $425. For registration and more information, see leadership symposium.

MORE EVENTS include Mark Russell Smith: Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (Feb. 14); Valentine's Day Blood Drive (Feb. 14); 45th Annual Fashion Show: Flux (Feb. 16); Mini Medical School—Winter 2013 (night 3 of 5) (Feb. 18); Café Scientifique (Feb. 19); Paul O. Zelinsky: Reflecting on Children's Book Art (Feb. 21); 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.

Brief is published by email and on the web. Subscribe to Brief.